SiriusXM Radio For Cars – Costs, Installation Options, And More

Got a basic factory stereo that doesn’t do much except play CDs and tune in to AM/FM stations? Good news – you can install SiriusXM radio in your car to enjoy premium radio shows and music channels!


There are several different ways to do this:

1. Satellite Adapter Kits

Satellite adapter kits enable you to enjoy SiriusXM radio on your factory radio. If installed properly, a satellite adapter kit will work seamlessly with your car’s factory radio. You can use all the controls on your factory radio or steering wheel to navigate satellite radio channels and adjust the volume.

VAIS Satellite Adapter car interior

A satellite adapter kit from VAIS allows you to add SiriusXM without changing or replacing your factory stereo. Find out why VAIS Satellite Radio Adapters are the right choice.

You might be asking, “What kind of sorcery is this?”

It’s quite simple. Just mount the adapter behind the dash or plug it into a USB port and then use your factory radio to play SiriusXM channels. If you buy a VAIS satellite adapter kit, you get access to a network of dealers that can install it for you in a jiffy. A good kit that has everything you need costs about $300, with rebates that can drop the cost closer to $200.

2. Portable SiriusXM Radio Tuners And FM Modulators

If you decide to go this route, you’ll need to buy a portable SiriusXM radio tuner that picks up the satellite signal and then connects it to your factory speakers through an FM modulator. An FM modulator is a unit that plugs into your radio antenna and picks up the signal from your satellite radio and plays it through your car’s factory radio at an FM frequency. One of these kits costs anywhere from $40-$100.

The price is attractive, but keep in mind that in the world of SiriusXM radios, you get what you pay for. With all the necessary wires, mounts, and electronics, you’re looking at a cluttered dashboard. FM modulators don’t always pick up the signal and, because of it, the sound quality isn’t always great. Last, but not least, your factory radio controls are now useless in terms of changing channels.

A portable SiriusXM radio tuner system can be a good solution for someone who’s driving a rental car or looking to switch cars in the near future. But if you’re planning on keeping your car for a while, you’d be better off using a satellite adapter kit or installing an aftermarket radio.

3. Aftermarket Stereos

Kenwood touchscreen install kit

This Kenwood DVD Receiver costs about $250, with adapters needed to make it compatible with the factory steering wheel controls, factory navigation. An external satellite tuner is needed as well. While this unit packs a lot of cool features, it would be easy to spend $500 when it’s all said and done.

You can scrap your factory stereo altogether and install an aftermarket stereo that’s compatible with SiriusXM radio. There are many great and reliable aftermarket stereo brands out there, though it’s hard to pinpoint cost. Aftermarket stereos come in every variety you can imagine. Still, it’s hard to buy and professionally install an after-market stereo for less than a few hundred dollars.

Don’t Forget About Installation!

Whatever you decide – adding a satellite radio adapter, going the cheap route with an FM modulator, or going with the premium option and getting a new stereo – it’s a good idea to consider professional installation. At VAIS, we have a large network of dealers that can sell and install our products in most vehicles. Professional installation is important, as vehicle electronic systems are more complicated than ever, making mistakes costly.

Questions about satellite radio options? Get in touch with us on Facebook!

Categories: Satellite Radio