White Car plus Tom Tom and text saying Travel Tip Tuesday #12_ Skip the GPS when renting a car

Travel Tip Tuesday #12: Skip the GPS when renting a car

This April we are focusing Travel Tip Tuesday’s on Rental Cars. Last week we talked about how to deal with fuel when renting a car. This week we are talking another little extra you definitely don’t need when renting a car: a GPS.

Did you know you can read all of the preceding Travel Tip Tuesday’s here.

Travel Tip Tuesday: Save the Dough, forego the GPS

A long time ago in a distant galaxy the portable GPS was invented. You probably had one. Maybe it was a TomTom (I still have mine, although it’s collecting dust in my drawer), or maybe a Garmin.

They revolutionized the driving experience. No more did we have to rely on MapQuest and print out our directions. Instead we could simply give ourselves to the robotic voice directing us exactly where to turn.

However, then Apple and Google turned that industry on it’s head by simply building it directly into the smartphone. And just like that made a whole class of products largely irrelevant.

Rental Car companies had went all-in on the portable navigation craze offering a value add service (fee-based in most cases) for their drivers. Now many of them have a stockpile of them…also gathering dust.

While many rental car companies no longer offer them, several still do (like Avis…of course Avis would offer something archaic). And they are willing to charge you. Don’t fall for this trap.

Just use your phone. This seems self obvious, but you’d be surprised. Seriously, save the dough and skip the GPS when renting a car.

smartphone outside hiking technology

Photo by Ingo Joseph on Pexels.com

Instead, buy yourself a rental car gadget you can actually use. Something like an Air Conditioner Mounted Magnetic Phone Holder. Then you can mount your phone (with it’s GPS app in full display) and actually see where you are supposed to turn while driving.

I personally recommend the WizGear and you can read my product review here.

We actually covered this topic in great detail last month during our focus on Travel Gadgets. Check it out: Travel Tip Tuesday #7: Get an AC Mounted Magnetic Cell Phone Holder for your Rental Car

Thanks for tuning in this week

Check back next Tuesday for another practical travel tip related to rental cars.

If you can’t wait, check out our 9 Secret Rental Car Hacks You Need to Know

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6 comments on “Travel Tip Tuesday #12: Skip the GPS when renting a car

  1. DaninMCI

    I actually will sometimes still travel with my TomTom Gps if it’s super rural or in another country where I have maps. The old stand alone GPS units don’t rely on cell towers so they will still work even if you didn’t download the map or have service. The only down side is that TomTom reneged on their lifetime maps recently by just dropping support for certain devices. They are teasing cheaper prices for stand alone units but now I can’t trust them. They main advantage of a stand alone unit is it doesn’t run down your phone battery either.

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  2. Cipher

    I also have a TomTom collecting dust in my office. The only time I would suggest using a GPS and maybe getting one from the rental company is on overseas trips if the car does not have one built in. The cost of the GPS was cheaper than the cost of the plan I would need to use my phone GPS in Europe. Otherwise, I am 100% with you on this 🙂

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