Car GPS Installation Cost [DIY Vs. Pro Install]
Having a GPS navigation system built into your dashboard used to be considered a luxury. However, more and more modern vehicles are coming from the factory with them already installed!
If you’d like to keep up with the times, you might be wondering how much installing a GPS in your car will cost. If you opt to install a GPS yourself, you’ll only have to pay for the part.
Depending on how advanced the system you choose is, it could cost anywhere from $100-$1,500. If you would rather have a technician install the system, expect to pay between $150-$450 more.
Keep reading below to learn more about the cost and benefits of installing a modern navigation system in your vehicle.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a GPS in Your Car?
The cost of these navigation systems can vary significantly. Some of the factors that influence the price include its size, capabilities, and brand.
While you’ll be able to find some budget-friendly models between $100-$200, other systems can cost over $1,000.
Installing a built-in navigation system is very similar to installing a new car radio. If you or someone you know has experience with this, you’ll be able to cut costs by wiring it in yourself.
If you would rather opt for a professional installation, however, you’ll have to pay an additional $150-$450.
Before you choose a technician to install your GPS navigation system, call around and get estimates. Some technicians charge by the hour, while others charge by the job.
Call all the reputable installers in your area and make the best decision for your budget.
Generally, you can expect to pay more if your system is complicated to install. These jobs will take the technician a lot longer to complete because extra wire connections are often needed.
If you really don’t mind paying extra for premium quality, look into factory navigation system add-ons.
These are sold and installed by your car dealer, included in your car’s warranty, and tend to match the aesthetics of your vehicle better. However, be prepared to spend anywhere from $500-$2,000 for the system alone.
What are the Best Aftermarket GPS Navigation Systems?
If you’re on the hunt for a GPS to install in your vehicle, price is probably your main concern.
These systems can range in cost considerably, but the most expensive systems are typically the most advanced and come with the best features.
See the table below for a price and feature comparison of some popular models.
|Product Name||Average Price|
|UNITOPSCI 7-Inch Android Car Stereo||$100|
|Kenwood Excelon DNX697S||$1,000|
As you can see, the features of built-in navigation systems can vary based on the model you choose. In addition, your navigation system will likely be able to replace your factory stereo.
Keep this in mind when choosing a product, and make sure to pick one that matches both your budget and navigation system needs.
What are the Benefits of a Built-in GPS?
Adding a GPS navigation system to your vehicle can reward you with significant benefits. Some of these include raising your car’s resale value, a bigger, more interactive map, and increased safety on the road.
Raise Your Car’s Resale Value
A built-in GPS navigation system is a highly desirable feature in cars these days.
Because of this, adding one to your vehicle may allow you to ask for a higher price if you ever choose to sell it! Many people are willing to pay extra for the added convenience this device provides.
Have a Larger, More Interactive Map to Look at
Most people who don’t have a navigation system use their smartphone’s map feature to get directions as they drive. However, these screens are much smaller and harder to see while you’re driving, even if you have a phone mount.
A GPS provides you with a large screen in a convenient location, often with more interactive features. Some systems can detect when your car is low on gas and will highlight all the gas stations nearby.
Some will also tell you the speed limit of the road you’re driving on, preventing any accidental speeding.
Increased Safety on the Road
Using your phone as your navigation system always has a risk associated with it. When you have a navigation system, however, you won’t have to look at your phone while on the road.
This will prevent any distracted driving. You won’t accidentally drift into the next lane while trying to figure out what exit to take, and you won’t get pulled over because an officer noticed you looking at your phone while driving!
It Still Functions in Remote Areas
One of the biggest benefits of a GPS navigation system is that it still works when you don’t have cell phone service. There’s nothing worse than being lost in a remote area and realizing that you cannot use your phone’s navigation system.
Because a GPS functions through satellites, it will work no matter where you are.
Upgrades Your Factory Stereo
Because most navigation systems include a radio, they can completely replace and upgrade your factory stereo system. You can listen to AM/FM, and sometimes satellite, radio, or use your phone to access Spotify, Apple Music, and more.
Many navigation systems are also Bluetooth-compatible. This allows you to make and receive phone calls, often through a hands-free speech system, and have any incoming text messages read out loud to you.
If you have an older vehicle with an outdated stereo system, adding a navigation system can give you more benefits than just a map. It can give you an entirely new listening experience!
Does a Built-in GPS Require an Internet Connection?
While some of the apps that certain systems include will require an internet connection, the GPS technology itself does not.
As mentioned, a navigation system is powered through global positioning satellites, meaning it will work whether you are connected to the internet or not.
Unless you want to access satellite radio on a regular basis, your GPS will not require a monthly subscription fee either. Most features are free to use.
How Long Does it Take to Install a GPS in Your Vehicle?
Installing a GPS shouldn’t take much longer than a couple of hours. It’s very similar to installing any other stereo system. If you’ve never done a job like this before, it might be better to have an experienced technician do it for you.
Depending on how complex your system is, installing your GPS may require some extra wiring.
If there is an antenna included, you’ll have to mount it so it’s always facing the sky and isn’t interfering with any other antennas on your car.
In addition, you may need to install a wire that connects to either the parking brake or foot brake.
Some navigation systems have advanced safety features that prevent certain features from working while your vehicle is in motion. This wire detects whether the brake is engaged, and will enable the features if so.
For many systems, you’ll also need to connect a reverse signal wire. This tells the system when your vehicle is traveling in reverse so it can give directions correctly. Commonly, this is done by connecting the wire to the tail light.
When you install your navigation system, you will likely have to remove paneling to open up the wiring under the dashboard. If you’re not prepared for all of this work, hire a technician to do it for you.
The Bottom Line
Installing a GPS navigation system in your vehicle comes with many benefits. If you want to purchase one of these systems for yourself, it will cost anywhere between $100-$1,500 depending on the model you choose.
Hiring a technician to do this installation for you will cost an additional $150-$450, depending on where you go and the complexity of the system.
While you can install it yourself, it may be better to find a professional if you don’t have a lot of experience doing this kind of wiring work.