Do you want to know how much it costs to install a vehicle radio? We’ll show you how much it costs to install a vehicle radio and how that cost varies based on your demands.

We understand how difficult it is to set up a vehicle radio when you have little to no knowledge of how it works.

In such situation, you’ll most likely seek out an installation service to see if they can assist you.

However, there is a catch: these installation services may be rather costly.

As a result, you’ll have to weigh all of your options to decide which one is best for you.

You’ll discover all you need to know about vehicle radio installation prices, as well as a little more, in the sections below.

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Car Radio Installed?

While the price may vary based on a variety of criteria such as the equipment’s cost, size, features, and brand, it may also differ depending on where you take it.

Some automotive and electronics stores will be incredibly inexpensive, while others will be prohibitively so.

However, the price usually varies from $25 to $100. If you install the radio yourself, the cost may be less than $25.

What Is The Difference Between A Single And A Double DIN Car Stereo?

It’s simple: one is much bigger than the other.

A single-DIN radio, for example, is 2 inches high by 8 inches long.

It is the smallest of the two and the more common in tiny automobiles.

Then there’s the double-DIN. This one is 4 inches tall by 8 inches long.

As a result, you receive twice as much power as a single-DIN model.

A double-DIN radio is more popular in SUVs and big cars since it generally comes with a huge LCD display.

PreviewBrand Name
BOSS Audio Systems 5.13 x 7 x 2” Single Din
Pioneer 6.2″ Android/CarPlay
Kenwood 9 x 4 x 9.5″ Single DIN

Related: 10 Best RV Stereos of 2022

What You Should Know About Car Radio Installation Costs

We’ll discuss numerous aspects that may impact how much you’ll end up spending to give you a better understanding of what you’ll need to compute to obtain the total cost of your installation.

Here’s an example of what we’re talking about:

The cost of putting in the equipment

Different types of equipment may increase the setup’s worth by hundreds of dollars.

Consider the following scenario:

01. Recipient

The portion that inserts into the dashboard is the receiver.

Installing a conventional CD player without an LCD touchscreen and few accessories might cost about $25.

However, if the receiver is huge and solid, with a lot of added functions, it might cost $100 or more.

02. Amplifier

If you’re installing a vehicle radio with an amplifier, you’ll notice that the cost rises somewhat.

While amplifiers are simple to install, they may need more work, which might result in a cost increase of $10 to $30.

If you’re installing a huge amplifier in a tiny automobile, the cost might be significantly greater.

03. Speakers

Let’s assume your car’s speakers are from the manufacturer, but you want something richer and more resonant.

You’ll have to replace them in such scenario.

However, if you need to replace them with the radio, the installation cost would undoubtedly increase.

If the speakers aren’t the right size for the automobile and need adjustments, the cost of installation is likely to rise by $50 or more.

04. Wire Harness

Finally, think about whether you want to keep the existing wire system (which isn’t suggested) or replace it with the new radio.

The second is, without a doubt, the best option.

That’s why installing this wiring harness is likely to cost you more than $20.

The item will set you back about $10.

Depending on the size and complexity of the vehicle, the installation might be difficult and time-consuming in certain situations.

This might result in a $50 rise in the price.

Cost of a single DIN

A typical single-DIN radio receiver should not cost more than $100 (a good model should cost between $25 and $50).

Sure enough, the installation is rather simple and may cost less than $50.

Cost of a Double DIN

Because double-DIN radios are bigger and offer more functions than single-DIN radios, a good model will cost more than $200.

A low-cost one might be between $50 and $100.

However, the cost of installation varies greatly depending on whatever functions are included (steering controls, backup camera, and so on), and may range from $25 to $200.

Professional Radio Installation Costs

Installing radios will cost a little more in service, electrical, and vehicle stores.

While they aren’t always prohibitively costly, pricing may range from $50 to $200 depending on the piece’s intricacy.

Installing the most advanced radio systems might cost over $500.

Professional installers know precisely what they’re doing and will leave a spotless, long-lasting installation.

Installing a Radio on Your Own

How much does it cost to self-install a radio? We’d think it’s reasonably priced.

It’s possible that you’ll simply need to spend money on the essential hardware (screws and cables).

As you can see, the DIY radio costs anything from $10 to $30.

However, keep in mind that doing it yourself may end up being more costly in the long run.

If you’re not familiar with radio installation and how they function, you might wind up making expensive blunders.

Related: How to Connect Speakers to Your TV in 5 Easy Steps

Beginner’s Guide To The 3 Best Car Radio Receivers

Now that you have a better understanding of the many elements to consider, let’s look at some of the highest-quality radios available for your vehicle:

01.  BOSS Audio Systems 625UAB

The first model is from a reputable manufacturer, Boss.

For consumers who require a respectable product, the 625UAB single-DIN stereo receiver is an economical but extremely dependable device.

