Modern Navigation: Tips for Using a GPS System in Your Vehicle

A lot of drivers seem to have got into the habit of using an app on their smartphone as their vehicle navigation system but are there better reasons why you might want to get familiar with your car’s own navigation system instead?

Here is a look at the pros and cons of in-car navigation systems compared to the GPS on your smartphone. There is an overview of key features and details of what to do if you decide to use a handheld unit instead.

Cost is an issue

There is no question that cost has been a big issue for many motorists and when you were ordering your new RAM truck 1500, for example, you might have thought in the past that it was too expensive to add as an option, but that isn’t the case anymore for many models.

In-built navigation systems have become much more affordable these days. The price still doesn’t compare to using a portable navigation system or Google maps on your smartphone, but if you are lost in a no-service area for your phone, it maybe doesn’t seem that bad at that point.

Consider the convenience

There are plenty of hands-free options to multi-task in your vehicle now, as you switch between music tracks and make a phone call while driving, but if you want a system that is convenient and safe you might want to consider the in-car system as a viable option.

If you are using your inbuilt navigation system to guide you, this leaves your smartphone free to serve you on the music and phone call side of things.

There are aesthetic considerations for some drivers too. It can look a bit ugly when you mount your smartphone on the dashboard with wires trailing from it to keep it on charge. You don’t have that scenario with an in-car system that is integral to the interior, making it look more neat and tidy than its portable counterpart.

Handheld GPS

There are many different factors to consider and if you buy a model that doesn’t come with an in-car navigation system as standard or you still think it costs too much, you always have the option to set up your smartphone and use the GPS on it, or get yourself a separate handheld navigation unit.

The unit will come with a windshield mounting bracket and suction cup. Get yourself familiar with how it works and learn how to mount and dismount the GPS from the bracket so that you are not distracted and won’t waste time when you want to put it away.

There will be a few tasks to complete when you first get the unit, including setting your local time zone and maybe inputting using the option to enter your home address as a default location, which is a nice time-saving feature to use.

Get familiar with the menu system too and the layout. You don’t want to have any safety issues while you are driving and trying to input a location, especially if you aren’t comfortable with how to do that.

You should also consider removing the unit from the windshield when you leave the vehicle, as it might attract opportunist thieves, although that scenario alone might tempt you to at least consider an in-car system instead.


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