Buy the Right GPS System for Your Vehicle

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Buy the Right GPS System for Your Vehicle

Global positioning systems, or GPS, are navigation devices that use satellites to find a user's exact position on earth. They can provide locations, times, weather conditions, traffic conditions, miles per hour, and navigational directions. GPS units are used around the world by drivers to find their destinations. There are no fees involved with using the satellite systems.

The small electronic devices show vehicle drivers a map of their area, indicate when the next turn is, and can give verbal commands as well. GPS units have become widely popular around the world because they make navigating city streets so much easier. Before they were released to the public, drivers had to use paper maps or online websites to figure out where they were going. Both methods were time consuming and usually trips had to be pre-planned.

The number of brands and models of GPS units on the market can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of options in all price ranges. The best way to decide one which one to get is to learn about the type of GPS units as well as the features to choose from.

Types of GPS Systems for Vehicles

To start with, shoppers need to select the kind of GPS that they want to keep in their car. Buyers have the option of getting in-dash, portable, pocket, and mobile phone GPS systems for their car.

In-Dash GPS Systems for Vehicles

In-dash GPS systems, also called fixed GPS systems, are installed into the dashboard of the vehicle by a professional. With these, there are no wires in the way, they have more features such as voice recognition commands, and the screens are usually large. However, they are the most expensive to purchase and cannot be removed. An additional installation fee should also be expected.

Mobile Phone GPS Systems for Vehicles

Most smart phones come with GPS applications already installed on them. Rather than buying a new GPS system, a mounting device can be purchased that keeps the phone perched on the dashboard where it is visible. The downside is that if a car charger is not purchased, the GPS application can drain the phone's battery quickly. People also tend to find it tedious having to put it in the stand and take it back out all the time. The upside is that an additional GPS system does not have to be purchased since it is already owned.

Pocket GPS Systems for Vehicles

Pocket GPS systems are not mounted in the vehicle and can be carried anywhere. Since they are not mounted, they are the least convenient because drivers have to keep looking away from the road to glance at the device that is laying down or in their hand. GPS units that are mounted near the driver's view of the road are the safest.

Portable GPS Systems for Vehicles

The portable GPS systems are the most popular because they are affordable, can be moved between vehicles, and can mount in a number of ways. Typically, they come with a suction cup mount for the windshield. However, shoppers can purchase other kinds of holders if they want it to mount on the dashboard.

Type of GPS System Mount


Air Vent Mount

This mount clips onto any of the air vents located on the dashboard

Cup Holder Mount

The base of the mount fits into a cup holder. These can be slightly dangerous since the driver has to keep looking down to see the GPS

Lighter Mount

The lighter mount takes care of charging and mounting at the same time. It also minimises the length of wire hanging all over the vehicle

Weighted Dash Mount

The weighted mounts are heavy and they hold the GPS onto the dashboard without adhesive and with no sliding around

Before selecting a mounting system, be sure to look at the layout of the vehicle. The interiors are always different and what may work in one automobile, may not be convenient in another.

Features of GPS Systems

The GPS systems today can come equipped with a variety of features, making it difficult to decide which ones to get. A lot of features end up just being an added perk that never really gets used. It is most important to focus on the things that drivers use the most.

Text to Speech (TTS)

TTS is a feature that promotes safety while driving. It verbalises instructions and tells people how far ahead their turn is, when to turn, and it even says the street name. While the pronunciation of the streets may not be accurate, this features still helps drivers keep their eyes on the road instead of on the GPS. Most of the systems that have text to speech also have the option to change the gender, language, and even the accent of the speaker.

Built-In GPS Maps

The most basic point of getting a GPS is for the maps and satellite guidance. Make sure that the system comes preloaded with maps and that it has the ability to update. Cities and roads are constantly changing, the only way for a GPS unit to give accurate instructions is if it is updated often. GPS systems can update automatically through the satellite, with a CR, or by hooking up to a computer.

Point of Interest (POI) Database

The point of interest database comes in handy because it has the ability to pull up the names and locations of all the restaurants, banks, hotels, petrol stations, airports, hospitals, recreational facilities, and more. The feature is especially useful when travelling to long distances to places that are unfamiliar.

Size and Design

GPS units come with various screen sizes and different layouts. The larger the screen size, the less it wears the eyes out because it is easier to see. The way the map graphics are shown varies based on brands and can be selected by personal preference. Some people prefer the maps with a little more colour because it is easy to glance at them quickly and see the streets and direction to go.


Bluetooth is a feature that is only available on in-dash GPS systems. This is because it utilises the speakers in the vehicle to allow people to make phone calls through the GPS. The phone number can be typed into the GPS and then people just talk normally as though they were holding the phone to their ear. Keep in mind that not all mobile phones are compatible with this feature, even if the the phone is bluetooth enabled. Read the product description carefully for a list of mobile phones that the system operates with.

Find the Right GPS System on eBay

Because there are so many brands, models, and features to choose from, shopping online where you can compare each product side-by-side is much easier and more convenient than going from shop to shop. Another benefit of shopping online is the ability to look for the best prices. Since eBay is a central hub where sellers from all over list their products, buyers can easily compare multiple items together in one place.

Start out by going to the eBay website and entering the name of the product you want into the search bar. For example, type "GPS", and then click the search button. Before browsing, try narrowing down the listings because there are thousands. First enter in your price range, then choose your favourite brands, then organise the listings by price. There are still be a lot of products to sort through, so if you want to save even more time, you can be more specific in your product search. Entering something like "in dash GPS" or "bluetooth GPS" produces fewer results to search through than general searches. Once you begin looking through each GPS, you can add the ones you like to your watch list. By doing this, they'll all appear in your My eBay page which you can easily access later without trying to find them all over again. It also allows you to easily compare each one side by side. Be sure to include shipping costs and any extra guarantee costs into the overall price of the GPS.


GPS units not only make navigating easy and convenient, they also contribute to driver safety. In days past, people had to hold a paper map in their hands, or spread it across a vacant passenger seat and try to figure out where they were going manually. Now, GPS systems can speak directions to drivers so that they can look at the map less often. They can also quickly take people to places they need such as petrol stations and hospitals that they otherwise would not be able to find. Selecting one out of the many available may seem frustrating, but once shoppers know what type of units to look for and which mounting systems and features are available, picking one out is not so difficult. To make the process even more simple, start out by looking at the most popular models within a given price range, because they are most likely popular for a reason.

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