Best Steering Wheel Locks: Add Security to Your Car
Prevent vehicular theft with these steering wheel locks
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.
PUBLISHED ON May 24, 2019
Car thefts are on the rise again these days, and even modern security systems are not enough to prevent car thieves from absconding with your vehicle. By adding a physical barrier, however, you’re adding another layer of protection. Steering wheel locks are security devices to help you do just that. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the best steering wheel lock to keep your car safe.
- Best OverallThe Club 1000 Steering Wheel LockSummarySummaryA tried-and-true design from a company that’s been specializing in steering wheel locks for decades.ProsProsPatented, innovative design that works with most cars. Offers a solid metal body, visually deterring color combo (red and black), and a great guarantee.ConsConsThe locking mechanism can get jammed during use in colder climates. That’s definitely not ideal if you live in frostier temps.
- Best ValueMONOJOY Heavy Duty Anti-Theft LockSummarySummaryA heavy-duty metal body and compact design make our value pick stand out. Perfect if you’re looking for something quick and easy.ProsProsOne of the most compact models on the market, it extends to fit most cars and trucks. It comes with a built-in safety hammer, B+ lock cylinder, and laser cut keys.ConsConsShorter than competing models, which makes it a better choice for small cars than for bigger ones.
- Honorable MentionDisklock Security Wheel LockSummarySummaryThe classic enclosed steering wheel lock with a variety of security features to keep your car safe from theft.ProsProsThe incredibly high-quality build is heavy and bulky design to withstand physical attacks. Features anti-drill and anti-pick lock design and spinning frame to make steering the car nearly impossible.ConsConsThe only downside we found was the higher price point. You do get what you pay for, and this wheel lock is worth the investment in higher-end cars.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of a Steering Wheel Lock
- Physical barrier. A steering wheel lock is a heavy chunk of metal that stops your steering wheel from moving. This helps protect your vehicle from theft, as they’re extremely hard to crack.
- Visual theft deterrent. Not only do steering wheel locks prevent the wheel from moving, they’re also a great visual deterrent that will likely keep thieves at bay. They help make your car much more difficult to steal, causing would-be thieves to look elsewhere.
- Peace of mind. If you worry about your car every time you park it, a steering wheel lock will help put your mind at ease. Fewer worries, less stress, healthier you.
- Money Saver. This one is a little on the nose, but if your car gets stolen, you lose money on the replacement, even if you’re insured. In that sense, a steering wheel lock can help you save money.
- Prevents turning. Even if a thief did decide to hop into your car and drive away without cracking the wheel lock, the car will be impossible to properly maneuver. Simply put, the thief wouldn’t be able to turn the wheel far enough to make any turns or even keep the car safely in a lane.
Types of Steering Wheel Locks
Enclosed steering wheel locks provide a high level of physical security, as they completely enclose the steering wheel in a hardened steel shell. This makes it both extremely difficult to crack and really good at what it’s supposed to do: keeping thieves away. The downside is that they’re quite bulky and on the heavier side.
Most of the steering wheel locks on the market today are this type. With a long bar shape, they attach to the wheel via hooks or extendable arms, locking it into place within the wheel’s spokes. When properly attached, they prevent turning the wheel far enough to get anywhere.
Designed to hook into the wheel and one of the pedals, this type of steering wheel lock prevents thieves from using two key control points of your vehicle. The trade-off is that it’s the biggest type lock out there, making it a bit cumbersome to use and to keep in your vehicle.
Based in Sharon, Penn., Winner International makes the popular The Club steering wheel locks. Founded in 1986, the company is still going strong today, making innovative new tweaks to the existing designs. The company’s most popular product is the Original Club.
An online-based manufacturer and retailer of car steering wheel locks, as well as a whole host of other automotive accessories, MONOJOY makes quality, affordable products. Many of the company’s wheel locks are popular, with the Heavy-Duty Car Anti-Theft Lock being the forerunner.
With head offices based in the UK, Disklok is the company behind the most popular full-enclosure steering wheel lock. Since 1993, Disklok has continued to innovate the design, making one of the most effective anti-theft devices for cars on the market. The Disklok is the company’s most popular product, and it’s Thatcham-approved.
