Choosing a GPS for your car awards you with countless options, yet only a handful of factors are critical to making an informed decision. We shall cover the benefits of GPS tracking, features to be on the lookout for and the technical specifications that you need know to ensure the best value for money. From the benefits of vehicle tracking to price, portability and additional features, we will answer all of your questions.
What is Your Budget?
Your screen size, resolution, receiver sensitivity and feature set determine the price of your GPS. It is best first to establish an affordable budget from which to work in, and then begin shopping within the range that you have set. Arguably, your primary concern should be to purchase a GPS which gives crystal clear directions while also using a map database which updates frequently. The text-to-speech used should always be easy to understand otherwise your GPS will be nothing but frustrating.
Would You Like a Big Display?
The screen size and resolution of your GPS has a huge effect on the cost of the unit. Touch capabilities are near-standard with most devices, but extremely portable models may have buttons. Always ensure that the instrument is intuitively designed and easy to use. In-dash navigation devices come with the benefit of having large displays. At times it may be better to opt for a fully fledged infotainment system if the size of the screen and range of features are important to you. The larger, vehicle-dedicated GPS trackers will typically also have clearer audio. This should always be factored into your decision.
How Important is Portability?
Portable GPS trackers are remarkably flexible and can be used for far more than just vehicle tracking. If you spend a great deal of time outdoors, a portable GPS becomes invaluable. However, if you want an in-vehicle GPS only, then you should be shopping for a far different range of factors. A large display, vehicle tracking features and a backup power supply in the case of your car battery dying are all handy but cut down portability. Extremely small GPS trackers are ideal for making sure that the kids get home safe or for emergency tracking during journeys in a foreign area. Always consider how you may use your GPS in situations other than basic navigation, you may find far more handy uses hiding.
Do You Want Real-Time Traffic Reporting?
The best GPS devices will give you access to real-time traffic reporting, although this, of course, increases the cost. Real-time reporting typically requires a subscription to a real-time tracking tool, but the information supplied cuts town traveling time significantly. You will be redirected to around busy intersections or accident locations, allowing you to circumvent anything that would slow down your journey. Traffic jams become a thing of the past however it is usually only medium to large businesses that opt for this advanced technology within their fleet management.
Are Recording & Other Advanced Features Supplied?
If you are shopping for an in-dash navigation system, then be on the lookout for a device which features a camera, microphone and recording capabilities. Some portable GPS trackers will also come with optional mountings that make it easier to use the built-in camera. The presence of a video recorder is excellent in the case of an accident and can also be used to assess the driving ability of a learner family member.
Do You Travel Abroad Frequently?
If you are a frequent traveler then make sure that your GPS is highly portable. Once you find a good GPS for international travel, you will find that you save considerably on renting a GPS with each rental car. Having one at your disposal also ensures that you can never be lost in a foreign area, no matter where you are or what you are doing. Exploration on foot is far safer when you have a GPS at your constant disposal. Many travelers opt for Garmin devices due to the open source nature of its maps. This allows travelers to share areas that they have mapped out precisely, which is ideal for the lesser known tourist Mecca.
Which Map Database Does the GPS Use?
When shopping for a GPS, great deals can often be found on end-of-line hardware and second-hand units. If you're trying to squeeze the most out of your budget, make sure that regardless of which item you choose, it is capable of receiving map updates. The more frequent the updates, the better. Some map updates come at a cost. Make sure that you understand which maps your prospective device uses and take into consideration the ease of updating. If a company no longer supplies updates, then the GPS tracker isn't worth the investment.
Do You Need Vehicle Reporting Features?
Many GPS devices come with built-in automotive diagnostic reporting. A dedicated GPS for your car will often display information such as fuel efficiency, vehicle speed and routing information. If your vehicle is lacking these features then keep your eyes open for a GPS with them built-in. This will solve two or more problems at once. Always ensure that you can at the very least create custom maps of the areas you visit. Most devices have this standard, although off-road enthusiasts may require a more robust mapping solution than is provided with cheaper GPS trackers.
Is Vehicle Tracking Needed?
Vehicle tracking via GPS is not just handy to commercial enterprises and their fleet management. Embedded vehicle tracking via systems such as supplied by LoJack bring an element of safety with them. After all, LoJack reports a recovery rate of over 90% of all stolen vehicles. Take the time to consider whether or not vehicle tracking will help you. All good insurers will reduce your premiums if you show that you have taken steps to increase the safety of your vehicle. GPS vehicle tracking is among the best ways to up security on a tight budget while lowering premiums in the process.
What are the Best Brands?
Garmin in the top choice for those that travel abroad but only if you are going to be using the map sharing component. Otherwise, TomTom, MobileIQ, Spark Nano and LandAirSea all provide equally good options. Each excels in its right, for example, MobileIQ gives you a handy warning if your vehicle leaves a one-mile radius. Take the time to explore all of the major brands to find a feature set which is best suited to you.