Car Radio Installation - Everything You Need to Know from the Experts

So, you're thinking of upgrading your car radio yourself? With lots of videos and advice available on the internet, we can see why you'd want to give it a go. Before you do, Celsus answers some burning questions. 

How much does it cost to install a car radio?

A DAB car radio unit with an aux input and USB ports costs in the region of £70. To add hands free technology, you can expect to pay around £80 for a unit.

To install a radio yourself doesn’t cost a penny, but if you were to ask an installation company to fit it for you, it can cost around £50 depending on how sophisticated you require the set up.

For example, if you wanted to wire your car radio to your steering wheel controls, you can expect to pay up to £100 more.

Why should you upgrade your car radio?

People tend to upgrade their car radio so they can take advantage of modern audio technology; an AUX input to play music off their phone, DAB to pick up their favourite digital radio stations, USB ports to charge their phone on the go, and Bluetooth for those important hands-free phone calls.

Upgrading your radio is one of the easiest ways to improve your sound system – and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. While it's always best to use a professional installation service, you can pick up all the necessary parts for your radio using the Celsus product finder, then find the right installation video for your car online.

How long does it take to install a car radio?

How long it takes to install a car radio depends on your vehicle and whether you’ve any previous experience. If you’ve installed a radio before, and you’re installing a radio in an older car, radio installation can take as little as an hour. For newer cars, and for the inexperienced, it can take much longer.

In most cases, the most time-consuming part of installing a radio is removing the panels and the original radio – this is particularly the case in newer cars, as the factory-installed radios are more complex in shape, and integrate with other systems, such as your steering wheel controls.

Of course, not having the right parts can add time to the car radio installation process. To make sure you have the right parts, use the Celsus vehicle finder. It’ll tell you exactly what you need, so you won’t be rushing around trying to find the right parts half way through your installation.

Is installing a new car radio hard?

It's harder to install a radio in newer cars as they have more complex setups. It’s not just a case of installing the new radio. It may be that you need to integrate it with other components, such as your rear view and front view cameras.

For simpler installations, one of the hardest parts is knowing where the vehicle panels unclip or where the screws or brackets for the existing radio are located. There are plenty of YouTube and online forums to help you with this bit.

If your car has stalk controls, this adds another layer of complexity. Stalk controls are specific to your vehicle, and while a lot of new car radios are compatible with them, some aren’t. If this is the case, you’ll need to purchase stalk adaptors. You can make sure you’re purchasing the right stalk adaptors with the Celsus product finder tool.

What can often go wrong when installing a new car radio?

The main thing many people do wrong is they don't do enough research before attempting to install their new car radio. Thoroughly research your vehicle, and make sure you’re investing in the right components for the job by using the Celsus product finder tool.

With some car radios requiring a specific set-up, it’s always best to read the manual before installation. Setting it up properly can be more difficult once it’s installed. Also test all of the radio’s functions, so you don’t need to waste time uninstalling panels if a problem arises.

Are some radios more difficult to install than others?

Radios that have features like camera inputs and DAB (there are antennas to install in specific places) are harder to install. But having the right tools and installation accessories for the job really helps.

Radios without a CD player tend to be easier to install as they have a much shallower mounting depth. In certain vehicles, trying to squeeze all the wiring and the depth of the radio into the dashboard can be difficult.

Celsus is the go-to stockist for car radio installation components

As the UK’s specialist in car upgrades and accessories, Celsus stocks all the parts you need to complete your radio installation – just use our product finder to find the right components for your car.

While installing a car radio yourself is attractive for those that want to cut costs, we always recommend using an installation service to ensure your radio is fitted properly and the integrity of the radio and your car remains intact.