A sunroof is installed on car roofs and is a sliding window panel that offers you an amazing view of the sky when you are driving. A sunroof installation cost will depend on a few factors, which we will talk about in this article. One of the best types of sunroof currently available is the moonroof. It is made almost entirely of glass and will give you an amazing view even if you close it.
Sunroofs were first made from a pane of glass that was nontransparent. It could only be opened and closed manually. When it was invented, it was first introduced as a basic option in several 1937 models made by the Nash Motor Company.
It was only in 1973 that a moonroof was developed by a marketing supervisor of Ford Company. This could be opened, so that travelers could enjoy the outside view through the glass, and it was made of a clear pane so that they could enjoy the same view even when this sunroof was closed.
How much does sunroof installation cost?
Most sunroof installation jobs will cost between $900 and $2,300, depending on factors like the professional working on the installation, the type you car you have, and the type of sunroof you purchase. This cost will include the sunroof and the labor needed for the installation.
An aftermarket sunroof or moonroof will only cost you around $300 to $800 to install yourself if it’s a simple unit that will pop open for ventilation. The cost will gradually increase as you need more features for the sunroof and will be considerably higher if you plan to hire a professional to do it for you.
The list below will give you an idea of the different types of sunroofs you could buy and their respective costs.
Type of sunroof with Average Prices (parts + set up)
- Moonroof – This power-operated sunroof comes with a sliding glass panel. It can slide into the car, right between the headliner and the metal roof. This type of sunroof is the most common one you will see installed on cars. Moonroofs are usually priced between $1,300 and $2,800.
- Factory Installed – This is considered a premium feature for some models, although some more expensive cars have it as a standard feature. It usually costs between $1,500 and $2,500, depending on the car you’re buying and the type of sunroof you pick.
- Spoiler Sunroof – The spoiler sunroof is a glass panel that is top-mounted and can tilt and slide along the outside of the vehicle’s roof. Depending on the make and model of the vehicle you have and its size, expect to spend $700 to $1,300, on the spoiler type.
- Pop-up Sunroof – This type of sunroof is usually the cheapest option you have. It is manually operated and removable. It will usually cost between $500 and $1,000.
- Panoramic – Panoramic sunroofs are usually factory-installed. They are opaque or transparent and expand farther than a traditional part. Most panoramic panes cost between $2,000 and $3,500 which makes them a rather costly option, but some car enthusiasts consider them the best as well.
But enough with the ranges and guesses. We did the research for you and looked around the Internet to see the prices other car owners have paid for aftermarket sunroofs. The prices can be found in the table below:
|Car Type||Average (parts + labor)|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||$1,650|
Discussions on different sunroof forums revealed the rates that most professionals charge for different types of sunroofs. According to them, big power moonroofs that were made for full-sized SUVs or trucks can easily reach prices of $1,800, while 32-inch by 20-inch pop-up sunroofs that have a detachable glass panel can cost as low as $900.
The sunroof installation process
Before you can install an aftermarket sunroof, you should know that the headliner will have to be removed. The solid sheet of metal will then have to be cut based on the specifications of the sunroof. If you go for a powered model, you will then have to run power wires from the fuse box to the new sunroof location.
Most sunroofs will be bought as complete kits so after the wires have been setup properly, the full kit will be dropped into the newly cut hole. After this, the wiring will be plugged in and everything will be bolted shut.
It should be obvious that any type of sunroof should only be installed by a professional who is knowledgeable about the roof of the particular vehicle involved. A simple installation of an OEM or aftermarket sunroof will require a lot of practice and experience.
What are the additional costs?
Even when perfectly installed, aftermarket sunroofs are still prone to leaks. As the overall design and the materials the sunroof is made from won’t fit the original specifications of the vehicle, most experts recommend against installing an aftermarket part, even if you’re sure the job will be done in a professional manner.
Even though it isn’t a cost to consider when you’re installing the piece, repairs might pop up in the future and could cost $100 to $250 when it comes to replacing the motor running it or as much as $300 to $500 to replace the sunroof glass.
