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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

GPS have saved millions of drivers from getting lost, getting a headache, or going crazy. Gone are the days when you need to pull over and consult a big, bulky map or swallow your pride and ask the nearest gas station attendant for directions. Many a marital tiff has been avoided. 
If you don’t have a GPS yet, it’s time to get with the times. But there are so many makes and models available, it can be hard to know which to choose. There are lots of different packages and features, so let’s take a look at some of the options you might consider in order to purchase the right GPS for you. 


Portable navigation systems are the most common type of GPS. They’re the TomToms and Garmins, for example, that can attach to your windshield or dashboard and guide you on your way. If you’re purchasing a new car, you can opt for a built-in system. Portable systems are less expensive, and they’re convenient because they can be used in other vehicles or even on foot. Built-in systems are expensive, but they’re nice. You can also purchase GPS apps for your smartphone. Some work just as well, and they’re even more portable, but they do require a subscription and data usage.

Voice Navigation

Your helpful GPS will speak directions to you as your drive, but some do so better than others. Not all GPS offer spoken street names, and not all will tell give you lane assistance by telling you exactly where you need to be if you want to make that next turn or exit. Some GPS even offer directions in a variety of foreign languages or even entertaining accents.

Routing Options

Many GPS will offer you more than one route to your destination. Some give you options such as toll-free routes, avoiding highways, the shortest distance, the shortest time, or even the most fuel efficient route. Some GPS give you the option to request a detour during your route, and you’ll be given new directions, which is helpful in the case of traffic or other blockage, for example.

Traffic Reports

If you have a long commute or frequently travel, you might consider getting a GPS that offers traffic reports. You can often pay extra to get real-time traffic updates that will help you avoid congestion. 

Points of Interest

If you do a lot of travelling in unfamiliar areas, you might like a GPS that offers better points of interest features. You may be able to search for things like nearby hotels, gas stations, or restaurants, or search for ones near your destination. You can choose one as a new destination point, too. 


Some top-of-the-line GPS offer Bluetooth for hands-free cell phone use, which is great if you’re in the car a lot and need to use the phone. Some also have the ability to store and play MP3 files or videos, or store and view photos. If you want to bundle your hands-free device, GPS, and MP3 player all in one neat little package, a GPS with additional multimedia features may be for you.

Author Bio:
Cooper Gentry is a car expert and mechanical engineer who works with Nissan Automotive for a living. He loves to write about cars and how to best equip them with all manner of custom gear.

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