How to buy a GPS

The competition from smartphones is driving GPS prices down, so now is a good time to buy one for your car. But before you choose which one to buy you should ask yourself a few questions…


How often will you need it?

If you need directions only occasionally you may not need a state-of-the-art GPS device. But if you are on the road to unknown destinations daily, a GPS will make your life much easier and less stressful…and a top of the range unit may be worth every cent.


How will you attach it?

GPS devices are meant for mounting in your car but not all devices may suit your car equally well. Most GPS units kits include a mounting bracket with a suction cup designed to stick to your windshield or a flat surface on your dash. But if your dashboard isn’t flat – or it has a pebbly surface – the suction cup may not stick. Some GPS kits include a disc that is designed to adhere to your dash, allowing the suction cup to stick.

Some GPS devices have mounts that are designed to fit into the air-vent grille in your dashboard. But the mount and the unit will block some of the airflow from the vent which may not be what you want on a hot summer day. Bottom-line: check how the unit you’re about to buy fits in your car.


Will you have to pay for map updates?

Roads are constantly changing so you’ll soon appreciate having the latest maps available. Some GPS units come with free map updates, some require you to pay for the updates. Depending on how critical the latest maps are to you it could be money well spent investing in a GPS that comes with free map updates. At the very least, make sure that the maps loaded when you buy the unit are up-to-date. Some cut price units may be delivered with outdated maps.


How user-friendly is it?

GPS units come with different screen sizes, different software, different controls and some come with reflective coating behind the screen so that you can read the map in sunlight. Choose a model that YOU find easy to use, with a display that YOU find easy to read.

With these four key questions in mind you’re ready to find a GPS unit that suits you. They come in a variety of sizes with a variety of features at a variety of prices. Shop online here or see your local Betta Electrical for further advice.

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