In a somewhat bizarre turn of events, steering wheel locks have enjoyed a resurgence. Perhaps ‘enjoy’ is the wrong expression: after all, we are talking about taking measures to ensure that your car is not stolen. Now that keyless entry is a feature of modern cars, advanced car theft is on the rise. And to counter this worrying trend, motorists are choosing – literally – to invest in rock-solid solutions.
With car thefts on the rise, drivers should be wary and make a wise investment in a steering wheel lock, according to the 2022 figures. Since the threat of car theft alone is enough to keep insurers from replenishing your premium, buying a car can cut down on additional insurance costs.
But which steering wheel locks work best when it comes to securing your car? Below we’ve rounded up our selection of the very best wheel locks, while also providing a helpful buying guide to help you make your decision.
Best steering wheel lock: at a glance
How to choose the best steering wheel lock for you
Anecdotally, the rule these days is ‘bikes are stolen to order’. While there is some truth about premium car thefts that are being tracked down and targeted by criminal gangs, it tops the list of the most stolen car models in 2021 was the humble Ford Fiesta.
The modest Ford Focus, VW Golf, Opel Corsa and Opel Astra appeared alongside models such as Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover, BMW and Mercedes Benz. The reason? Keyless entry technology. The frequency sent from your key fob to your immobilizer and car alarm can be mimicked by computer software if the thief is standing next to the vehicle with a laptop and a third-party gadget.
The result? The car mistakenly believes that the real key holder has unlocked the car and that the thieves can make a clean run, in something called a “relay attack.” With more remote functionality coming into our cars and enabled through mobile companion apps, it’s worth considering investing in a steering wheel lock, especially if your insurer has already specified that the area where you park your car is a special purpose. is.
Are wheel locks effective?
In 2019, Halfords reported that sales of steering wheel locks had doubled. They can be a basic part of the security kit, but not only do they act as a highly visible deterrent, but an accredited steering wheel lock can also entitle you to additional discounts on your insurance. After you make your purchase, call your insurer and see if they offer a bribe.
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Can thieves break wheel locks?
Handlebar locks are made of metal and plastic and, when used properly, are placed over the handlebars and extended to form a barrier that prevents the handlebars from moving freely.
Thieves can try to drive away with one locked to the wheel, but they’ll struggle to maneuver the car smoothly and all the antics to keep the metal bar moving in the driver’s seat from looking pretty seedy.
The locks on it are not the most advanced. If the thief can’t remove the lock himself – by drilling or using bolt cutters – he can simply cut the portion of the handlebars that is in the way of removing the lock.
In short, yes, wheel locks can break. However, having one fitted, if it hasn’t deterred an attempt to steal your car, will undoubtedly slow down the criminals, meaning more time to track down their delinquency.
Which wheel lock is the best?
Choosing a steering wheel lock really comes down to the budget and brute force of the driver. While some handlebar-style locks are more manageable and the easiest to store, they don’t necessarily offer the greatest security.
The most secure full-coverage steering lock is not only by far the most expensive, it’s also the heaviest. If the device weighs almost 5 kg, it is too awkward to handle, you may not be able to use it anymore.
In that case, consider doubling up with a steering lock and a brake lock. Both are more manageable in terms of weight and easier to store. Also, by immobilizing the brake pedal and steering wheel, would-be thieves have to put in a lot more effort if they want to rob your motorcycle.
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The best steering wheel locks you can buy in 2022
1. Artago 870 Premium Anti-theft Car Steering Wheel Lock: The best steering wheel lock with a loud alarm
Price: £77 | Buy now from Amazon
European outfit Artago made this highly visible steering wheel lock. It has an unusual top wheel placement, with the padded barrier laying flat on the dash (while avoiding scratches) to prevent movement without removal.
This award-winning device is equipped with a 120db alarm, warning beeps (much like the beeps on your home alarm system to give you time to enter the passcode) and a light signal. This audiovisual experience will disturb even the most focused would-be thief. Its compact design also makes it easy for any operator to handle, attach and remove quickly.
Key specs – Size: 8cm; materials: Alloy steel; Number of keys: 3; Alarm placed? Yes; Weight: 1.58 kg
2. Disklok Steering Wheel Full Cover Lock: Best steering wheel lock for full wheel coverage
Price: £159 | Buy now at Euro Car Parts
This police-approved steering wheel lock from Disklok claims to be the world’s strongest and most effective steering wheel lock. It is available in silver or bright yellowas well as a choice of sizes including small (35-38.9cm) and medium (39-41.5cm) and large (recommended).
Disklok uses a full hubcap approach so you need to make sure you buy the right size to fit your handlebars. Such an expensive investment is not easy to transfer to a new car, nor is it easy to store. However, a mixture of hardened materials means that thieves who swing even heavy tools will pick up the gauntlet here. Ultimately, it depends on the driver how manageable a 5kg device is to insert and remove multiple times on short journeys.
Key specs – Size: Up to 44 cm diameter (large), 4.9 kg weight; materials: Alloy steel; Number of keys: 3; Alarm placed? no
Buy now at Euro Car Parts
3. Streetwize Heavy Duty Round X-Lock: Best Budget Full Coverage Steering Wheel Lock
Price: £38 | Buy now from Amazon
Streetwize’s wallet-friendly XLock may not have the fancy accreditation of the Disklok, but its bright yellow full-cover design means it’s indispensable once implemented. It supports steering wheels up to 39cm in diameter and comes with a storage bag to keep the components together.
It’s also slightly lighter than the Disklok, at 3.56kg, and the padding on the inside of the disc prevents the lock from damaging the wheel cover itself. While the build quality is certainly not as good as the Disklok, at less than a third the cost, the XLock is a worthwhile consideration if deterrence is what you’re looking for.
Key specs – Size: up to 39 cm diameter, 3.56 kg weight; materials: Alloy steel; Number of keys: 2; Alarm placed? no
4. Milenco HS Silver steering wheel lock: best compact wheel lock with Sold Secure accreditation
Price: £64 | Buy now from Amazon
Approved by UK safety and security testing facility Thatcham with Sold Secure Gold accreditation, the Milenco HS has withstood the extreme professional attack of 300 seconds in assault testing. For a greater visual deterrent, we recommend opting for the bright yellow: it’s usually a little more expensive, but worth the money. The Milano is an uncomplicated rod that can be attached to the handlebars in seconds. It is worth noting that it can mark the steering wheel and if you have flappy paddles (paddle shifters) on your vehicle you will not be able to fit this particular lock. It’s reasonably priced though, especially if you can negotiate an insurance discount – insurers love a stamp of approval from Thatcham.
Key specs – Size: up to 60 cm diameter, 2.3 kg weight; materials: Alloy steel; Number of keys: 3; Alarm placed? no
5. Stoplock Original: Best budget steering wheel lock
Price: £31 | Buy now from Amazon
The strong sales of the original Stoplock steering wheel lock is a testament to the great appeal of this particular car security device. Easy to apply and remove, with an integrated flashing light and a clear design, the Stoplock is available in four different flavours; Original (seen here), Airbag† Pro and Pro Elite†
The original is best for the budget, which is why it’s on this list. However, since its launch, the brand has worked hard to accommodate new developments in steering wheel design. And since the ‘most expensive’ Pro Elite is nearly as affordable at around £50, the Stoplock range should make your shortlist.
Key specs – Size: Up to 24.88 cm, length 70 cm, weight 1.42 kg; materials: Alloy steel; Number of keys: 3; Alarm placed? no