Best steering wheel lock 2022: Keep your car secure and deter would-be thieves

Cat Dow
1 Jul 2022

Looking for a top steering wheel lock? Check out our ultimate guide on keeping others’ mitts off your motor

In a somewhat bizarre turn of events, steering wheel locks have been enjoying a resurgence. Maybe “enjoying” is the wrong phrase: after all, we’re talking about taking steps to ensure your car isn’t stolen. Now keyless entry is a feature of modern cars, sophisticated car theft is on the rise. And to combat this worrying trend, drivers are choosing to invest in iron-clad solutions – quite literally.

With car theft on the rise, according to 2022 figures, motorists ought to be wary and make a prudent investment in a steering wheel lock. Since just the threat of car theft is enough to keep insurers topping up your premium, buying one might mitigate extra insurance costs.

But which steering wheel locks work the best when it comes to keeping your car secure? Below, we’ve rounded up our picks of the very best wheel locks, while also providing a handy 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 line nowadays tends to be “motors are stolen to order”. While there’s some truth in thefts of premium cars being scoped and targeted by criminal gangs, at the top of the list of the most-stolen car models in 2021 was the humble Ford Fiesta.

The modest Ford Focus, VW Golf, Vauxhall Corsa and Vauxhall Astra appeared alongside the likes of Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover, BMW and Mercedes Benz models. The reason? Keyless entry technology. The frequency sent from your key fob to your immobiliser 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 the genuine keyholder has unlocked the car and the thieves can make a clean getaway, in something called a relay attack. With more remote functionality coming into our cars and being enabled from mobile companion apps, it’s well worth considering investing in a steering wheel lock – particularly if your insurer has already indicated that the area you park your car is a particularly targeted one.

Are wheel locks effective?

In 2019, Halfords reported that sales of steering wheel locks had doubled. They may be a basic piece of security kit, but not only do they act as a very visible deterrent, but an accredited steering wheel lock may also entitle you to additional discounts on your insurance. Once you’ve made your purchase, call your insurer and see if they’ll offer any kickback.

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Can thieves break wheel locks?

Steering wheel locks are made from metal and plastic and, when used correctly, they are placed across the steering wheel and extended to the point that they create a barrier preventing the wheel from being moved freely.

Thieves can try to drive away with one locked onto the wheel, but they’ll struggle to manoeuvre the car smoothly and any antics to avoid the metal rod travelling in the driver’s seat area will look pretty shifty.

The locks on them aren’t the most sophisticated. If the thief can’t remove the lock itself – either by drilling or by using bolt cutters – they can simply cut the portion of the steering wheel that is in the way of taking the lock off.

In short, yes, wheel locks can be broken. However, having one fitted, if it hasn’t deterred an attempt to steal your car, will undoubtedly slow criminals down, which means more time to detect their delinquency.

Which wheel lock is best?

Picking a steering wheel lock really comes down to budget and the driver’s own brute strength. While some of the bar-style steering wheel locks are more manageable and easiest to stow away, they don’t necessarily offer the greatest security.

The most secure full-cover steering wheel lock is not only the most expensive by a long way, it’s also the heaviest. At almost 5kg, if the device is too unwieldy to manage, you could be discouraged from using it.

In which case, consider doubling up with a steering wheel lock and a brake lock. Both are more manageable weight-wise and stow more easily. What’s more, by immobilising the brake pedal and the steering wheel, would-be thieves have to put in a lot more effort if they want to nick your motor.

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The best steering wheel locks you can buy in 2022

1. Artago 870 Premium Anti-Theft Car Steering Wheel Lock: Best steering wheel lock with a noisy alarm

Price: £77 | Buy now from Amazon

European outfit Artago has created this highly visible steering wheel lock. It has an unusual top-wheel positioning, where the padded barrier bar lies flat on the dash (while avoiding scratches) to prevent movement without removal.

This award-winning device is equipped with a 120dB alarm, warning beeps (a bit like the pips of your house alarm system to give you time to enter the passcode) and a light signal. This audiovisual experience is sure to disturb even the most focused would-be thief. Its compact design also means it’s easy for any driver to handle, fix and remove swiftly.

