The 5 Best Remote Car Starters (2020 Review)

Table of Contents

a car covered in snow: Remote Car Starter

Remote Car Starter

Unlock or start your vehicle from inside your home or other locations with one of our five best remote car starters.

Remote car starters allow you to turn on your car from several thousand feet away. This means you can regulate your car’s temperature during the hot months of summer and cold months of winter before even stepping foot inside. If this sounds like a device that could make your life easier, read our review of the five best remote car starters on the market today.

In this article:

  • Best Overall: Compustar CS7900-AS All-in-One 2-Way Remote Start and Alarm Bundle
  • Premium Pick: Viper 5906V Color Remote Start & Security
  • Most Affordable: Avital 5305L Security System with 2-Way LCD Display Remote
  • #4: Viper 5305V 2-Way LCD Vehicle Car Alarm Keyless Entry Remote Start System
  • #5: Compustar CS4900-S 2-Way Remote Start and Keyless Entry System
  • Buying A Remote Car Starter: Factors to Consider
  • Remote Car Starter FAQ

Best Overall: Compustar CS7900-AS All-in-One 2-Way Remote Start and Alarm Bundle

This remote car starter from Compustar has both remote starting and burglar alarm systems. You get two remotes that allow you to unlock and turn on your car from up to 3,000 feet away. You also have sensors by your doors, hood, and trunk that will emit a sound if a burglary is attempted.

This remote starter works for cars of all makes and models. It can be self-installed if you have general electrical knowledge or sent to a professional if you don’t.

  • 2-way, LCD remote
  • Backup, 1-way remote
  • 3,000-foot range
  • Door, hood, and trunk security sensors

Compustar received an average rating of 4.4 stars after almost 190 customers reviewed it, which is 0.1 stars higher than the Amazon average for all of the remote starters we reviewed. After evaluating reviews from other leading e-commerce websites, its score increased to 4.7 — 0.2 stars above the overall average for all starters across all websites.


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Customers with all types of vehicles were able to install this device in their cars. Some customers installed it themselves, and others went to an auto shop for help, but regardless, it worked close to the range that was advertised. There were some complaints from customers who said their starter only worked for a few months, which was an issue because it doesn’t come with a warranty. Others said they wish there were installation instructions for easier self-installation. 

Premium Pick: Viper 5906V Color Remote Start & Security

While this remote costs more than the other remote starters in this review, you get what you pay for. The remote is colored and offers unique features, like the ability to see what the interior temperature of your car is.

While other remote starters have a range of 1,500 or 3,000 feet, this one works up to one mile away, allowing you to regulate temperature long before you get into the car.

  • 2-way, color remote
  • 1-way, 5-button remote
  • 1-mile range
  • Displays interior temperature

About 130 Amazon customers gave this product a score of 4.3. Its score raised to 4.5 stars with reviews from other e-commerce companies, making its Amazon score equal to the Amazon average, and its overall score equal to the overall average.

Customers complimented the system’s large range, responsive buttons, and color display. Customers were able to install it themselves or take it to a shop for professional installation. However, some customers said the buttons were too sensitive, which made it difficult to put it in a bag or pocket. They also said that the two-way remote was bulky to carry and that they preferred the size of the one-way remote. 

Most Affordable: Avital 5305L Security System with 2-Way LCD Display Remote

This remote starter still performs similar functions as the others reviewed, but at a lower cost. You can unlock or start your car from up to 1,500 feet away, and it comes with a lifetime warranty that can be used for any malfunctions that may occur.

The LCD screen and remote also offer some unique features. When you send a signal, your remote will beep or vibrate and flash a notification across the screen.

  • 2-way, LCD remote
  • 1-way, 4-button remote
  • 1,500-foot range
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Just over 120 customers reviewed this product and gave it an average score of 4.3 stars. This is equal to the Amazon average, but after factoring in reviews from other websites, its rating increased to 4.6 stars, which is 0.1 stars above the overall average.

Overall, customers liked this product and said that it was an improvement from Avital’s past products due to the increased number of features. Most customers had it professionally installed because the instructions for self-installation were confusing. There were also some complaints about how the range was a few hundred feet instead of the few thousand feet like Avital advertises.

#4: Viper 5305V 2-Way LCD Vehicle Car Alarm Keyless Entry Remote Start System

This remote car starter is another model from the reputable car electronics company Viper. Your system comes with two remotes: the main two-way remote and the one-way remote which is meant for emergencies when your main remote stops working.