Steering Wheel Lock Pricing
- Under $30: At this price point, you’ll find most budget options of varying quality. Some are quite decent and will do a good job of protecting your vehicle from theft, while others are too poorly made to stand up to a thief’s toolbox.
- $40-$100: In the mid-range, you’ll find a wide variety of steering wheel locks to suit your needs. The traditional lock is most common, but you’ll also find a couple of wheel-to-pedal locks, all of which should be made from quality materials. We recommend spending at least this much in a wheel lock.
- Over $100: The higher-end models tend to be the enclosed variety of wheel lock. High-quality materials and craftsmanship drive prices up, both of which you’ll see in a wheel lock at this price point. It’s not necessarily worth spending this much to get a good lock, though.
Modern steering wheels tend to be very similar in size and design, but some makes and models have unique quirks that warrant a universal fit wheel lock. You’ll avoid guesswork and poorly closing latch points; both of which will result in better security for your car. If you’re driving an 18-wheeler or some other really big vehicle, you might have to look for a speciality lock.
One of the key deterrents to theft is the visibility of a wheel lock. That means you’ll want lots of bright color and bulk that can be spotted, even from across the street. Our favorites are red and bright yellow, but a bit of shiny silver helps the spotting, too. If would-be thieves can see what they need to deal with before even getting to your car, you’re that much better off.
You’ll want a steering wheel lock that’s as resistant to physical attacks as possible. If a thief decides to break into your car, even after spotting that wheel lock, you’ve got to assume that they’ve got the toolbox to tackle it. Hardened steel or steel alloys will make it that much harder for a would-be thief to break the lock, making these the materials you need for top-notch security.
- Size: Although bigger is usually better when it comes to steering wheel locks, you’ve got to keep in mind how much space it will take up when not in use. Make sure to choose a wheel lock that’s just right in size to work for your car so that you don’t have to deal with the inconvenience of more bulk than you need.
- Ease of Use: Some car security bars have more connection points than others, making them more secure but also more difficult to use. You’ll want a lock that balances convenience and security so that you’re never discouraged from using it.
- Guarantee: A number of manufacturers offer not only a great warranty for their wheel locks but also a guarantee that your car won’t be stolen. If you’re unlucky enough for it to be taken, then their guarantee pays for part or all of your insurance deductible.
- Locking Mechanism: Here’s a point where quality really matters. If the locking mechanism is poorly made, it can be easily broken by a professional thief. Make sure you invest in a good steering wheel lock that can’t just be sprayed, frozen, and broken.
- Padding: If you’re worried about potential damage to your car’s steering wheel from metal edges, you’ll want to look for a wheel lock that features rubber or plastic padding around the latch points.
Best Steering Wheel Lock Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: The Club 1000 Steering Wheel Lock
Sometimes the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” rings true. That’s the case for the original Club steering wheel lock. It’s been around for decades, and it’s patented design continues to be one of the best on the market. Recent innovations have made it even more secure: solid steel hooks and Chromoly steel construction make it resistant to sawing, prying, hammering, and freon attacks. The patented self-locking feature makes the Club super easy to use: just one pull locks it into place, and you can rest easy knowing your car is better protected.
Red and black are highly deterring colors, and the fit is universal, making it ideal for cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. It’s also available in a slightly less visible navy blue and black color combo, which might suit your needs better if you want your lock to blend in more. The Club also comes backed with a generous first-year guarantee: If your car gets stolen while the Club is in use, the company will pay up to $1,800 against your insurance deductible.
Overall, the design is heavy-duty, the materials high in quality, and the performance is good. What is a little bothersome, though, is that the locking mechanism can get a little jammed in colder climates. Making sure that it’s always well-lubricated helps prevent that issue, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind if you live somewhere frosty.
Best Value: MONOJOY Heavy Duty Anti-Theft Lock
As far as value buys go, this MONOJOY wheel lock is up there as a great deal. A heavy-duty, hardened steel body protects your car physically and visually. Its design is one of the most compacts on the market at just 17.7 inches long. It’s easy to use and extends to 28.7 inches to accommodate a wide range of steering wheels, which is great if you’re looking for something with a universal fit. Another unique feature is that it can also be used as a safety hammer to break the car windows in an emergency.
