In the new age of uncertainty, it’s critical to anticipate all and everything. Depending on which state you live in, carrying a gun in your vehicle is okay with and without a concealed carry permit. Before we get started, you may want to consider the current open & concealed carry laws for your state since laws are constantly changing. This list provides the current laws for some of the most densely-populated states including California, Georgia, Connecticut, Delaware, and Florida. If you’re already up to speed with your state’s laws, let’s move onto my guide on choosing the best car safe for guns.
In this guide, I share my top 5 picks that include options for both your car and/or truck. Along with my picks, I share individual reviews of each safe with the pros & cons to consider before making your final decision. Along the way, you’ll find tips on which access methods and models may suit your needs the best.
Let’s start with a chart that shows the most important specs to consider for each of the five safes.
Top 5 Car Gun Safes
|#1) Vaultek LifePod Portable Handgun Case||
|#2) Hornady RAPiD Vehicle Safe||
|#3) awesafe Handgun Safe with Biometric Lock||
|#4) RPNB Digital Portable Vault||
|#5) SnapSafe TrekLite Pistol Lock Box||
Best Car Gun Safe Reviews
All five of these safes offer various installation methods. Also, several of them include security cables for securing them to a fixed object inside your car or along the road for use inside a hotel. You probably already noticed that most of these models make great portable gun safes as well, especially if you occasionally or often fly with your firearm.
Below are several ways to install these safes inside your car or truck:
- Mounted or placed inside a center console
- Under the seat
- Mounted to the outside of the center console for quicker access
- Anywhere else you prefer using the included security cable
Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these five models in the reviews below.
#1) Vaultek LifePod Portable Handgun Case
We’re big fans of Vaultek guns safes here, and the LifePod is the perfect blend of portability, security, and quick access for use as both a vehicle and portable safe. Unlike heavy-duty steel safes, the LifePod is super lightweight at just 2 lbs and 3 oz. The interior is spacious enough to hold a compact handgun, magazine, and folding knife for personal protection purposes.
A couple of additional features that make the LifePod special are the IP65 water resistance rating, it floats, and it’s both dustproof & airtight. With the addition of the crate foam, you know for sure that your handgun is 100% protected and secure at all times. For air travel, the LifePod meets TSA guidelines, and I like that it doesn’t sport a TSA lock because all gun owners should avoid allowing TSA agents to open their gun cases without being present.
Lastly, the LifePod has an impressively long battery life of up to 1 year on a single 9V battery. One final feature I want to highlight – that I really like – is the anti-lock picking feature that allows you to switch key access on/off. Plus, the keyhole is covered rather than plastered on the front of the safe right next to the keypad.
- Micro-USB port located next to the keyhole for backup battery power
- The most versatile vehicle gun safe in this guide
- An anti-lock picking feature allows you to turn off manual key access
- Meets TSA guidelines
- Its lightweight design makes it easy to transition between your vehicle and home or hotel
- Includes a 19″ steel security cable and tether lanyard
- 3-piece egg crate foam interior
- Airtight & water-resistant
- Holds a Glock 19 w/ spare mag
- The lock is reliable and easy to operate
- The dual compression latch design slows down access
- You might prefer steel
- Does not fit full-size handguns
#2) Hornady 98210 RAPiD Vehicle Safe
Hornady is another one of my favorite gun safe companies, and it’s the first place to check for fans of RFID access. Of the safes in this guide, the Hornady Vehicle Safe is perfect for folks who want the quickest access. The coolest part about this safe is the inflatable bladder that makes it a universal fit for cars and trucks.
The bladder connects to the safe and slips between your center console and seat. Once placed, simply pump up the bladder to hold the safe in place. Once the safe is in place, use the included security cable to attach the entire apparatus to your car seat. After you’re all set up, you have easy access to your firearm.
The quickest access method for this safe is RFID. Hornady includes its RFID wristband, key fob, and two decals to give you multiple options for RFID access. In addition to RFID, you also have the option to program your own code for keypad access or use one of the included barrel keys. One last feature I like is the interior pistol holder to keep your gun from falling out and for speedier access.
- Very easy to install in any car or truck with no drilling required
- The best quick-access vehicle gun safe in this guide
- Multiple entry methods with speedy RFID access
- Heavy-duty 14-gauge steel body
- Two internal hardened locking lugs for enhanced pry resistance
- Easy to move between vehicles for families with multiple cars and/or trucks
- California DOJ approved safety device
- Heavier than other models
- Barrel keyholes are prone to pick attacks
- Depending on your vehicle, you may notice that the safe slips (velcro is a good solution)
#3) awesafe Handgun Safe with Biometric Lock
For fans of biometric fingerprint sensor locks, this model by awesafe is my favorite budget biometric safe. It’s extremely versatile and comes equipped with a reliable fingerprint sensor that stores up to 30 fingerprints for shared access. Also, it’s wise to scan the finger you plan to use the most multiple times to avoid any delays when accessing the safe.
