Backup cameras for cars have existed for a long time, and several higher-end models have featured the technology for at least a decade. However, the NHTSA passed a new law in 2019 that requires all newly manufactured cars to have a backup camera.
But, even if your current car does not have a backup camera, you can install one. There are plenty of DIY solutions or you can pay a mechanic to complete the job.
Overall, you can expect to pay about $500 for a professional to install a backup camera. You can find backup camera kits for anywhere between $50 to $200.
Also, if your car doesn’t have a video screen, you will have to pay an additional $100 to $200 to install one.
There are a lot of factors that determine backup camera installation costs. So we put together this comprehensive article on the costs of installing a backup camera. We will cover the cost for various models of cars and also talk about some standalone backup camera kits.
- Backup Camera Installation Costs
- How to Install a Backup Camera for Your Car
- Factors that Affect Backup Camera Installation Costs
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How much does it cost to install a backup camera on a car?
- Can I DIY install a backup camera?
- Do I need a backup camera on my car?
- How powerful are backup cameras?
- What’s the difference between a backup camera and a rear-view camera?
- Do I have to put a video screen on my dashboard?
- Should I buy a DIY camera kit or pay for professional installation?
Backup Camera Installation Costs
The typical car owner can expect to pay approximately $500 to install a new backup camera. The typical range is between $200 on the low end and up to $800 on the high end.
Generally speaking, if your car already has a backup camera, it will cost less to install a new one because the mounting and wiring are already there.
|BMW 3 Series||$700|
As you can see, most car cameras are on the lower end. Consumer-brand models like Honda typically cost less than luxury brands. As we said, modern models of these brands are legally required to have a backup camera.
DIY Camera Kits
Instead of going to a mechanic, you can also buy a DIY camera kit and install it yourself. DIY kits are often much cheaper and work just as well as a professionally installed camera.
A typical DIY camera kit costs anywhere between $50 on the low end up to $200 on the higher end. HD cameras with extra features like night vision will cost upwards of $300+
Keep in mind that there are two major kinds of camera kits: wired and wireless. Wireless kits are normally more expensive but cut out any wire installation. However, wireless cameras may also lose their signal periodically.
Here is a quick list of the average costs for popular models of wired backup camera kits.
|Fookoo II HD Wired Backup Camera System||$160|
|Yakety HD 1080p Backup Camera||$50|
|Camecho Vehicle Backup Camera w/ 7” Monitor||$60|
|10” Wired Backup Camera Monitor System Kit||$400|
|AMTIFO HD Backup Camera for Truck||$80|
|Hikity Waterproof Backup Camera with Monitor Kit||$60|
|YEDDY Backup Camera System Kit w/ 170-degree Wide Angle & IR Night Vision||$100|
|Rohent N01 AHD 1080p Backup Camera w/ 5” Rear-View Mirror Monitor||$60|
|RAAYOO Reverse Backup Camera w/ Wide Angle View||$30|
|AUTOPAL Wired Reverse View Backup Camera System||$160|
|CAMONS Wired Backup Camera System Kit||$80|
Wired cameras are usually cheaper, but there are some models that can get pretty pricey. You can find a decent wired model for approximately $100.
Another option is wireless cameras. Wireless backup cameras use dedicated wireless channels that won’t interfere with other wireless signals like Bluetooth from your phone. Wireless cameras are also much easier to install as you don’t have to word about connecting wires.
Here is a quick table showing the average cost for various popular wireless camera models.
|AUTO-VOX Wireless Backup Camera Kit||$120|
|LeeKooLuu LK3 HD 1080p Backup Camera Kit||$50|
|BOSCAM 5” Wireless Backup Camera Kit w/ Digital Signal||$90|
|AMTIFO AM-W70 HD 1080p Wireless Backup Camera for Truck||$100|
|Fookoo II HD 1080p Waterproof Backup Camera System||$190|
|AUTO-VOX TW1 Truly Wireless Backup Camera Kit||$180|
|BOSCAM Solar Wireless Backup Camera /w No Wiring||$170|
|AUTO-VOX T1400 Wireless Backup Camera Kit||$130|
|DoHonest V29 HD 1080p Digital Wireless Backup Camera||$130|
|Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera||$150|
As you can see, most wireless backup cameras fall in the $100 to $200 range, however, you can find models for below $100 if you are strapped for cash. Wireless models are often superior in quality, but you may experience connectivity issues.
How to Install a Backup Camera for Your Car
Fortunately, installing a backup camera is a relatively simple project that most people can handle on their own. Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to install a backup camera for your car.
First though, a quick list of the tools you will need.
- Flathead/Phillips Screwdriver
- Wire strippers
- Cordless drill
- Electrical tape
- Wire connectors
- Panel removal tools
Step 1. Mount the Camera
The first part of the process is mounting the new camera. First, turn off your battery terminals and remove the license plate on the back of your car.
Mark the spot where you want the camera, making sure to miss any bundles of wires or trim pieces that can be damaged. Next, drill a small hole in the spot to hold the camera wires and grommet.