Like with the Avital starter, you get a lifetime warranty. A user manual is also sent with your system that explains how to use it and self-install it.

  • 2-way, LCD remote
  • 1-way, 4-button remote
  • Limited lifetime warranty

230 Amazon customers reviewed this product to give it a score of 4.4 stars. After including reviews from other e-commerce companies, its rating went up to 4.5, which means its Amazon rating is 0.1 stars higher than the Amazon average, and its overall rating is equal to the overall average.

Customers liked how many functions this remote car starter had, especially how loud the burglar alarm was. One person said they could hear it going off inside of a store, and even if they hadn’t, the remote also beeped. Most customers had it installed by a professional because the DIY instructions were complicated. Some customers mentioned that it started losing effectiveness after a few months, like the wiring was off.

#5: Compustar CS4900-S 2-Way Remote Start and Keyless Entry System

This Compustar model is another affordable remote starter option. It comes with two, four-button remotes, making it the only starter reviewed without a remote with an LED or LCD display.

While this model only works on automatic cars, that car can have either an unleaded or diesel engine.

  • 2, 4-button remotes
  • 3,000-foot range
  • Safe for diesel engines

This remote starter received an average score of 4.1 stars from about 150 Amazon customers. This is 0.2 stars lower than the Amazon average. Its score increased to 4.4 stars after adding in reviews from other e-commerce companies. However, this is still slightly below the overall average.

Most customers thought the four functions worked well. Although this remote starter doesn’t have a screen, some of the customers actually preferred that because it was less bulky to carry. Like with the Compustar remote starter, customers complained about the lack of help for self-installation due to the poor instructions. Some customers even tried to contact the company for help but didn’t receive a response.

a car covered in snow: Remote Car Starter

Remote Car Starter

Buying A Remote Car Starter: Factors to Consider

Buying a remote starter isn’t as simple as picking the first one you see. Use these factors to help you make an informed decision.

The range of your remote car starter is the distance of how far away you can start or unlock your car. You’ll want to think about how far your car is from your house or apartment along with the other places you frequent, like the grocery store and office, to determine how much range you need.

There are three types of key fobs or remotes.


With a one-way remote, your car is only capable of sending signals to your car, meaning it cannot also receive signals from the car. This type is usually the cheapest option.


All of the products in this review are two-way. This means that the remote can both send a signal to the car and receive a signal from the car. For example, you can tell your car to start, and it will tell you that it has received your request by displaying a notification on the remote screen. This type of starter is usually pricier.

Mobile App

The newest remote car starters may allow you to start or unlock your car via a mobile app instead of a key fob. However, you may have to pay a monthly or annual fee for cell signal so that it can receive commands from your phone.

A cut-off switch allows you to manually shut off the starter. This function is useful when you or a mechanic is performing maintenance on your car. You don’t want someone to get injured if the engine starts while they’re under the hood, so look for a cut-off switch in the starter you buy.

Most remote car starters are designed for automatic cars that use unleaded gas. If you drive a diesel or manual car, you’ll either want to buy a starter specifically designed for your vehicle or contact the company to see if its remote starter will work for you. During our research, we found reviews for the Viper products that mentioned them working for manual transmissions, and the Compustar CS4900 advertises use with diesel engines.

Remote Car Starter FAQ

Your remote starter system will come with a small box that acts as a receiver. This box has to be placed in your car and wired to your ignition switch, power wire, starter wire, and any other wires necessary for the starter to perform all of its functions. Once that happens, you can use your remote to send a signal to the box to have the car unlock or start from a distance.

Yes. Here are a few of those situations:

  • When the hood is raised
  • When the car battery’s charge is low
  • When the check engine light is on
  • When the car is not in park

Yes. However, the process can be complicated even with an instruction manual, especially for newer cars with more complex electrical systems. If you don’t have any electrical knowledge, we recommend paying a professional to install it for you.

Here are some of the biggest advantages of installing a remote starter system:

  • Ability to unlock your car from far away
  • Ability to turn on the air in the summer
  • Ability to turn on the heat in the winter
  • Increase in your car’s value when you’re looking to sell

No. As long as the remote starter is properly installed and doesn’t damage any parts, your warranty will still be applicable.

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