There are numerous aspects to consider:

  • Any sort of media, from MP3 to AM and FM radio stations, may be played.
  • Bluetooth is high-quality, allowing you to play and control your music (including hands-free operation)
  • Additional inputs such as AUX and USB provide outstanding communication (also accepts SD cards through a port)
  • An advanced EQ system that allows you to tailor the sound to your preferences.
  • Sound quality is good at 50 watts for four speakers at the same time.

All of this may be had for a very low price.

And, yes, the radio is built to endure, so you won’t have to worry about anything.

02.  Pioneer AVH-1300NEX

The Pioneer AVH-1300NEX will not let you down if you want a more powerful and practical radio in your vehicle.

This single-DIN radio has incredible features that will elevate your driving experience:

  • Large 6.2-inch VGA touchscreen where you can use your finger to control the whole system
  • With a CD/DVD connector and simple controls on the left, the design is simple to use.
  • Calendar, contacts, maps, Spotify, Pandora, and other useful tools are all included.
  • Bluetooth allows for complete interoperability with any kind of media.
  • With a total output of 50 watts, you’ll get next-level sound (perfect for surround audio systems)

The AVH-1300NEX from Pioneer is your best choice if you’re looking for a high-quality radio receiver with a screen for your automobile.

03.  Kenwood KDCX304 eXcelon

If there’s one brand you shouldn’t neglect when it comes to radio receivers, Kenwood is likely at the top of the list.

The KDCX304 eXcelon model exemplifies this well.

Consider the following characteristics:

  • Bluetooth allows you to connect up to five devices at the same time (plays music, hands-free calling, and more)
  • It has a digital graphic EQ and a 13-band Digital Time Alignment system (next-level audio mixing)
  • Front-panel controls, a multi-color LED display, and a CD receiver make this an easy-to-use device.
  • USB and AUX inputs, as well as SiriusXM and FLAC compatibility, are all excellent audio source choices.
  • It has Alexa built-in, as well as an Android rapid-charge mechanism.

When you use it, you won’t believe it’s a single-DIN radio.

Despite the somewhat higher price for the size, it is definitely worth your money because of how effectively it functions.

Related: How To Connect An Amplifier To A Factory Stereo

Common Car Radio Installation Mistakes (with Solutions)

Even though installing a vehicle radio is a simple task, there’s a good possibility you’ll run into some problems down the road. Here are some of the problems you could encounter:

1. Is Powerless

So you’ve put the radio in and it seems that everything is in order.

The receiver, however, does not turn on when you press the power button.

The machine seems to be dead, as there is no light, no sound, and not even a click sound coming from within the radio.

It’s not likely to be broken or damaged.

What you’re probably dealing with is a vehicle radio that has been placed incorrectly to the point that it doesn’t have any electricity to function with.

This may happen for a variety of reasons:

  • The amplifier goes into protective mode (it won’t start at all) because the power flowing from the alternator is too high.
  • The radio won’t turn on because the battery isn’t strong enough or is unreliable.
  • The wiring is faulty or improperly connected (which causes power issues and prevents the radio from starting).

Solution

What is the answer to these issues? It’s simple: you attempt to locate the problem and correct it.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Check the 12V wire that comes from the electrical system first. Make sure the voltmeter is set to the correct voltage for the machine to start. If the cable is not transmitting the 12V current, make sure it is properly attached (or replace it if it is broken or damaged).
  2. If the cable is transmitting the correct current, the issue is most likely with the battery and alternator. Your automobile might have a more serious electrical issue. Car batteries may need to be replenished or charged from time to time in order to function properly.

These two methods should suffice in locating the issue and resolving it if required.

2. Produces No Noise

The radio may switch on correctly in certain circumstances, but when you attempt to play anything, it simply does not work.

Nothing comes out of the speakers while the radio tries to play music.

Another typical problem is when the vehicle starts and plays music for a few minutes before abruptly turning off the speakers.

There are several explanations for this.

The following are the most common:

  • There is an issue with the wiring between the radio and the speakers (no audio signal reaches the speakers).
  • Turning on the receiver (radio) and speakers (tweeters, subwoofers, etc.) at the same time is not possible due to insufficient power.
  • Because of a loose wire that produces loudness spikes (bass and high notes), the radio does not play the sound.

Solution

If you believe your issue is connected to one or more of these, you should investigate further.

Here’s how to make things right:

  1. Begin by inspecting the system’s fuse. Check with a multimeter to see whether it has consistent power (in impedance/Ohm levels). It should be able to provide some figures. Otherwise, it’s blown and requires replacement.
  2. If the fuse is operational, go to the wiring system. Check everything; you may need to uninstall the system, remove the cables, and properly inspect them. Also, ensure appropriate grounding; else, the music would never reach the speakers.
  3. Finally, go through the radio receiver’s specs and see whether your car’s battery and electric system are supplying enough current to it. The issue is most likely caused by the car not transmitting enough current. It’s possible that you’re dealing with a more serious electrical problem.