Aside from this, there are some other expenses you should know about, that will influence the cost of a sunroof installation. When opting for an electric type of sunroof, it will end up costing more than a manual alternative, but in the end, it will probably be more practical for you as a car owner.
You should also consider getting a warranty on both the sunroof itself and its installation, to avoid having to spend any additional money, if either the sunroof or the work involved in installing it were to be poorly made.
As soon as you figure out how much the warranty will cost, also figure out if this modification will have any effect on your car’s insurance.
If you want to make sure that you are still adhering to the car insurance requirements, you might have to modify it and include the sunroof. This addition won’t necessarily come with a higher cost for your policy.
You should take into account any reparations that the sunroof will need in the future, considering that you’re adding a multi-piece system to your car. These repairs shouldn’t come for a few years, because even the cheapest of the sunroofs don’t start to leak for quite some time.
If you’re going for an automatic system, you should be prepared to have to repair it sooner, as these are more easily broken than manual ones. The track that holds the side of the panel will also need to be repaired at some point. Usually, you will spend around $250 or more to have the sunroof repaired and some of the easier repairs can be taken on as DIY projects, but they would still cost you around $100.
More complex issues that will require a mechanic’s help can cost $1,200 or even more, depending on the parts that are malfunctioning and the number of labor hours required.
How Long Should a Sunroof Installation Take?
It shouldn’t take more than two hours for a professional to install a sunroof on your car, but it will, of course, depend on your vehicle’s make and model. For most cars, this process will take even less, sometimes right under an hour.
If you choose to undertake this task yourself, be prepared to spend a little longer figuring out where everything goes, but there are plenty of tutorials on the internet to help you get through this.
Who Can Help You Install a Sunroof?
As with any other car repair or improvement, if you don’t feel confident enough to go through it alone, it’s best to go either to a car dealership, an auto glass store, or even a car shop or independent mechanic that has a history of installing sunroofs. If you don’t know how to find either of those, just look online and read some reviews about the professionals in your area.
Always remember to get at least 3-5 quotes before deciding who you’re going with, but never work with someone based solely on the cost of their services.
How Long Does a Sunroof Last?
Your sunroof should last longer if it is made from silicone or polycarbonate, which are considered quality materials. A higher-quality system will usually last 15-20 years with ease, even if you overuse it.
You will notice that your sunroof breaks considerably faster if you get a cheaper model because it will usually be made from lower-quality materials like plastic or neoprene. Although you will spend a little less when buying a lower-quality sunroof it will also leak sooner and will have considerably more issues than the premium models, which means you will also have to replace it sooner.
Benefits That Come With a Sunroof
One of the most obvious advantages of installing a sunroof on your car, especially if it is properly installed, is an increase in the price of the vehicle. But this isn’t the only advantage offered by this add-on. Another great plus will be the boost in aesthetic appeal, making your car look more luxurious.
The sunroof will also allow fresh air into the car, along with a lot of sunlight. It will also offer a great view of the outside regardless of the weather, creating an almost 360-degree view around the vehicle that all passengers can enjoy.
Is The Sunroof Worth It?
Factory-installed sunroofs are the best
A factory addon sunroof has actually been crafted to accommodate all of the modifications to the design, consisting of the roofing, seals, wires, insulation, controls, etc. However, an aftermarket part, on the other hand, will not be developed to satisfy the requirements of a factory setup. Aside from this, they might not match the vehicle’s general design, have very restricted functions, and might rattle and/or leak quite a bit, even when appropriately set up.
If going for an aftermarket sunroof, be sure the specialist, at least, provides a service warranty for as much as 3 years to protect your financial investment. In this manner, you will know the product and service are of quality.
Talk to your vehicle’s manufacturer before setting up an aftermarket sunroof to see if it can affect your vehicle’s factory warranty.
The sunroof installation cost is between $800 and $3,000. The number of hours that will be put into labor will affect the final price. The costs will also be influenced by the type of sunroof and your vehicle’s make and model. Keep in mind that this won’t be the only expense you will face when installing a sunroof. You should also prepare to spend on any needed repairs and possible insurance surcharges. Going for a cheaper part might also mean that you will have to replace it sooner than you.