If you are in a state that allows you to use police radio scanners in your vehicle, congratulations! We’re here to help you find the best police radio scanner for your car. Hint: it will undoubtedly be the Uniden BCD536HP. Let’s discuss some of the benefits you will enjoy with this simple-to-use police radio scanner.

Must Haves for a Police Radio Scanner Inside a Car

Don’t let the picture of the Uniden BCD536BHP fool you. Sure, there are a lot of bells and whistles in the form of buttons, but this radio scanner is incredibly simple to use. In fact, this is best suited for those who want to just switch it on, input a zip code, and relax as the scanner will do the rest of the work for you. It will automatically find all the public channels in the local area, with a major focus on the emergency services, military, and weather reports.

Police Scanner for a Car

Simplicity Meets Versatility

There are some slightly more advanced features built into this police radio scanner, but most people just want something that can flick between emergency service channels – and this is perfect for that.

Some would say this unit is more of a ‘kit’ that is going to scan digital radio channels. This means that not only is it going to be simple to use, but it will also allow you to keep up with the frequencies that the police are broadcasting on nowadays. Rather than purchase a cheap analog radio scanner, try your hand with this police radio scanner for your car – chances are, you won’t be disappointed.

The simplicity of this unit is a wonderful thing. When you are driving, the last thing you want (or should be doing) is to constantly be fiddling with the radio to make sure that you are picking up the right frequencies.

Quality LCD Screen

We absolutely love the LCD screen on the Uniden BCD536HP. It is one of the largest screens we have seen on an in-vehicle radio scanner, and yet somehow the scanner remains nice and compact to take up the minimum amount of space in your vehicle. The large screen means it is easy to read at a glance. This is perfect for when you are on the road.

Close Call Technology

This is a neat feature that we don’t think we have seen in a police radio scanner before. We know that not everybody is going to like it, so you are free to turn off the feature if you wish.

There will be some pre-programmed channels on your radio. These are the ‘main’ channels, and the ones that you are most likely to want to listen to. However, the radio scanner doesn’t stick to those. The radio will also try to keep an eye out for broadcasts that do not match any of the channels in the memory. This means that you have more of an opportunity to pick up on important transmissions. It can be a bit annoying to have this feature running on occasion, but most people seem to love it for the most part.

Fast Load-Up

Honestly, this is the fastest-loading mobile police radio scanner. In today’s world, faster is always better!

It takes under a minute to boot it up and have it start to scan radio channels. With other models, it can take anywhere from 2-3 minutes to begin scanning. Many competitor models are much slower. This is a major reason why we love this unit. If you are on the road, you may be turning your vehicle off regularly to stop and get gas, when coming to a stop, or to make deliveries and such. When your vehicle is turned off, the radio scanner will be turned off, too. With the Uniden, you can rest assured that your unit will be up and running when you get back in your vehicle.

Updatable Channel List

The channel list on the radio scanner can be updated using the included software. Uniden recommends that you do this at least once per month. All of their updated data is pulled directly from RadioReference.com, so you can be sure that you are getting the most accurate and up to date channel lists.

Police Scanner Channels

One of the best things about the Uniden BCD536HP is the fact that you are not tied to using their software if you want to update your radio scanner. You can use most third-party solutions. This is great – as in the incredibly rare case of Uniden disappearing – there will be more than enough people willing to produce channel list updates to keep your radio receiver ticking over. This really is a bit of kit you will be able to use for a long while, if not for life.

Accessorize Your Car Police Radio Scanner

One of the things we absolutely love about this radio scanner is the fact that there is a whole host of different accessories available. You can even buy them as a ‘package’ deal with your radio if you want to save a bit of cash.

As we mentioned before, to find the right channels to use, you will need to input your zip code each time. This is probably going to provide you with the right channels for a good few miles. If you are driving, you will eventually need to find new radio channels. This means inputting the zip code of the new area you are traveling in. Luckily, Uniden makes a GPS that you can hook up to your BCD536HP. This will send information to the scanner and it will be able to update the channel list automatically.

We do suggest that you pick up a quality antenna and speaker to go with your radio scanner. It will allow you to get a whole lot more out of your unit. Think along the lines of much better audio quality.

The Downsides

A while back, the Uniden BCD536HP was recalled by the manufacturer. By all accounts, it had a bug that rendered it pretty much useless. Not to worry, as this issue has now been fully rectified. This bug does, in fact, stress the importance of buying from a reputable seller. Retailers such as Amazon, make it easier to avoid conflicts when issues such as this arise.


If you want a no-fuss police radio scanner for a car, then the Uniden BCD536HP is perfect for you. This is the exact model that we use, and we can promise you that it will be a true joy for you to switch on every time. It is simple to use and boasts superb audio quality. In a nutshell, one must wonder: what more could anyone possibly want?