Nearly every driver out there has a car GPS these days. They are very helpful in navigating one’s way to a new place or even for finding the best route across town. Consumers might ask why they shouldn’t just use their smart phones to look up directions. Well, phones just aren’t as handy, they aren’t mounted to display continual footage of the trip, and they can be dropped or forgotten somewhere. A GPS is set up to be in the vehicle 24/7, so it will always be there for any trip. When you go to buy your car’s GPS, here are several tips to keep in mind.


First, consider the screen size. The screen comes in sizes as small as just over four inches and up to seven inches. One at five inches might work just fine, but, if you have a hard time reading small print, the seven inch screen could be best. While the GPS will show you the view of where you’re going, you want to also be able to read any addresses displayed on the screen.



Image Source: sridgway, (CC BY 2.0), via flickr


Another important consideration is map updates. While the car GPS will come with maps, what about when roads and highways change? When mapping out a trip, it’s really important to know if roadways are still there or not. For whatever GPS you are considering, find out if map updates are free. While many GPS systems come with free map updates, there are some that do not, so make sure you know before you buy.


Just about any car GPS system comes with updated traffic reporting. Being able to avoid big city traffic is great. And even better? Avoiding traffic jams. Who wants to be caught in Indianapolis during rush hour? Or in Chicago when traffic is stalled after a wreck? With the right GPS, you will be able to avoid traffic pile-ups. That helpful GPS will also give you an alternate route to bypass any traffic problems.



Image Source: alex.lines, (CC BY-SA 2.0), via flickr


If you’re interested in hands-free calling, your car’s GPS can accommodate. Make sure what you purchase has Bluetooth technology. Also make sure your own cell phone has Bluetooth that can be turned on in order to hook it up wirelessly to your GPS. Once this is take care of, you will be able to make hands-free calls from your GPS. This will keep you safer than would searching for your phone, as well as within the law in states that allow only hands-free calls to be made in automobiles. You may have to utilize the GPS touch screen to activate a call, but many of the upper level GPS models have voice-activated calling. This is definitely a worthwhile feature to look at when thinking about your purchase.


Finally, before you make a decision on which car GPS system to purchase, shop around online. Not only will this help you find the best price, it will also help you in making up your mind as to what GPS will work best for you. Many sites offer side by side reviews of various models.  See for yourself what features are offered or what might cost extra. Find the car GPS you want—with the features you need—for the best price.



Author Bio:  Zhuang Ping  is a freelance writer. Besides reviewing electronics, she writes on flowers, home improvement, education and books, fashion and accessories, and more. 


  1. It is some what wrong in few points. Nokia mobile phones now a days have best gps maps in them. They are more handy than usual gps receives. They not only use satellites but also use mobile signals for directions and locations which normal GPS receiver can not use. The GPS in mobile phones is updated every now and then using either wifi or data packages where as it is still complicated to update normal gps receivers. I think it was ethical responsibility of the writer to read and use both types of gps before writing this colum regards.