How Much Does Car DVD Installation Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 7, 2018

Car DVD installation is the process of installing a DVD player and an LCD monitor on either one of the decks on a dashboard or on the back of the headrest of a car seat.

A typical car DVD player looks very similar to a CD player, and the process of installing one is similar as well.

DVD player by rick, on Flickr
DVD player” (CC BY 2.0) by rick

How much a car DVD installation cost?

One of the most popular options most people choose is by having the dealer and/or car manufacturer install the car DVD player at the factory or the dealership.  Depending on the make and model, most factory installed car DVD players can cost $500 to $2,000 to upgrade or have installed after the car has been purchased.  Auto Trader says you should expect at least $1,000 to $2,000 extra.

For third-party systems, on average, professional installation, without the DVD player picked out yet, will be about $75 to $250.   Ceiling mounted DVD players, which will look similar to a factory version, can cost about $150 to $550 for just the unit.  When you factor in the installation at about $150, the total costs to have an aftermarket DVD player installed will cost about $300 to $800, depending on the features and brand the DVD player has.

For instance, Best Buy’s Geek Squad can install a car DVD player for $200 and the units they sell can cost anywhere from $120 to more than $500.  Car Toys, another company that does this type of install, will charge $165 for monitors under 10 inches and $165 for monitors over $225.

Car DVD player installation overview

With rear seat/car DVD players, there are two common options available on the market:   either having it equipped with your new car or getting it installed later with either a factory or aftermarket version.

Most aftermarket car DVD players will be installed overhead, permanently to the car’s ceiling and will fold up when not in use.  They can also be installed inside the seat’s headrest, either on the driver’s side, passenger’s side, or both.  Depending on the setup, the DVD will either play from the car’s dashboard or just the player itself.  Some premium models may be able to play on the dashboard while in park as well as on the flip down screen mounted in the back seat.

During the installation job, the headrests, if this is the option you choose, will be replaced with specially ordered headrests that match your car’s interior.  These headrests will be wired and installed where the original headrests were before.  Overhead DVD players will require a cut and modification in the roof so the video housing can be mounted.

Aftermarket DVD players will often support Bluray, DVD, DVD-video, CDs, CD-DA and video CDs.  Higher end models may have an FM transmitting, dual-channel IR, a headphone transmitter and multiple auxiliary A/V inputs.

What are the extra costs?

Most car DVD systems will come equipped with one screen, but for vans or SUVs, dual screens can be installed at an additional cost.

Some systems can have an FM modulator installed for an additional fee.

Extra installation parts, if needed, can be an additional cost.

Tips to know:

Factory-installed systems are going to cost more than a customized system.  Be sure to explore your options before choosing a factory version.

Purchasing a DVD player before you purchase your car will often include the part with your car’s warranty.

How can I save money?

Consider asking around for different prices of installation.  There are several companies that offer installation services at a discount if you purchase the car DVD player directly through them.

Consider a portable DVD player that can be used in the car without having to worry about installation.  Some of these players can come with a case and straps which can be strapped to the seat of the car.  Highly-rated portable DVD players will cost less than $150, on average.  Portable DVD players aren’t the only options nowadays, either.  You can also mount your iPad or another tablet to the backseat of a car, treating it like a DVD player.

If purchasing a new car and you want to upgrade your package to one that offers a DVD player, consider negotiating the price to bring the costs down.

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