How To Choose A GPS Navigation System

by Guest Author on April 23, 2011

Here is a back-to-basics article for those just jumping into the GPS market.

A maze solvedA Global Positioning System (GPS) is really a godsend if you travel a lot or simply have trouble remembering your way around locally. A GPS can do many things: it can find you a route, show you a map, help you find points of interest and gas stations and read you directions. Newer models of GPS navigators have even more to offer with 3D street maps, traffic alerts and the ability to use hands free. There are three ways to get a GPS navigator in your car: you can purchase a car with a GPS navigator built-in, you can purchase a GPS navigator and install it in your car, or you can purchase a portable device that can be mounted on a dashboard or windshield. You can also get a GPS navigator via your phone in two ways: via a subscription based service or by buying a GPS application.

When choosing a GPS navigator, there are several factors to take into consideration. First off all, do you even need a GPS navigator? If you drive the same routes day after day along your commute or while running errands, you may not need a GPS navigator. However, if you drive to places you have never been to before a lot, if you travel a lot or if you encounter traffic far too often, then a GPS navigator can be helpful.

Garmin nuvi GPSTake a look at some consumer reports or do a search online to see how others have rated the GPS system you are considering. You should be looking for answers to questions such as, is it easy to enter destinations into your device? Is the interface user-friendly? Are you able to understand the directions the system provides? Does the navigator break and need to be fixed or replaced frequently? Is the navigator accurate?

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If you are looking to buy a new car, check out what models of cars have a built-in GPS navigator. The problem with a built-in GPS navigator is that they tend to be more expensive than portable ones, and that they may be very complicated to use which is not helpful when you’re driving. A built-in GPS navigation system is nice though if you have the money to spare, if you are planning to use this car for all of your driving and if you really don’t want to have to mount a GPS or go through the effort of having one installed.

A portable GPS navigator is ideal for someone who constantly switches cars whether because of travel or because they own more than one car. Portable GPS devices are cheaper than ones installed in cars and they now come with high-end features that previously were only available for built-in models. The most portable type of GPS navigator is one that you can access via your phone. The downside is that most phone screens are very small and because of this you may have trouble reading the GPS while driving.

Ryan Embly writes for Car Rental Express. They are a provider of some of the cheapest car rentals in cities such as Toronto, Miami, and Los Angeles.

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