A Buyers’ Guide for a Car GPS

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This is an imaginary picture. - Tokyo Institute of Technology

LONDON – TECH – If you want to buy a car GPS, there are lots of things that you need to think about. Firstly, you will have to choose between a built-in and a portable unit, both of which have their own pros and cons. With a built-in car GPS, however, it will have come with your car, which means that you won’t have had a lot of input in it. But if you choose a portable one to add to your vehicle at a later date, you will have lots of options to choose from with significant variations in prices and features. So what are some of the things you may consider?

The Price of the Car GPS

For most people, money definitely is an object. Hence, you should start by setting yourself a budget. The lower your budget is, the smaller your screen and resolution will be and the fewer extra features it will have. If you have a small budget but you want a large screen, you will probably have to buy a secondhand model. While there is nothing wrong with that, you do have to make sure that the maps are still up to date.

If you want to purchase a built-in car GPS and fit it to your vehicle retrospectively, you will also find that it is very expensive. So much so, in fact, that most people would prefer to purchase a standalone model as this means it can be taken out of the car and used elsewhere. However, it also means that it is constantly visible and that presents a theft risk.

Integrated Units

If you can find an OEM infotainment system, it is likely to have GPS integrated with it as standard. However, you can also purchase an in-car GPS system on its own. They are expensive but they also look amazing. Plus, it means you don’t have to attach it to your windshield or dash and you don’t have to worry about the wires trailing across your dashboard to your cigarette lighter. If you have quite a lot of money to spend, you can even choose a unit that is more like a carputer, which means it further integrates with your car.

Standalone Units

If you purchase a standalone unit, which is what most people do, you can also use it in places other than your car. Typically, these units cost a whole lot less even though they aren’t necessarily cheap. Sure, you can get a unit for less than $100, but it won’t have any exciting or useful features. Indeed, if you want something truly good, you can expect to pay at least $300. That is still a great deal cheaper than a built-in unit, however. Added to that is the fact that standalone units are portable. This means you can use the same car GPS across all your vehicles. In fact, if it has a battery power source, you can even use it on your bicycle or while hiking.

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