Key specs – Size: 8cm; Materials: Alloy steel; No. of keys: 3; Alarm fitted? Yes; Weight: 1.58kg

2. Disklok Steering Wheel Full Cover Lock: Best steering wheel lock for full wheel coverage

Price: £159 | Buy now from 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’s available in silver or bright yellow, as well as a choice of sizes, including small (35-38.9cm) and medium (39-41.5cm) as well as large (featured).

Disklok uses a full wheel cover approach so you need to make sure you buy the right size to fit your steering wheel. Such a pricey investment isn’t easily transferred to a new car, nor is it easy to store. However, a mixture of hardened materials means thieves brandishing even heavy-duty tools are running the gauntlet here. Ultimately, how manageable a 5kg device is to fit and remove multiple times on short journeys will depend on the driver.

Key specs – Size: Up to 44cm diameter (large), 4.9kg weight; Materials: Alloy steel; No. of keys: 3; Alarm fitted? No

Buy now from Euro Car Parts

3. Streetwize Heavy Duty Round X-Lock: Best budget full-cover steering wheel lock

Price: £38 | Buy now from Amazon

The wallet-friendly XLock from Streetwize might not have the fancy accreditation of the Disklok, but its garish yellow full-cover design means it’s unmissable once implemented. It supports steering wheels up to 39cm in diameter and comes with a storage bag to keep the components together.

It’s marginally lighter than the Disklok too, at 3.56kg, and padding on the inside of the disc prevents the lock from damaging the wheel upholstery itself. While the build quality is by no means as good as the Disklok, at around a quarter of the cost, the XLock is a worthwhile consideration if deterrence is what you’re after.

Key specs – Size: Up to 39cm diameter, 3.56kg weight; Materials: Alloy steel; No. of keys: 2; Alarm fitted? 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 passed the extreme 300-second professional attack during testing. For greater visual deterrence, we recommend opting for the bright yellow version: it’s usually marginally more expensive but worth it. The Milano is a straightforward rod, which attaches to the wheel in seconds. It’s worth noting that it can mark the steering wheel and if you have flappy paddles (paddle shifters) on your vehicle, you won’t be able to fit this particular style of lock. However, it’s reasonably priced, especially if you can negotiate an insurance discount – insurers love a Thatcham stamp of approval.

Key specs – Size: Up to 60cm diameter, 2.3kg weight; Materials: Alloy steel; No. of keys: 3; Alarm fitted? No

5. Stoplock Original: Best budget steering wheel lock

Price: £31 | Buy now from Amazon

Strong sales of the original Stoplock steering wheel lock are testament to the great appeal of this particular car security device. Easy to fit and remove, with an integrated flashing light and bright design, the Stoplock comes in four different flavours; Original (featured here), Airbag, Pro and Pro Elite.

The Original is the best for budget, which is why it makes this list. Since it launched, however, the brand has worked hard to accommodate new developments in steering wheel design. And since the most expensive Pro Elite is almost just as affordable at around the £50 mark, the Stoplock range should make your shortlist.

Key specs – Size: Up to 24.88cm, length 70cm 1.42kg weight; Materials: Alloy steel; No. of keys: 3; Alarm fitted? No

6. Milenco Classic Brake Lock Best steering wheel-based brake lock

Price: £35 | Buy now from Amazon

Hooking to your steering wheel but securing your brake pedal means the Milenco Classic Brake Lock isn’t technically a steering wheel lock. Yet this set-up offers a secondary security measure for those worried that any one of the above measures wouldn’t be sufficient alone.

By immobilising the brake physically and inhibiting the use of the steering wheel, however, this is also a budget-friendly option as a standalone deterrent. It has a bright yellow hook for the wheel and plenty of adjustment to fit a range of vehicles.

Key specs – Size: up to 61cm, length  1.6kg weight; Materials: Alloy steel; No. of keys: 2; Alarm fitted? No

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