Like they say in those bad old driver education videos, if a thief wants your car it will be gone in sixty seconds—unless you do something to make it tougher for thieves, making them give up and move on to another vehicle that’s an easier target.

Steering wheel locks are a great way to do that. They’re simple and easy, latching into and locking to your steering wheel, limiting how far a thief can turn the wheel if they manage to defeat the other built-in security systems. It can also save your airbag from theft, another quick and easy thing thieves can steal from your parked vehicle.

For more information on the best steering wheel locks, refer to our table of contents.

1. Editor's Pick: The Club 3000

the club 3000

It’s the original. The brand that started the trend of steering wheel locks in the first place. The Club 3000. Simple, secure, and easy to see, The Club should fit virtually any steering wheel, making it so that your steering wheel can’t be turned by a would-be thief, so it’s near-impossible to drive away in your vehicle.

This one gets a twin-hook design that’s intended to make it even more difficult to remove without the key. Installation is simple—just pull it apart and guide the hooks into your steering wheel rim and your car is secure thanks to keyless locking. This recommendation is made from chromoly steel for durability and to resist sawing, prying, and hammering.

When it comes time to drive away, just insert the key, push the ends of the device together, and you’re on your way. You can store it quickly and easily under the seat. The manufacturer says that it will even pay up to $500 of your insurance deductible (where allowed) in case of vehicle theft.

2. OKLEAD Universal Car Steering Wheel Lock

oklead universal car steering wheel lock

The OKLEAD steering wheel lock comes with an extra cover that offers you two different extra levels of protection to keep your ride safe. First, the cover makes it more difficult to defeat, since access to the steering wheel rim is restricted by the metal shield. Second, the device makes it much more difficult to swipe your expensive driver’s airbag right out of the rim instead of taking your whole vehicle.

Highly visible so that it is a clear deterrent to thieves from far away, the product is made from steel to be resistant to various means of defeat. It will resist prying and has an anti-saw metal bar. Inside the cover is a foam and rubber edge that’s designed to fit over your steering wheel, even with a cover fitted, while protecting the leather or plastic of your pricey steering wheel. This cover and lock will protect steering wheels up to 17 inches in diameter, which should be enough for most cars and trucks.

3. FLK Tech Steering Wheel Lock

flk tech steering wheel lock

Most steering wheel locks work by hitting your door or center console if someone tries to drive away your vehicle. In theory, they could still drive it enough to get away. This particular recommendation however, attaches to the top of your steering wheel and points forward in your vehicle. That means instead of a wide swing left and right, it’s stopped by the top of your dashboard.

That makes it more visible to thieves, but it also gives them a shorter swing if they decide to try and take your car anyway. So it’ll be harder for them to drive it, making them more likely to give up and move on to an easier target. The round key makes for a lock that should be more difficult to pick than a traditional lock, further acting as a theft deterrent. It’s worth noting that the nature of how this lock clamps to the wheel means that it may not work for all steering wheel shapes.

4. Disklok Steering Wheel Lock

disklok steering wheel lock

No half-measures here, the Disklok covers your entire steering wheel. That defeats one of the most common ways that thieves use to get around your steering wheel lock while protecting your wheel from damage during the attempt. The full metal cover spins on the wheel, meaning that thieves can’t use it to break the factory steering lock either.

Disklok is Thatcham approved, which is a UK-based company that assesses security systems and immobilizers to determine their effectiveness. Disklok is available in three sizes to fit various steering wheels and comes with three keys. Each key has a numbered tag so you can get a replacement from the manufacturer if the keys are lost. To prevent pickling, the lock barrel is anti-drill and has 10 internal disks that spin if picking is attempted, making it nearly impossible to open. The lock, bar, and round cover are made from hardened steel to be not just visible in the vehicle, but to be extremely tough to crack with hand tools.

5. Vechkom Steering Wheel Lock

vechkom steering wheel lock

Prone to losing keys? Or just driving a car that uses keyless entry and start, so you don’t want to get one out of your pocket just for the steering wheel lock? This steering wheel lock from Vechkom uses a passcode instead of a key, making it simpler and easier for you to operate.

The lock is made of a reinforced alloy that the manufacturer says is cut-proof, anti-drill, anti-saw, and anti-smash, with a service life of 25 years. The passcode lock has no gaps between the cylinders to help a thief gain access, as well as removing the worry of lost or stolen keys. The passcode can be easily reset, but you need to know the existing one to do it, and two special tools are required, helping keep your car safe. The U-shaped ends and the bar are protected to make sure that you won’t accidentally scuff your interior when you’re using, removing, or installing the lock.

How do Steering Wheel Locks Work?

The idea behind steering wheel locks is that if you can’t steer a vehicle, you can’t drive it away. Modern cars have such locks built-in (try to turn the wheel with your car off and see), but since modern keyless-go cars can be hacked or have their signals duplicated, this adds a layer of protection. Even if a thief is able to start your lock-equipped car, once they try and turn the wheel, the bar on the steering lock will hit the interior of the car. Either the dash or the door, but either way steering is very limited. You can easily sneak away a car by pushing it in neutral with no steering wheel lock, but turning the roll out of your driveway into a 20-point forward and backward ordeal is enough to dissuade even the most devoted car thief.

It’s even enough to stop them from driving onto a tow truck unseen, because it makes the car so much more difficult to drive. They also work by stopping a thief from unbolting and stealing a steering wheel-mounted airbag, a particularly valuable car part, because they won’t be able to extricate it around the lock.

Why Choose Wheel Locks Over Other Anti-Theft Devices?

While even the strongest wheel lock can eventually be removed via brute force or power tools, the idea behind the locks is to dissuade the would-be thief. You might be able to steal the ignition code, copy the car keys, or hot-wire the ignition without attracting a crowd, but it’s nearly impossibly to run a cordless grinder inside a car without someone noticing. So the main appeal of the wheel lock isn’t to absolutely stop your vehicle being taken, but to make it far more appealing for the thief to move on to another target. Your vehicle is too much time and effort to take, so it becomes a poor target. Combine the wheel lock with an immobilizer and your car is as appealing to crooks as a bag of dog doo.


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Main photo credit: Sibuet Benjamin / Shutterstock.com