Along with the sensor, you have the option to program the backlit keypad or use the barrel keyhole. One feature that sets this safe apart from the others is the interior LED light. The combination of the interior light and backlit keypad ensures that you’re able to clearly see your gun at night, which is a clear advantage for people who often drive at night and want reliable protection.
If you get creative, it’s possible to mount it to a center console and install a gun magnet mount (Click Here for one I like at Amazon). Outside of mounting it, there are two 5/16″ pre-drilled holes to slip a thin security cable through or enlarge them for a beefier cable. With a cable, it makes a good under-seat gun safe. All in all, this is a versatile biometric pistol safe that won’t break the bank.
- Reliable biometric fingerprint access for a budget price
- More spacious than the first two safes for storing full-size handguns
- A good choice for bolting down in Ford truck lower armrests
- Fits in most truck center consoles
- Backlit keypad and interior LED light for clear vision at night
- One of the best quick-access gun safes for the money
- Gas strut assisted door for one-handed access and no interference when arming yourself
- Requires modifications for some installations
- The gas strut may weaken over time with regular use
- The directions for programming it could be better
#4) RPNB RP1136 Digital Portable Vault
Now for the budget realm of this guide. If you’re looking for a vehicle gun safe that gets the job done for the most affordable price, RPNB’s RP1136 is a great place to start. You might even find that you like this safe more than Hornaday’s RFID safe since it offers RFID entry without the bladder. In total, there are three access methods including RFID, keypad, and manual key.
A couple of differences between this vault and Hornady’s are the RFID tags, keyhole, and weight. This safe uses only a key fob rather than a wristband and decals. Next, I like that this safe doesn’t use a barrel key, though, the keyhole is still fairly easy to pick for someone who knows what they’re doing or has the right tools on hand. However, since a lot of car robberies are “smash and grab,” there’s a slim chance a thief will be sticking around to pick a lock.
As far as weight, this safe weighs about half as much as Hornady’s Vehicle Safe, which you may find advantageous if you plan to use it as a portable gun safe as well. Finally, the package includes a security cable for attaching the safe to under-seat hardware, but you’ll have to drill your own holes if you plan to mount it.
Note: Some people are claiming that this safe is falsely represented as CA DOJ approved, but I found it listed on the current “Safety Device Compatibility Retail Chart” on the official CA DOJ website (see screenshot below).
- Weighs less than half as much as Hornady’s Vehicle Safe
- Listed on the California DOJ website as an approved firearm safety device
- Most value for the money of the safes in this guide
- Sturdy construction
- Easy to mount in multiple locations inside a car or truck
- Easy to program for keypad or RFID access
- Slim and compact design slides beneath car seats for stealth security
- No pre-drilled holes for mounting
- RFID access is key fob only
- Prone to pick attacks
#5) SnapSafe 75212 TrekLite Pistol Lock Box
The final model is the cheapest car gun safe that I’d personally use. SnapSafe is a Hornady company and manufactures good budget alternatives to pricier Hornady models. And yes, SnapSafe safes are made in China – like everything else in the world – but when you look at the price for this safe, you shouldn’t expect Fort-Knox-level security.
Having said that, this safe is great for single gun owners without children or anyone who wants a cheap lightweight vehicle gun safe to comply with state laws. The TrekLite features an integrated 1,500 lb rated security cable that’s easy to slip on and off the safe. I actually really like this feature because it makes it quite easy to move the safe between your car, home, and/or hotel room.
Inside the safe, you get more than enough foam to protect your pistol and prevent it from rattling around while you drive. Lastly, this safe meets TSA guidelines and is approved by the CA DOJ as a firearm safety device. All things considered, this model is your best option if you’re on a tight budget, just steer clear of the model with the TSA combination lock (model# 75241).
- The cheapest and lightest car gun safe in this guide
- Perfect to use as a travel/vehicle gun safe, including air travel
- Ample padding to prevent rattling while you drive
- Easily secure it beneath your car seat using the included security cable
- The exterior rubber provides some grip to prevent it from sliding around
- No one can see it beneath a car seat from the outside
- No need to worry about battery power or remembering keypad combinations
- The least secure of the five models
- The easiest to pick of the five models
- Single access method
- Avoid the TSA lock version
When selecting the best car safe for guns, it’s important to first consider the level of security you desire. As you go down the price ladder, the security level drops, though, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. For folks who are looking for a pistol vault to comply with state laws, all the safes in this guide get the job done, despite the differences in price.
The second consideration is how/where you plan to install the safe. Security cables are the easiest way to install a vehicle gun safe without worrying about making any modifications or mounting the safe. The drawback is you don’t get the speediest access with an under-seat gun safe. If you want quick access, it’s best to mount the safe to the outside of a center console or inside the console.