LAST UPDATED: November 27, 2019
Best Parking Sensors: Park You Car Easily and Safely
A suitable parking sensor ensures comfortable parking while preventing dangerous collisions
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON November 27, 2019
Parking lots are always crowded, and maneuvering through one can be very tricky. Lucky for you, there is a gadget that can make the parking process more comfortable: a parking sensor. This device measures the distance between your car and the obstacle. It then sends you a notification when you are about to hit the obstacle. Here are three of the best parking sensors on the market.
This sensor is a good-quality parking radar system that consists of eight sensors, a digital control box, and an LED display. It ensures secure parking by making a beeping sound warning and displaying your distance from an object, thus preventing collisions.
- Beep sound becomes more frequent as the distance to the object gets smaller
- Easy to install
- Multicolor selection of eight weatherproof sensors
- Comes with a three-year warranty
- Detection range is too small, so if you reverse at high speeds you may hit an obstacle
- Beeping sound is loud and annoying
- Included cables are not long enough for some vehicles
This all-in-one parking aid kit has an easy-to-read LED screen that displays red, yellow, and green lights that let you know how close another car is to your vehicle. It is highly sensitive and can detect objects as far as eight feet away.
- Kit is built with an advanced CPU that increases its operating speed, enhancing its overall effectiveness
- Rated to function in temperatures between -40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit
- Has a voltage between 10V and 16V
- Sensor is quite sensitive and can detect smaller objects that may not necessarily be dangerous
- Sensor's rubber casing may not be all that durable
This is another great parking sensor system. It comes with four sensors to install on the rear bumper, a CPU, and an advanced chipset for enhanced obstacle detection. It is equipped with a three-color LED display (green, red, and yellow) to accurately show the distance between the car and the obstacle.
- Radar system can detect children and small walls
- System is also protected from overheating or overloading
- Included wire is too short for installing the system in a long truck
- Beep warning may be too loud
- Colors may not be a perfect distance indicator
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Benefits of Parking Sensors
- Avoid collisions. It can sometimes be a little challenging to back up your vehicle, especially if you're in a small parking lot or in an unfamiliar location and aren’t sure if there is something in the blind spot. The best aftermarket parking sensors help you avoid accidental impacts.
- Maintain situational awareness. The best front and rear parking sensors use a camera or radar to inform you when you’re getting close to an object you may not see. These devices make you more aware of curbs, shopping carts, other parked cars, and even children near your vehicle.
- Save money. It's frustrating to bump into a curb or hit a low wall with your vehicle and then find that it's dented and/or scratched. Sometimes these minor blemishes cost a bit of money to repair. Avoid the issue by investing in parking and backup sensors that give you a better rearview.
Types of Parking Sensors
Some of the best aftermarket parking sensor kits use radar waves that bounce off nearby objects and then return to the sensors. The device analyzes these signals to create a 3D view of the vehicle and any objects in the proximity. The system then generates an alert as the vehicle moves closer to an obstacle. These alerts can be audible, visual, or both.
Many new vehicles are fitted with parking sensors from the factory that uses a camera to help you navigate a parking space. You can also buy an aftermarket backup camera with parking sensors. Some of these products are wireless and work with an app on your smartphone, which is a nice feature because you don't have to deal with complicated installation.
Not all parking sensors are installed directly on your vehicle. Some fixed systems are mounted in your garage or in a parking space. This is advantageous if you don't want to drill holes into your vehicle's bumper or deal with electrical wiring. Plus, this type of system works with multiple vehicles instead of just one. Fixed systems allow you to park large vehicles in small spaces easily and effectively.
Based in San Francisco, Calif., FenSens' technology is simple and easy-to-install on any vehicle. It makes one product, the FenSens Smart Wireless Parking Sensor, that makes parking safe via a smart license plate frame and automated hands-free mobile app.
Based in Troutman, N.C., STKR Concepts has been manufacturing a wide range of products since 2005. Its products include rechargeable flashlights, headlamps, garage lighting, and this parking aid, the STKR Concepts Adjustable Garage Parking Sensor Aid.
