Let’s face it: not all of us can afford a fresh new pair of wheels, with glimmering glossy paint that just rolled off factories from the last few years. But even though you don’t have the cash on hand for a new car, getting some much-needed upgrades and customizations for your current car is recommended. It’s budget-friendly, too. Not only will it improve your general experience and driving convenience, but it can also get you out of tricky situations.
Fortunately, there’s a growing supply of upgrades and add-ons that will work just fine with any old vehicle from the last decade or so. You don’t necessarily have to splurge on high-tech and sophisticated gadgets. There are functional and cost-effective options on the market. But installing gadgets in your car can make it look new and cool. Here are some devices you can add to your car.
Voice-Activated GPS Device
While you may have your smartphone to rely on for directions, a GPS device on your car lets you reach places easily without needing to access the Wi-Fi network on the road. Your GPS prevents you from getting lost and wasting liters of gasoline finding your way back.
Current car GPS devices can double as dash cams, saving you the expense of purchasing two gadgets. Their voice activation feature keeps you safe while driving, allowing you to manage your device without taking your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road.
Some of the popular car GPS navigation systems to-date are Garmin, AROVA, TomTom, and OHREX for people who will do overseas driving. These brands are known for their detailed maps, clear graphics, big screens, hands-free smartphone operation, Bluetooth connectivity, and driver alerts.
If you rely on your smartphone for work or business, you can’t afford to be offline even while driving. Upgrading your car dashboard or in-car devices to connect with your smartphone will enable you to use your phone for important calls and messages while on the road. This will also help you use your car for ridesharing, car rental, and transportation network vehicle services.
Most mobile application developers have made simple and safe ways of interacting with your phone without taking your attention off driving. This prevents distractions that could lead to collisions or other accidents. Large tech companies like Apple developed applications like CarPlay that can integrate into any car entertainment system. Later car models support Android and iOS systems automatically, but older vehicles may need tweaking. There are aftermarket devices and systems that can make your car work with these applications, but they can be expensive.
If you’re looking for the right aftermarket system for your current car, you might want to consider the double-DIN head units. Standard types go for at least $600 in installation and parts. Most Android-based systems like Android Auto don’t require head units, though. Mount your phone or tablet on the dashboard, and you can use it.
Versatile High-Resolution Cameras
Dash cams are important in a lot of situations. If you ever get yourself into an altercation with another driver, dash cams are a good way to get video evidence of the situation. You may use the dashcam video for claims or any other legal process. Sometimes, people also use dash cams for light-hearted activities, such as making a video montage of your road trip. There are a lot of good camera brands in the market.
Apart from dash cams for recording what happens on the road, you may opt for versatile cameras that will help you see the road in low-light situations, such as cloudy skies or fog, or bad weather conditions like heavy rain or snowfall. For instance, Landmodo has developed a night-vision system that can help you navigate roads and areas with poor lighting and visibility.
There are definitely various ways to improve your old car if you can’t bear to part with it but still want it to look quite new. However, if, after considering all the possible upgrades you can do, you decide in the end to buy a car that’s well within your budget, you can check out any used car dealership in your area. You’ll be surprised at the selection of cars you can find – both new and used – and the history of some of the models. Test-drive and explore various models to learn what’s good for you and what kinds of technology work best with different brands.