Automobile GPS Habits


I am just curious if more people here:

-Run there GPS in the vehicle most of the time when driving, or

-Leave it off or even store it out of sight until you need it?

Since I have had mine, I generally have it while in the vehicles even if I am going somewhere that I am very familiar with. My oldest sister, on the other hand, only has one car, but will take the GPS completely out of the car and only bring it if she thinks she absolutely needs it. And, yes, she has had times where she left it behind and discovered later that she should have had it with.

I suspect that the posts here may be disproportionately in favor of having it on even if you don't need it. One of ways I justify it to myself, and others, is if I need to call 911 for something it might be nice to know my locations, Yes, I know that my cell phone transmits GPS coordinates during a 911 call, but still it might be nice to have that information available.

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Re: Habits...

Hi Jim1348,

I take my unit with me whenever I drive anywhere, with the exception of driving locally in town. I "never" leave it in the car and always carry it on my person.

I use it for checking the traffic, making hands-free phone calls as well as playing music and listening to audio books, just to name a few things I do regularly. Add to that, the ability to control the unit with voice commands, I can keep my attention where it should be...on the road.

Just my 2¢...



Nüvi 670 & 880
Mac Pro & OS 10.5.7

Sullivan's Law: Murphy was an optimist!

in car

I try to use it all the time. I mostly keep it on the Dashboard to give me more of a heads-up display of my speed.

Allan Barnett - Garmin nüvi 885T/765T/Pharos GPS (bluetooth) w/MS Maps on PPC


I use mine 99% of the time. Around town is mostly for the traffic updates.

I try to take mine with me,

I try to take mine with me, unless just going to the local market. I use it for the speed limits, keeps me honest razz

nuvi 2597LMT

I use my GPS almost all the time

So I can see my estimated time of arrival and to listen to MP3 music as well

Nuvi 2598 LMT Nuvi 3597 LMT


I use mine mostly for ETA information.

The face of my radio is big and flat (Honda Accord) and I usually mount it there. I can't read the radio display but I know what my presets are. Since I don't use the windshield as a mounting surface, there's no mark left when removed, reducing the odds of being a victim of GPS theft.

I always remove it and usually take it with me. Otherwise, it's out of sight.

Planned trips

I only bring my GPS on planned trips. Don't take it locally with me - sometimes I find that I would use it though.

I began by using my 680 in

I began by using my 680 in all car trips, initially to use the MSN traffic information. When the traffic service expired, I choose to not renew.

IMO, the Greater Los Angeles area is not conducive to traffic alerts. Alternate routes are not practical when driving on congested freeways and streets.

Currently, I use my 680 about 60% of the time when traveling locally.

“It’s their world. We’re just living in it.”

Not all the time.

Only use mine when I don't know where a location is in the city. I do use it all the time when on a trip even if I know where I am headed. When not in use I keep it in the car in the locked glove compartment. I have blue-tooth and the car has an ipod connection, CD player and excellent radio so I don't need it for music or cell phone.

Bobby....Garmin 2450LM

gps thefts

Try to take it out of the car. Thieves are stealing them like crazy in our area. They are hot in the black market and they are selling stolen ones like crazy.

all the time!

I usually don't even drive off until the GPS is showing green... I look to the GPS for my speed, pretty much ignoring the car's speedometer (which is inaccurate for a number of reasons).

When it's time to fill up the car, I use the gas prices display in the 680 to show me what stations in the area are doing, and to help me refine my search.

And of course there's ETA and the ever useful "how do I get there from here" features -- a few days ago I was on the other side of the Valley from where I usually hang out, and was looking for a less congested route home. Between general ideas (gee, I think Central Expressway should be good) and recalculating routes, we made it avoiding the stop-and-go freeways.

Nuvi 2460, 680, DATUM Tymserve 2100, Trimble Thunderbolt, Ham radio, Macintosh, Linux, Windows

Always on

My situation is a bit unique I guess because I pipe XM radio through it, so it is always on. I look for traffic updates on it too during the commute to and from work, but I've just started this service so I don't know if it will be any good yet or not (South Florida).

I take it off the dash and lay it on its back over the console compartment with a small towel over it to hide it. I feel fairly safe leaving it that way at work because I park in a guarded, limited access parking garge. I leave it on the dash when parked at home because I'm parked inside my garage. I am really used to having it on all the time now....I feel like something is missing otherwise!

xm radio

Are you also routing your GPS audio through the car radio? I ask because I tried to route the GPS audio via a splitter to my XM radio and the result was the radio volume was significantly reduced.

sjmarks 3490LMT, 750, etrex Legend

Yes, via a patch cable

With the 7200 model it's set up for XM and has an audio out connetion to put it through to my radio, which has an aux in connection (or you can use the FM transmission) it's really already configured for this....all in one package.