Parking Sensors Pricing
- Under $20: Many parking sensor systems are very affordable. However, they won’t provide as much coverage as more advanced systems and typically include fewer sensors.
- $20-$50: Parking sensor kits in this price range are typically more durable and feature more sensors. These mid-range products are beneficial because they are usually more sensitive to surrounding objects than their cheaper rivals.
- $100 and up: There are a few top-end products on the market that distinguish themselves by the technology that goes into making them. Many of these products are wireless and/or they feature cameras.
Coverage and Number of Sensors
The best quality parking sensors provide nearly complete coverage by detecting all obstacles that are located near your vehicle when you're trying to park it. It's best to choose a kit that has at least two sensors. However, systems with more sensors will provide more accurate reporting.
Many companies have designed kits that are quick and easy to install on most vehicles. However, you should still check with the manufacturer to see if it's possible to integrate the system with your particular car’s make and model. Also, check where the kit's display will be located, how it is powered, and whether you need to do any drilling or wiring.
Choose the highest-quality and most durable kit you can find. It's better to spend a little extra money for a system that's long-lasting because it will save you money in the long run. Look for weatherproof and waterproof kits, particularly if you live in an area that experiences extreme temperature fluctuations. Kits that are of inferior quality will not last as long in certain weather conditions.
Type of Alerts
Another important feature of a parking sensor system is how it delivers its information. Some systems only use audible beeps to let you know that you're getting near an obstacle. Other systems feature an LED display. Some brands use a combination of both. While beeping can be very helpful, some products are extremely loud, so take that into consideration.
- Wireless capability. Some car parking sensors are wireless. They feature both a control and display unit in one. These devices wirelessly transmit information to the driver about nearby obstacles. One of the benefits is that they don't require any wiring skills. One of the drawbacks is that they may not be as accurate as aftermarket kits that are wired. They also tend to be more expensive.
Best Parking Sensors Reviews & Recommendations 2021
This parking radar system includes eight ultrasonic sensors, a digital control box, and an LED display. It ensures secure and easy parking by emitting a beeping sound as a warning and by displaying your distance from an object, which helps prevent collisions. It comes with a detailed user's manual.
The unit is easy to install using a drill head to drill a hole on the bumper of your car. The closer you get to an object (i.e., a wall), the more frequent the beeping sound becomes. It has a selection of eight weatherproof sensors in a variety of colors: black, red, gray, white, deep red, champagne gold, blue, and silver. It also comes with a three-year warranty.
One problem with this product is the detection range is small, so if you reverse at high speeds, you may hit an obstacle. Also, the beeping sound is loud and annoying for some people. In addition, the supplied cables are not long enough for some vehicles.
This all-in-one kit sits on your car's dashboard, so it's easier to see. The LED screen is clear and visible and has three basic colors that let you know how close you are to a nearby vehicle.
It operates off a fast CPU chip that is rated to detect objects up to eight feet away. Since the sensors themselves are going to be outside their entire life, they have been treated with weather-resistant technology that allows them to work in freezing temperatures and hotter climates as well. The kit is also rated at between 10V and 16V.
The sensor is quite delicate and may even detect smaller obstacles that may not pose as much of a danger. However, to some drivers, this can be seen as a blessing. The sensors may also not be the most durable, and their rubber housing may come loose or deteriorate over time.
This parking sensor system includes four sensors that you install on the rear bumper. It comes with a double CPU and an advanced chipset for added obstacle detection. Its LED display has three colors (green, red, and yellow) that show the distance between your vehicle and an obstacle.
This reverse radar system can detect small children and low walls. It's very durable and made of high-quality materials to make it last longer. The reverse parking sensors have protective circuits to keep it from overheating or overloading. It's also weatherproof, so it holds up in a variety of conditions, including freezing temperatures.
However, the supplied wire is not long enough to install the system in a big truck. Also, its beep warning may be too loud, which is also common with rival products. In addition, the colors may not be an accurate distance indicator.
The universal kit includes an easy mounting bracket with two sensors. Both sensors provide a wider range of protection while parking any car and can detect up to 5 1/2 feet away.