Add the grommet, making sure it is secure against the sides of the holes. Feed the wires through the metal edges and attach the actual camera unit to the wiring.
Step 2. Install Wires
Next, it’s time to install all the necessary wiring. Connect the included wire cluster to the main camera wire and identify a suitable power source for the camera.
Most of the time, you can attach the camera wires to the license plate light or reverse lights. You can connect the wire connectors or solder the connection if you have the right tools.
When installing wiring, make sure that you connect negative leads to negative terminals and positive leads to positive terminals. If you connect the wrong wires, you can create a short circuit and damage your hardware.
Also, make sure that you attach the reverse signal wire to a power source that is active when the car is put in reverse.
Step 3: Connect the Display
Once the camera and wiring are in place, it’s time to install the camera display. Monitors can be installed in the dashboard or on top of the dashboard.
Regardless of which kind of monitor you have, identify and connect the power, video, and signal wires. Most of the time, you can plug the display power cord into the car’s fuse box.
If that solution does not work, then you can often attach power wires to the stereo wiring. Again, make sure that you connect negative to negative ends and positive to positive.
Step 4: Test the Camera
Now that you have the camera and display connected, it’s time to test everything to make sure it is working. Reconnect the battery terminals and start your car. Put your car in reverse, and the camera should turn on.
If it does not, double-check to make sure you correctly connected the reverse signal wire.
Factors that Affect Backup Camera Installation Costs
- Type of camera. A basic wired camera is the cheapest kind of backup camera while wireless and Bluetooth models are more expensive. Some backup cameras come with an installation kit while others may require a mechanic’s touch.
- Camera sensor. Most backup cameras use two kinds of sensors: CCD or CMOS. CCD sensors are the simpler of the two and use analog signals to create a picture. CMOS sensors are digital. CMOS sensors use less power but CCD sensors can produce a sharper picture. CMOS sensors are usually cheaper than CCD sensors.
- Car make/model. You can make and model will also affect costs. Luxury vehicles may have special components to replace when you install a backup camera.
- Camera specs. Camera specs also matter. Lux rating determines how your camera performs in low-light conditions while resolution determines the quality of the picture. Most backup cameras u8se 720×480 SD resolution, though more expensive models go all the way up to 2560×1080 HD widescreen resolution. The higher the spec numbers on your camera, the more expensive it will be.
- Extra features. Cameras may also have extra features that increase the costs, such as night vision, rearview angles, and recording. Extra features are optional so you can save money by buying a basic model with just the camera.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to install a backup camera on a car?
It costs approximately $500 to buy and install a mid-grade backup camera with 720p resolution. This cost includes installation costs as well as the cost of a video screen for your dashboard.
You can buy a DIY backup camera installation kit for anywhere between $50 to $200 for a camera and video screen.
Can I DIY install a backup camera?
Yes, you can buy a DIY backup camera installation kit. Generally speaking, you only need a screwdriver to install a camera. If it has a separate trim or bumper cover, you may need a drill to create holes.
Additionally, some kits may come with more than one camera so you will need mounts for each one.
Do I need a backup camera on my car?
No, strictly speaking, you do not need a backup camera for your car. However, a new federal law requires that all new cars made after 2019 must have a backup camera and video display.
Several higher-end and luxury models already have backup cameras, but not absolutely all cars, even the cheapest ones on the market, now have to have a backup camera.
How powerful are backup cameras?
Most typical backup cameras use 720p resolution and have a viewing angle of 120 degrees. There are some models that have full 1080p HD resolution and a wider angle resolution of 170 degrees.
As you might expect, HD cameras will cost more.
What’s the difference between a backup camera and a rear-view camera?
Many people use the terms “backup” and “rear-view” cameras interchangeably, but they are different. Backup cameras are the ones that turn on when you put your car in reverse.
A rear-view camera is a camera that you can look in whenever you want to see what is behind you. Modern cars require a backup camera but they do not require a rear-view camera. So when shopping around for cameras, make sure that you get the right kind for your needs.
Do I have to put a video screen on my dashboard?
No. Many backup cameras have a touchscreen that you can mount on your dash, but you do not have to get these versions. There are backup cameras that have the camera feed mounted in rear view mirrors or have a separate screen that goes on top of your dashboard.
Should I buy a DIY camera kit or pay for professional installation?
You have both optional. Hiring a professional will ensure that the installation is connected properly and securely, but you can save a lot of money by buying a camera kit and installing it on your own.
Most of the time, you do not need any special tools to attach the camera and monitor, unless the monitor goes directly into the dashboard.
Backup cameras used to be a luxury addition to cars but are now standard in all new models made after 2019. A good backup camera will cost you around $500 for professional installation, but you can buy a DIY camera installation kit for $50 to $200.
Your options are between wired and wireless kits, with wired kits being the cheaper option of the two. Like any kind of car modification, make sure that you get quotes from several mechanics to get the best price. If you want to buy a DIY kit, make sure that you have the requisite tools you need for installation.