In order to work out which GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) navigation system (also known as sat nav) is suitable for you, you first have to be clear on what you want to get out of the device. Will you be utilizing your GPS auto navigation system just in your car or will you be wanting to use it to go cycling, hiking or boating? Another question is, whether you already own a laptop or palm computer or not.
There are dedicated GPS auto navigation systems for every situation and some are flexible enough to cover a couple of uses. The best systems are those that are devoted to doing just one job. In this category, you have the stand-alone vehicular GPS navigation systems. These are either cut into the dashboard or mounted on it or sometimes even onto the windscreen.
One good tip, if you are purchasing a new car on finance is to have the sat nav installed by a third party or to pay the garage cash for the sat nav and its installation. If you have the price of the GPS auto navigation system put on the finance contract, you will end up paying a great deal more for it.
On the other hand, you could install the device yourself. I do not mean that you should cut holes in your instrument panel yourself, but you can buy mounting packages that use powerful transparent rubber suckers. They will hold the screen securely, as long as you check them from time to time to make sure that the suckers are still holding.
You can get just as good a service from a GPS navigation system running on your laptop and the screen will almost certainly be larger that the average sat nav screen too. Your laptop will run off batteries or an in-car adapter and the software will run within the laptop.
This is an outstanding alternative if you already own a laptop or were thinking of buying one. The laptop will perform its normal tasks as a computer and double as a navigation aid with the added bonus that you do not have to leave it in the car as another reason for a thief to break in.
The cheapest option in the portable sat nav market is the portable or hand-held unit. However, the screens can be rather small and the directions may be given either in pictures or by voice, not all hand-held sat nav systems offer both alternatives at the same time.
If you want a GPS auto navigation system but you are finding them a little pricey, you could always wait a while, because prices are falling all the time. You could also check out online stores such as Amazon and eBay.
Keep in mind, that the worst thing you can do if you are thinking about costs, is to put the price of the sat nav on the car finance agreement. If you really want a stand-alone GPS auto navigation system installed by an expert, take your car to a garage after you have bought it. Otherwise, run the software on your laptop and place that on the seat next to you.