If you’re in the market for an ignition interlock device, it may be that you just want to take extra precautions. Of course, a judge may have ordered you to do so too. In either case, one thing you must consider is how much this machine is going to cost you. While there is no one answer we can definitely take a look at a few variables to give you a pretty good idea.
Leasing Compared to Buying
The first thing we need to look at is the difference between leasing and buying an ignition interlock device. Those of you who have been ordered to install one by a judge will most likely be leasing your device. You’ll get them from the state and return them when you are finished.
Fortunately, leasing them will be relatively affordable for most people. The state generally has little interest in trying to turn a profit on them. They want to make sure there are as few reasons as possible people wouldn’t be able to afford these devices. Also, leasing means that they get these devices back after the period of time has been served.
Depending on the state you live in, expect to pay about $65 a month on leasing your ignition interlock device. However, it’s not uncommon to hear about people spending as much as $100 every month. If you want to lease one voluntarily, the price will actually be less, maybe about $50.
To simply buy your own device, if you plan on using it for personal reasons, budget several hundred dollars at least. Most companies only lease them though.
You also have to think about how much it will cost you to install one of these devices. Most people simply won’t have the skill set to do this on their own, as it means running wires from the ignition to the engine.
If you’ve been court-ordered to install a device, then this isn’t even an option, whether you know what you’re doing or not. Only a certified mechanic can handle the installation, so the cost will vary quite a bit. Again, it will depend a lot on where you live. The make and model of your vehicle will play a big role too.
While some companies advertise that they can help you with free installation, you should be prepared to spend between $50 and $200.
Finally, like any feature in your car, there will be maintenance costs to consider. Those using an ignition interlock device for punitive reasons will have to upload information from the machine regularly or have it reviewed by a certified mechanic. Doing either of these things will come with some costs, but it’s tough to say what that will be without knowing your specifics.
For the most part, budgeting another $20 a month should cover maintenance costs. If you try to tamper with the device though, it could be a lot more (including jail time).
Overall, ignition interlock devices are actually fairly affordable. They’re definitely much cheaper than the costs of getting a DUI.