This model features a B+ lock cylinder, which can resist a number of physical attacks well. It also has laser cut keys that are extremely difficult to duplicate, protecting you from one of the most common car theft attacks. The self-locking feature makes it possible to lock the device without needing to use the key, making it very user-friendly. It also comes with three keys, so you’ll always have a spare if you lose one.
One of the main downsides to this model is that it lacks bright colors, making it harder to see from a distance. That makes it a bit less effective as a visual deterrent. It’s also shorter than competing models, making it more suitable for smaller vehicles. Other than that, you can’t beat the price.
Honorable Mention: Disklok Security Wheel Lock
One of the strongest wheel locks on the market, the Disklok works by completing encasing your car’s steering wheel. The design is patented to spin on the attack, making it extremely difficult to remove and basically impossible to drive. Made from high-quality, hardened steel, this device weighs a solid 9 to 11 pounds, depending on the size selected. Not just a visual deterrent, the Disklok is designed to withstand any attack with manual tools.
A key feature of the design is the hardened anti-drill and anti-pick design. With more than 1 million possible combinations and 10 internal disks that spin when drilling or picking is attempted, this locking mechanism is one of the toughest to crack. It’s made in three different sizes for a guaranteed snug fit on your steering wheel and comes with three keys, in case one or two are misplaced or lost. The Disklok is a great pick if you’re looking for something extremely difficult to crack, and you don’t mind the weight and bulk of the design.
All that being said, the price point is where Disklok gets a little less attractive. Keep in mind that you do get what you paid for, and that’s definitely noticeable in steering wheel locks. The quality and special design features are definitely there, making this device is worth the investment if you want something durable that will do an A+ job at protecting your car from theft.
- Protect your steering wheel from any potential scuffing or tearing by always carefully placing and removing the steering wheel lock. If you’re especially concerned about possible damage, try using a piece of cloth or a rag between the lock and the wheel. Just make sure that it doesn’t get in the way of the locking mechanism.
- Some steering wheel lock manufacturers offer a guarantee that covers part or all of your insurance deductible, should your car get stolen while their device was in use.
- Steering wheel locks come in a number of different lengths. Make sure whichever model you choose is going to be long enough to properly do its job. As a good rule of thumb, newer compacts and sedans can take almost any lock on the market, whereas SUVs, trucks, and otherwise larger cars will need something longer.
- Many newer cars have steering wheels and pedals that adjust to a final position when the key is removed from the ignition. If your car has this feature, make sure to first turn off the vehicle and remove the key before you attach the steering wheel lock. You might cause damage to the vehicle otherwise.
- If you ever find yourself with a steering wheel lock that’s stuck, you can try spraying some dry graphite lubricant into the locking mechanism. This can help the lock release.
Q: Will steering wheel locks damage my steering wheel?
A: With proper use and a little care, steering wheel locks won’t leave any marks on your wheel. That being said, if you’re really concerned about scuff marks, consider using fabric scraps or cloth between the wheel and lock.
Q: How do I properly install a steering wheel lock?
A: This will depend on the type of lock you have. For the common bar type, all you have to do is position the attachment points inside the spokes of your steering wheel, close the lock, and turn the key.
Q: What do I do if I lose my lock’s key?
A: Most steering wheel locks come with a spare key, so try to locate that as a first resort. If that fails, consider calling in a locksmith before you try manually removing the lock via hacksaw or physical force.
Q: What kind of steering wheel lock works best?
A: If you’re looking for the ultimate in security, you’ll want to check out a wheel to pedal lock. Since it blocks two key points of your vehicle from use (the steering wheel and the brake pedal), would-be thieves stand less of a chance at stealing your car.
Our top pick is the original The Club 1000 Steering Wheel Lock. It’s a tried-and-true design that’s been on the market for decades, so you know you can trust it.
If you’re looking for a more wallet-friendly option, check out our best value pick, the MONOJOY Heavy Duty Anti-Theft Lock. It’s extendable and works with many makes and models.