Car GPS Units The advent of GPS systems have certainly been a blessing to drivers everywhere, as we no longer have to depend on road signs and paper maps. GPS units used to be a luxury that cost a bomb, but they are now much more affordable. While you can now also navigate using smartphone apps, car GPS units are still a good investment due to a number of reasons.
What are the types of car GPS units?
Generally, you can find two main types of car GPS units in the market. These are:
- In-dash car GPS units - Many luxury and mid-range cars are now bundled with in-dash GPS units when purchased. These units are installed into the dashboard of the car, and range from a basic navigation unit to those with extensive features. You can also buy in-dash units externally to install into your dash.
- Mountable GPS units - These units are standalone devices you can purchase for your car. You can affix these units to the dashboard or your windscreen using a holder. Mountable units are a great investment if your car doesn't already have an in-dash GPS unit.
Why should I buy a car GPS unit if I have smartphone navigation apps?
While smartphone navigation apps can get you from point A to B, they tend to consume a lot of battery on your phone, and may leave you stranded if your phone battery goes flat and you don't have a car charger handy. You also need an activated data plan when using these apps, which means you will also receive notifications and messages from other apps. A dedicated GPS unit does not need to be connected to the Internet constantly, and has a longer lasting battery. It also does not have the distraction of other apps.
How do you choose a car GPS unit?
Buying a car GPS unit can be fast and easy by taking the following steps:
1.Decide on whether you want to buy a mountable or an in-dash unit. To purchase an in-dash unit, measure the size of the space in your dashboard so that you can buy the right size later.
2. Determine the types of features you would like your unit to have. Some features to research include portability, display quality, USB input, data memory, options to exclude highways and tolls or select the fastest or shortest route, advanced lane guidance, incorporated dashcam, and pedestrian mode. These are only some of the popular features, you may come across more.
3. Browse through different models and brands. Some well-known brands for car GPS units include Garmin, TomTom, and Magellan. All of these brands have different models with a variety of features, so you will likely find something that fits your needs.
4. Purchase and install/use. Once you make your decision, all you have to do is buy the unit of your choice and proceed to install it into your car. Do remember that you may need to buy additional mount to hold your mountable car GPS if you don't have one already.