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If you’re looking to buy a car, one of the things you’ll need to consider is whether it has Bluetooth. This technology allows you to make hands-free phone calls and stream music from your phone or other devices. It’s a great feature, but how much does it cost to install Bluetooth in a car?
The cost of adding Bluetooth to a car can vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle. It typically costs between $100 and $200 to have Bluetooth installed by a professional. However, if you’re handy with tools and willing to do it yourself, you can find kits online for as little as $20.
In this blog post, I will discuss the cost of installing Bluetooth in a car.
How Much Does Bluetooth Cost to Install in A Car?
There are different ways you can get Bluetooth in your car, and the cost will vary depending on your chosen method. These include:
- Universal Systems
- Aftermarket audio units
- Vehicle-specific adapters
- FM transmitters
- Bluetooth receivers
Let’s dive deeper and see how much each of these methods costs.
1. Universal Systems
As their name suggests, these independent devices function in almost any car owing to an inbuilt speaker and microphone. In addition, many of these devices may be put wherever you’d want using tape or suction cups or clipped onto your sun visor.
While there are a few universal devices that can be wired into your head unit and add music streaming to the list of features, the installation procedure is a little more difficult as a result.
Typically, these gadgets cost between $15 and $30.
2. Aftermarket Audio Units
If you want to replace your car stereo with a new unit with Bluetooth functionality, you’re looking at spending anywhere from $100 to $150. The price will depend on the brand, the features, and the installation cost.
There are several different replacement stereo systems available. Fortunately, Bluetooth integration for hands-free calling is available on even the most basic models.
Features like Bluetooth music streaming, full smartphone integration (so you can access your phone’s applications via the vehicle stereo), text messaging (reading your messages aloud so you can keep your eyes on the road), and voice commands become available as you go up the pricing ladder.
Even devices with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto are available for addition.
3. Vehicle-specific Adapters
These adapters plug into your car’s diagnostic port (usually located under the steering wheel) and give you access to Bluetooth streaming, hands-free calling, and sometimes even additional features like text messaging and music control via voice commands.
The price of these adapters ranges from $50 to $150. The cost will depend on the brand, the features, and the installation cost.
The best feature of a factory adapter is that it has been specially built for your vehicle’s make and model, giving you the highest audio quality and installation guidance tailored to your car.
There’s no need to replace your complete head unit if all you want Bluetooth for is hands-free calling and potentially music streaming (some systems are only compatible with phone audio).
4. FM Transmitters
This is the cheapest way to get Bluetooth in your car. You can find FM transmitters for as little as $15. These devices plug into your cigarette lighter or power port and pair your phone via Bluetooth.
Your phone’s audio is then broadcasted over an unused FM frequency to which you tune your car stereo. The audio quality is generally not as good as the other methods, but it’s a quick and easy way to get Bluetooth in your car without spending a lot of money.
Additionally, installation is not necessary. The device is simply turned on and tuned to the appropriate frequency.
Adjustments will be necessary if you often travel long distances since FM frequencies vary from place to place.
5. Bluetooth Receivers
This is another cheap way to get Bluetooth in your car. You can find Bluetooth receivers for as little as $20. These devices plug into your car’s auxiliary input and pair with your phone via Bluetooth.
Bluetooth functions similarly to an FM transmitter and looks the same. Neither of them needs radio waves to communicate with other gadgets. Bluetooth gives you a clear, crisp, static-free sound, which always beats a shaky FM frequency.
Remember that using Bluetooth in your car still requires an auxiliary input.
These come standard on most modern vehicle models but not on many older ones. Owners of older vehicles must buy and install a new radio system with Bluetooth capabilities if they wish to benefit from everything Bluetooth provides.
The more advanced the system is, the higher the price will be. You can find systems that cost as much as $200, but you can also find ones that cost less than $10. It all depends on the features and quality you’re looking for.
How much does it cost to add Bluetooth to an older car?
The price will depend on the brand, the features, and the installation cost. You can find systems that cost as much as $200, but also those that cost less than $15.
Is it worth it to add Bluetooth to my car?
The answer may vary for different people. It might be worth considering if you frequently use your phone in the car. Bluetooth can make your life much easier by allowing you to control everything with your voice and keeping your hands on the wheel.
How do I install Bluetooth in my car?
There are three main ways to install Bluetooth in your car: vehicle-specific adapters, FM transmitters, and Bluetooth receivers. The best way is to consult your car’s owner manual or a professional to see which method is best for you.
The cost of adding Bluetooth to your car will depend on the method you choose and the features you want. The cheapest way can go at around $15, while the most expensive might cost up to $200.
I hope this article has given you some clarity on the matter.
Espen is the Director of ProPairing and has written extensively about Bluetooth devices for years. He is a consumer product expert and has personally tested Bluetooth devices for the last decade.