In this day and age of personal assistants, personal shoppers, personal chefs, and all too personal personals it only makes sense that now we have what is jokingly (in many cases) referred to as a personal navigator. Many newer cars, particularly luxury models, are beginning to offer auto navigation systems to drivers as incentives to purchase or as part of luxury packages and upgrades. The idea of that little extra security and luxury is quite appealing to many drivers, especially those of us who could get lost in the mall parking lot if exits weren’t clearly marked.
The truth of the matter is that even if you elect not to pay the premium upgrade costs that car makers are adding to the price tag for the luxury of those devices it is quite possible to have the protection and peace of mind that auto navigation systems afford drivers on even the most meager of driving budgets. Facts are facts and getting lost costs time and money while stopping to ask for directions is a risk in and of itself. If you spend a lot of time on the road you really can’t afford not to have some sort of navigational device to assist you in getting safely and securely to your next destination.
If the fact that you can purchase these devices rather inexpensively isn’t enticing enough for you, I should add that most are quite simple to install yourself. Many of them require nothing more than the ability to stick a suction cup to your windshield and plug an adapter into a cigarette lighter. I did mention that installation was simple didn’t I? For those who would rather have a more elegant look in their automobiles you are perfectly free to pay a lot more for an in dash system and installation by professionals. You can occasionally get a good deal on installation if you purchase an auto navigation system from certain retailers.
You should keep in mind however, that in dash systems tend to cost a great deal more than those you install yourself and you can’t take them with you when you sell or trade the car. For these kinds of systems you need to consider the value to you verses the value improvement to your vehicle. Will the in dash system raise the value of your car when you are ready to trade in your car or will it make no real difference in the value of you car? If the answer to that is no, then it may be a poor decision from a financial point of view. However, if having a system that isn’t part of the dash will lower your perceived value of your automobile then it is a worthy investment. Ultimately, you are the only one that can determine whether this is worth the price and the investment.
If you decide not to go with an in dash auto navigation system you might be delighted to know that there are a world of options available to you. Not only do you have the stand-alone navigation systems that are already loaded with all the data and information necessary to operate but you may also choose software and hardware that can be added to your PDA or laptop as well as handheld navigational units that can be upgraded to operate as mapping units in addition to basic GPS units.
When all is said and done you must decide which type of auto navigation system you want for your car and your lifestyle. Decide what your actual navigation assistance needs are and choose the device and assistance that is best for your family. If you’ve ever been hopelessly and utterly lost I believe you will agree that there really is no price too great to pay in order to never experience that feeling again. I know I am perfectly willing to pay top price for my personal navigation assistant, though I will continue to search for the best possible bargain for my navigational dollar.
More and more automobile manufacturers are electing to offer auto navigation systems as options and upgrades to their customers. Gone are the days when these convenient systems were only offered to those buying ultra luxury automobiles. Today you can find these systems as standard upgrades on many vehicles that are in the middle of the price range. Even vehicles such as the Ford Explorer are offering these systems to consumers as part of an upgrade package that is fairly standard.
If you happen to be wondering why we are seeing these options more and more often on fairly standard automobiles within reasonable price ranges it is because the technology, which was once cutting edge is now more commonly made and as a result falling victim to the old adage of supply and demand. More companies are making auto navigation systems, which means they are pricing them more competitively, this is a win-win situation for consumers who travel often but found the luxury car price tag that once went along with the auto navigation systems to be more than a little restrictive.
Consumers are also electing to have auto navigation systems installed in their automobiles at the retail level. Some stores offer these systems and discounts on their installation to savvy consumers. It’s quite possible to get a much better deal doing it this way for many and you manage not to pay the hefty interest costs that are associated with financing automobiles. Having your own system installed allows you a much greater degree of choice when it comes to not only the price but also the bells and whistles that come along with your navigation system.
While it is fairly safe to say that not every driver will need the top of the line system, it is a good idea to get a fairly decent quality system that can at least provide you up to date information about the route upon which you are traveling. Most of us spend many of our days hurrying off from one point to another and are well aware that every minute counts. A good quality auto navigation system is one that will save you precious minutes during traffic delays, detours, and when faced with unexpected road construction. You may also be delighted to find that your navigation system can on occasion show you a much quicker route to your destination than you may have anticipated.
While manufacturers are offering auto navigation systems to automobile consumers as an upgrade and for an added cost, check the pros and cons before deciding to go that route with installation. In this day and age of comparative shopping, ad match programs, and high competition it is very possible to find a much better deal outside the confines of your automobile dealership. You can find many that offer deeply discounted or free installation of their products, which will look as good as if it were factory installed if that is a concern (and for many it is a major concern). You should learn all you can about the particular model of auto navigation system a particular car maker uses and all of the features that come along with it in addition to any monthly fees that may be associated with the service.
Auto navigation systems that offer no subscription fees may have fewer bells and whistles but may be completely adequate for your personal needs. Only you can decide which will be best suited to your needs. Some find the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have up to the minute and accurate (according to some manufacturers) information about road conditions, closures, detours, and routes is worth the monthly fee that is associated with owning the device and receiving the service. Ultimately you alone must decide whether or not one of these systems would be a wise investment and how much system you want for your money. I personally find that the very peace of mind they provide when traveling is well worth the price.
Today’s auto navigation systems aren’t just for the car, truck, or SUV. More and more manufacturers are discovering that offering drivers the option of taking their navigation systems off road is an incredible boon to sales. With this realization they are delivering on many levels previously unheard of. There are even GPS and navigation systems that are designed in order to assist in finding a great catch. Perfect for the fisherman in your life.
Seriously if you’re looking for creative ways in which to justify the expenditure of an auto navigation system, perhaps the following activities and ideas can help:
1) Biking. Biking isn’t limited to sidewalks and roadsides any more. People are becoming much more adventurous and demanding of their bicycle travel today and taking the tour off road. This means that there isn’t always a clearly defined path to guide you to your destination or even to find your way back to civilization. A good GPS or auto navigation system can help you find your way back home no matter how far you’ve strayed.
2) Geo Cashing. This is a relatively new pass time activity that seems to be taking on a life of its own. For those who enjoy this activity I am sure you are well aware that it occasionally takes you well away from the ordinary beaten path. Not all of us are as observant as we should be while looking for something and discover all too late that we have no real clue as to how to get back to the point we began. You will use your GPS system for the purpose of geo caching, but if you purchase a minor upgrade you can also use it to guide you back to your point of origin should you find yourself lost in the woods.
3) Hunting. There is no rule anywhere that even remotely indicates a necessity for navigational skills in order to make an excellent hunter. In fact, I’ve known more than a few hunters who have a difficult time finding their way home some days. For these fellows and femmes, there is hope and a way to save face. Navigational assistance is a great way to discover where you are, where you’ve been, and get your where you want to go.
4) Boating. If you’ve ever been in the open sea I’m sure you’ll understand what I am saying when I say it is very easy to become disoriented as to where you are headed. Now, those who are seasoned at navigation will tell you it’s a piece of cake. I’m here to tell you that they must have learned it at their daddy’s knee because I certainly tried to learn as an adult and it still seems completely Greek to me (of course, perhaps it is, I’ve heard that the Greeks are phenomenal sailors). Regardless, GPS and auto navigation systems can make your journey by sea a much safer experience while helping insure that you reach your destination, preferably without incident with any sandbars in the region.
By car, land, bike, and sea auto navigation systems have a great deal to offer the savvy consumer. Take the time to study the many options for GPS equipment and find the one that will suit the inner explorer in you. You will find it is well worth the investment if you use it often and use it well.