Satellite Radio In Your New Vehicle

With Sirius and XM continuing to land partnership deals with just about every vehicle maker on the planet, the option to add Satellite radio in your new vehicle is being offered at more and more automobile dealerships across the U.S.

Though still not a common "standard" feature, the appearance of satellite radio as an available "option" has more than tripled over the past three years.

Factory-installed and dealer-installed options: Both Satellite radio companies encourage automobile manufacturers to 'factory fit' Satellite radio systems, this increases the chance that auto buyers will become subscribers.

New vehicles boasting a Satellite radio option come off a manufacturer’s assembly line with either a partly or fully equipped Satellite radio system. In most cases, a new vehicle will arrive at a dealership with a factory-fitted in-dash "Satellite Ready" radio. The dealer will then quote a price to supply and install the remaining equipment necessary, usually the Satellite tuner and antenna.

Without doubt the option of factory or dealer-installed Satellite radio in your vehicle has its benefits; a clean installation with no visible hardware, plus the best sound quality available being the most obvious. The price quoted at dealerships varies depending on the type of equipment, but expect to pay between $300 to $800. The good news is that you don't have to go with a dealer-installed tuner and antenna; you can purchase after market gear and install it yourself for great results and big savings.

Subscription costs: Although there are many vehicles now available with Satellite radio as a manufacturer-supported option, this typically does not include the cost of the subscription to the service, only the cost of the equipment. However, the majority of automobile manufacturers and dealerships are offering incentives, normally a three-month trial subscription to the service with no activation fee.

Can I choose which Satellite radio service? Unfortunately, exclusive deals made between automobile manufacturers and Satellite radio service providers, mean that few dealerships are able to offer a choice of Satellite radio services (see chart below).

Which vehicles offer a Satellite radio option? The chart below shows which Satellite radio services each automobile manufacturer is offering. It’s worth remembering that not all the models in a manufacturer’s vehicle range offer Satellite radio as an option.

Before long I think we will see Satellite radio become a standard feature in all new vehicles across the nation, with a buyer only having to decide on a payment plan and activation fee. Furthermore, buyers will have the choice of either service.