The sensors can be easily mounted on the license plate. It works by alerting the driver with loud beeps as the vehicle gets closer to objects. Starting at the 5 1/2 foot mark, the alarm beeps faster as the object gets closer to the sensor. The sensor blends in seamlessly with the rear of your car.
However, the speaker cable may be too short for longer trucks and cars. You may also need to drill a few holes near the license plate to run wiring through to the cab or dashboard as well, but this won’t necessarily be on all vehicles.
The Frostory Car Reverse Backup Parking Sensor Radar System is a modern-looking device set at a reasonable price. Each of the four sensors has a lengthy range and can detect other cars, people, and objects up to eight feet away. The speaker is loud, too.
If you want to go for different colored sensors, the kit is available in four colors so you can mix and match them with your vehicle. The sensors are water-resistant and can withstand all types of weather no matter the temperature. They have an operating temperature between minus 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, the instructions may not be all that helpful if you are installing the kit yourself. You may be better off watching a video online or having a professional install everything. There have also been reports that the volume switch may not always work.
The STKR Concepts Adjustable Garage Parking Sensor Aid is compact and set at a low price. It’s a great device to hook up in your garage, or anywhere you may park at home.
Instead of audibly beeping as you get close to an object, this sensor flashes from green to yellow and red to let you know how close you are—think of it as a stoplight. It uses ultrasonic radar to detect vehicles that are between 6 feet and 6 inches.
While it may not be a component you can take with you by installing it on your vehicle, this sensor works great for the home. The sensor doesn’t have any sort of audible sound alert. It sticks to the wall with tape, but it may not be the strongest and can fall off with time, so you may want to consider using another adhesive to secure it better.
This kit comes with a set of four compact and lightweight sensors that blend in with your vehicle no matter where they are placed. Each is made out of a durable ABS material. They work a little bit like the 360-degree cameras on newer model cars.
One of the great things about these sensors is that they are easy to swap out. Due to their lower price, if one fails, you can just pop it out like you were changing a lightbulb. They are long-lasting and work for several vehicles such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Dodge Charger, RAM trucks, and more.
There is no camera included with the parking sensors, so you will need to have one already mounted in your car. Also, these sensors don’t have an audible tone or noise.
Rather than relying on a homemade parking assist or your own sight, this sensor makes it much easier to park using lasers. By hanging the main unit where it has a clear view of your car, it alerts you when you come into contact with the lasers.
The lasers work by intersecting at one point on the vehicle’s dashboard. Once they cross, an alarm sounds for 45 seconds, alerting that it’s safe to park. Best of all, the laser system can be used for just one car or can be modified to be used with two.
Keep in mind that you will need an empty light bulb hub to install the system properly. It may also not work all that well in smaller garages, as it requires a larger space to be set up correctly.
- Although a wireless parking sensor is easy to install, it may not be as accurate as a wired one. A wired parking sensor is more reliable. Consult a specialist for proper installation.
- When installing a set of parking sensors, make sure they are evenly spaced at about 12 to 16 inches between sensors and 22 inches from the ground.
- If you have a large car, consider using a wireless system. Otherwise, you may need to use a long cable so it properly reaches the display.
Q: What are parking sensors in vehicles?
A parking sensor is a gadget installed on the car’s rear bumper to detect proximity to obstacles. It helps the driver park more safely and comfortably.
Q: Can parking sensors be added to any car?
Yes. It is possible to add a parking sensor to many vehicles. Some come with a special hole drilled on their bumpers for a precise parking sensor fit.
Q: Do parking sensors detect any object?
While this is a consideration when buying a parking sensor, many sensors that use soundwaves do not detect small objects such as curbs.
Q: How do rear parking sensors work?
Rear parking sensors typically use sound technology. They emit an ultrasonic sound that is reflected towards the nearby obstacle, and this information is relayed to the driver as a beep or visual cue.
If you want a superior quality parking sensor, we recommend the EKYLIN Parking Sensors With Eight Sensors. It has eight sensors, an LED display, and a beep sound warning that ensures safe parking. For a cheaper product that is easy to install, consider the SINOVCLE Car LED Parking Sensor Kit.