CarPlay Lab
Welcome to No.1 CarPlay Blog. We cover almost everything about Apple CarPlay here.


Table of Contents

If you are someone who is interested in installing Apple CarPlay in your vehicle, then this is the perfect article for you. Many experts have found that users love using Apple carplay because it meets their journey hands-free.

Apple CarPlay ensures that you can operate your iPhone on a bigger screen without getting distracted from the road. No matter, if you want to use maps or you want to play music in your vehicle, CarPlay has everything covered. 

However, there are some older models of cars that are not compatible with Apple CarPlay. In this case, you can simply add an aftermarket head unit into your vehicle.

How To Add Apple Carplay To A Car

#1 Retrofit OEM upgrade

CarPlay was first introduced in 2014 and since then, it has been a popular device installed in almost every vehicle. Considering the popularity of Apple CarPlay, many manufacturers began to add CarPlay as one of their standard features. 

However, if your vehicle was manufactured after 2014 and still it doesn’t feature CarPlay, then you can choose a retrofit OEM upgrade. OEM (original equipment manufacturer) can be added by your own manufacturers. 

You can simply get in touch with your manufacturers and pay an additional cost to get Apple CarPlay installed in your vehicle. For instance, there are manufacturers like Mazda, Hyundai, and Ford who offer retrofits. Keep in mind, not all of their models have this option. 

#2 Aftermarket Head Unit

What to do if you have a car that is older than 2014? Well, you can still enjoy the benefits of CarPlay by installing an aftermarket headunit. OEM might not do the trick for your vehicle, hence, it is recommended to get a new headunit, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto.

If you are not sure about which head unit is compatible with your vehicle, then you can simply search online with your car’s model and year details. You can find several options available in your budget. 

On the other hand, you can also connect with local experts around you who will not only suggest you the best aftermarket head unit but they will also install it for you. However, the installation comes with additional charges, which is going to be our next point. 

Cost Of Installation

Retrofit upgrade can cost you somewhere between $250 to $1000, depending on the size you choose. Although it is a one-time investment, you will get to use all the features including map navigation, playing music and podcast, listening to radio and more. 

Aftermarket Head Unit, on the other hand, will cost you somewhere around $100 just for installation. You might end up paying $400-$500 for a quality aftermarket head unit. 

Difference Between Factory vs Aftermarket Head Unit vs Portable CarPlay Screen 

Factory head units come at a lower cost compared to aftermarket systems. Factory head units can’t be used in several ways and they are not as effective as aftermarket devices. The Aftermarket Head Unit is not only functional in various ways but it is also aesthetically pleasing to your eyes.

In the factory system you can use CDs and radio but you won’t be able to connect your smartphone or any other devices. Moreover, the factory head unit’s speakers are not strong enough to entertain you throughout the journey. 

Whereas, the sound coming from the Aftermarket head unit doesn’t get broken or distorted, if you increase the volume. You will also get a touchscreen display and GPS navigator. If you drive on unknown routes very often, then this is one of the most helpful features.

When it comes to a portable CarPlay screen, no need for professional installation, plug and play

It can move wherever you go, it is a good choice if you have more than 2 cars without carplay.

Bonus Tip

You can consider buying this wireless Apple CarPlay, which is available at a discounted price of $209.99. You will get a one-year warranty and it is suitable for all vehicles. 

It is highly recommended to install an aftermarket head unit to have maximum features and accessibility. If you already have factory installation, then try to upgrade with an aftermarket head unit.

In case you don’t have the budget to install CarPlay, then you can simply use Bluetooth to listen to music, podcasts, and get directions on Google Maps. However, you might have to unlock your phone to change the playlist or pause the track. Whereas, the CarPlay unit will keep your entire concentration on the road. 


In conclusion, you should buy Apple CarPlay from reliable vendors online or offline. If you buy online, then there are higher chances of you getting an additional discount or coupon code. You can also compare several CarPlay devices before deciding to buy one. 

Whereas, in the local stores, you might end up choosing something that is available at that moment. Pick your infotainment system carefully after making sure that they are compatible with your vehicle and also falls into your budget. 

carplay lab (200 × 100, 像素) (1)

Editors' Picks

Latest Posts

©2023 CarPlay Lab, A Tech Blog – All Right Reserved.