Written by Annika

How do I choose the right car navigation?

Every car navigation system will take you to your destination. But it can be difficult to find what you need, because there are so many types and sizes, with all kinds of different functions. In this article, you can find what you should keep in mind when choosing a car navigation system, so that you know which one is best for you.

Type of vehicle, size, and map coverage

Truck navigation system

Type of vehicle

Navigation systems are suitable for a certain type of vehicle. A system for caravans, campers, or trucks offers an extra function to indicate how big your vehicle is. As a result, the system doesn't guide you along small, winding roads, or tunnels your vehicle doesn't fit through. Often, these systems offer an extra option for passenger cars.

Size car navigation

4.3, 5, 6, or 7 inches

There are 4 sizes of car navigation. On a larger 6 or 7-inch device, you can see details on the screen better, but with a smaller 4.3 or 5-inch device, you can more of your windshield. Do you have a small car? A 4.3 or 5-inch navigation system will fit nicely. Do you drive a big car, camper, or truck? A 6 or 7-inch display is more common.

Map coverage car navigation

Map coverage and map updates

Consider what you'll use the navigation system for beforehand. Different maps are often pre-installed. Usually these are maps of Western Europe, Central Europe, or all of Europe. Are you driving outside of Europe? Make sure you choose a navigation system with global map coverage, or a system that lets you expand the map. Pay attention to map updates, as the road network is always changing. Sometimes these updates are free, sometimes you can subscribe.

Extra functions

Voice control navigation

Voice control and hands-free calls

You operate some navigation systems via voice control. While driving, you can say what you're looking for and the navigation system responds will respond. That way, you can easily make changes and keep both hands on the wheel. Hands-free calls don't require you to use your hands either. Your mobile phone connects to the navigation system via Bluetooth, so your calls are made via the device's loudspeaker.

Upload routes navigation

Points of interest and uploading routes

Some systems show points of interest, like gas stations, restaurants, or parking spots. Sometimes, you can even see the TripAdvisor reviews. There's also a function that lets you upload a route beforehand. You can enter points via your PC and set the route on your device. This way, you can know the route you are going to drive in advance.

Dash cam navigation

Integrated dash cam

A built-in dash cam is a fairly unique feature, and can only be found on more luxurious navigation systems. A dash cam captures what happens during the car ride. Are you involved in a traffic accident? The dash cam will record it, so you can see what happened afterwards.

Receiving traffic updates

Many navigation systems provide traffic updates, so you won't run into unexpected traffic jams. There are 4 different ways to receive traffic updates; via digital radio (DAB + TMC), via radio (RDS-TMC), via an integrated SIM card (GPRS), or via your smartphone (GPRS). You can find all the pros and cons of the different receivers in the next article.

Annika
Article by:
Annika
GPS Expert.

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