Take this issue into consideration after and during installation to avoid problems later.

3. The Radio Is Heating Up

The third and least typical issue is when the radio receiver becomes too hot.

This condition is difficult to detect, however it will ultimately become obvious if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • When you touch any of the controls or the screen, it feels warm (sometimes before turning it on).
  • When the radio overheats, it shuts down on its own to safeguard internal components.
  • The vehicle begins to fill with a faint or strong odor of burning.

Solution

While seeing any of these difficulties in your automobile is less probable than spotting prior ones, it is much more crucial to address them as soon as possible.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Examine the whole radio setup. The radio might overheat due to even the tiniest wiring fault (e.g., a loose cable).
  2. A buildup of dirt and dust within the machine might also cause it to clog. This frequently occurs when the automobile hasn’t been cleaned in a long time. Cleaning it up and rechecking the wiring should solve the problem.
  3. Finally, the automobile might be delivering too much electricity to the radio. This is caused by a malfunctioning battery or alternator. If you suspect this is the case, we suggest bringing it to a technician.

While this is a rare occurrence, it is nevertheless feasible and the most serious issue that might arise from a poor installation. So, before it’s too late, be sure to address any overheating issues.

Precautions to Take When Installing a Car Radio

Installing a radio in a vehicle does not have to be a difficult task. However, since you will be dealing with electrical parts and sensitive components, basic safety measures are essential. Here are a few to think about:

  • When working on a car, always switch it off. It is not necessary to switch it on until the radio has been fitted.
  • If at all feasible, use gloves. When operating inside the automobile, work gloves may protect you against shorts and other electrical issues.
  • When utilizing power tools such as drivers, drills, or soldering irons, use caution. Before using them, take care to read the directions.

Installing the radio in your automobile will be completely safe if you follow these safety considerations.

Installing a Car Radio Receiver: Dos and Don’ts

Following the standard safety measures, you may wish to discover what you should and shouldn’t do while setting up the radio. Here are a few examples:

Do’s

  • Before you begin, have a detailed plan. Look for wire entrances, speaker ports, and places to connect and install items, among other things. This will save you time, effort, and help you avoid problems when installation.
  • To avoid future failures, stay away from the vehicle’s mechanical components and wiring (air conditioner, lights, buttons, etc.).
  • When putting up the radio, use tools like screwdrivers, wire cutters, and pliers instead than your hands. The tools are more efficient and secure.
  • Make sure everything is in order. Keep everything tidy, orderly, and well-located, from the connections to the radio, amplifiers, speakers, and more, to avoid problems later.

Don’ts

  • Before you start working on your automobile, be sure you understand how the electrical system works. Also, don’t forget to read the radio’s instruction booklet.
  • Wires that are loose or poorly connected should not be left dangling. These may be rather hazardous (cause shorts, overheating, and other similar issues).
  • If it’s not absolutely required, don’t harm the car’s components. You could need to install something else later, and it won’t fit because something was modified.
  • Make sure your equipment, hands, and the inside of the automobile are fully dry before working with the electrical system.

Related: How Do I Add Bluetooth To My Car?

FAQs

Even if you’ve read our whole guide, you’re certain to have some reservations.

The following questions may assist you in getting rid of them:

Is it possible to install a universal car radio in my vehicle?

Yes, as long as the universal radio matches your dashboard configuration (single DIN or double DIN entry), it should work.

They’re designed to suit most autos without difficulty.

How much does it cost to have a vehicle audio installed at Best Buy?

Best Buy provides free installation for any radio receiver purchased straight from the shop.

What is the average time it takes to install a vehicle radio?

Installing a vehicle radio by a professional might take anything from 30 minutes to an hour and a half.

If you’re a novice installer, this may easily take more than two hours.

Is there a way to get a free radio installation at Best Buy?

Yes, as long as you purchase the radio straight from the business and it falls within a certain price range.

The majority of the time, the installation fee exceeds $99.

Is it possible for Best Buy to install a radio that I purchase elsewhere?

It is contingent on the particular regulations of the Best Buy where you shop.

Even if the installation kit and receiver are not from Best Buy, some stores will install the radio.

Other areas, on the other hand, will not.

Verdict

As you can see, the cost of installing a vehicle radio may vary dramatically based on your preferences.

So, the next time someone asks you how much it costs to install a vehicle radio, you know what to say.

You’ve already figured it out.

You won’t have to ask anybody else, either.

It’s now up to you to decide whether you want to install it yourself or pay someone to do it for you.

What are your options?

Updated on

Written by Bob Matsuoka
Bob Matsuoka is a blogger and founder of RVing Beginner blog. He has been blogging for over five years, writing about his own family’s RV adventures, tips for people who are interested in buying an RV or taking their family on an adventure by RV.