Consumer Reports: How to add a backup camera to your car

A rearview camera is great for safety, yet not all cars have them - particularly older models. So what do you do if you want a backup camera, but don't want to get a new car?

Consumer Reports takes a look at some aftermarket options you can install yourself.

A rearview camera is a handy safety tool. Evidence shows that rearview cameras help avoid accidents that involve backing into an object or worse - a child invisible from the driver's seat.

Research has also shown cameras can even be more effective than sensors. But what if your car doesn't have a backup camera?

"This is a wireless rearview camera that plugs into your smartphone. It does have actually a small battery in it so this is a completely self-contained unit," said Consumer Reports Car Expert, Mel Yu.

The wireless, smartphone option costs anywhere between $22 to $100.

Be sure to choose one that is compatible with your phone's operating system. Some dashcam sets have a screen that straps over your existing rearview mirror.

In addition to being a mirror, it displays video from the rear camera. They cost between $40 and $200.

And If your car has an infotainment screen, but lacks a rearview camera, you can purchase and aftermarket retrofit for $50 to $600.

Hardwiring a rearview camera takes some DIY skills and can be time-consuming. Consumer Reports suggests if you have any doubts, consider professional installation.

Professionals typically charge between $99 and $130 to install a rearview camera kit.

To see if a used car you're considering buying already has a back-up camera, click here.
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