When the voice prompt comes on it cuts into the music, then the music comes back on. If a song is on I really like and a lot of turns are coming up, this can get annoying, so I turn off the voice commands.

xm radio

The 750 also has an audio out but the problem is I do not have an aux in on my radio. I tried to route it through the xm input but the volume is so slow, I gave up. Thanks for your reply.

sjmarks 3490LMT, 750, etrex Legend

Usually only when I need it.

I generally only use mine when on a trip, or when going someplace locally and I need to be aware of (avoid) traffic. Otherwise I leave it at home.

But your post got me thinking.. I'm not sure that all localities can make use of cell coordinates when dialing 911.. so maybe I'll take my gps with me more often.

It's about the Line- If a line can be drawn between the powers granted and the rights retained, it would seem to be the same thing, whether the latter be secured by declaring that they shall not be abridged, or that the former shall not be extended.

Most always

While I know the way I'm going I'll have my GPS on just on the of chance that there will be an accident, road closing or some other reason to make a change from my normal route. And as others mentioned I trust the speedometer on the GPS more then I trust the ones in my vehicles. I still don't push it but it's nice to have a more accurate idea. I find the mechanical ones in my vehicles range from about 2-3 mph lower then the GPS. Yea, splittinghairs aren't I?

Brian Garmin nuvi 255W

•Automobile GPS Habits

When I need it or go out of my home area.

Alan-Garmin c340

Always On

I use my 765 as a Handsfree for my phone. I tried alot of earpieces and hated them all so now the GPS goes on all trips. BTW I live in CA where driving and talking on the phone is illegal.

I don't go anywhere without

I don't go anywhere without it

I like to have it out

Since my GPS includes traffic, I like to have it out. If I don't have it out already, it is generally too hard to get it out at the last minute and to boot up and wait for the GPS to aquire the sat... I like that it has the estimated time of arrival too. But when I get to my location, I always put it out of sight, just in case.

I love to have it out with the map available to make any necessary detours.

I have mine in the car at

I have mine in the car at all times. Even driving locally. I even leave it in the car 90% of the time. The only time i take it is parking in the city.

Most of the Time

My GPS is part of my phone, so I keep it with me whenever I drive. Generally I have it whenever I drive.

To those who use GPS all the time

Don't you all find it a hassle to install/remove the device especially on a short local trip that you can accomplish blind folded?

I hate preparing/removing the vehicle power cable, suction cup, cradle etc. I'd probably use my GPS more often if there were a custom non removable GPS slot on my dashboard, something like installing/removing sound system faceplate.

I use the GPS when:-I need

I use the GPS when:

-I need to find a place in a area I don't know well
-Find a house that I haven't been to before or my memory is rusty on how to get there
-Use it on roadtrips to get a good advance info on the road ahead such as will it curve left or right, how many miles to the exit, fuel stations locations in determining to continue the trip or divert for refueling.
-Use it for work when I have to go on a roadtrip to fix a grounded plane and have not been to that airport before
-Use it in mild to severe storms to know alternative ways to get home from work

I would say if the trip is longer than say 30 mins, I would have the GPS out to give me a good ETA based on the speed and traffic so they know when to expect me to show up.

My wife had to bring me to the emergency room (my first time) when I was in Maine on August 6th sleeping at a hotel near Portland airport, I kept waking up every hour due to posion ivy that's more than mild on my face.
She wouldn't let me drive, she used the GPS to find the nearest hostipal which was Maine Medical Center, shortly I was given steroids, the doctors pumped the dose up so the posion ivy will clear on the wedding day (Aug 8th 2009) and it did!

Other than that, I had to find a walgreens to get prescription meds. It really helps to keep my mind at ease about locations instead of stopping at gas stations asking for directions.

But you do have to keep the GPS map database up to date and be aware that a few POI's won't be there since they moved or closed down.

Before I had a Nuvi 360, I used to have Delorme Street Atlas on a laptop with a GPS connected to it via a USB cable.
It was good but had to have a power inverter to keep the laptop charged.


I just mount the nuvi to the cradle and away I go!

chewbacca wrote:

Don't you all find it a hassle to install/remove the device especially on a short local trip that you can accomplish blind folded?

I hate preparing/removing the vehicle power cable, suction cup, cradle etc. I'd probably use my GPS more often if there were a custom non removable GPS slot on my dashboard, something like installing/removing sound system faceplate.

I use a ProClip system for a OEM look permanent setup. Snaked the AC power cord thru the vent hole and draped it behind the dashboard panel and connected it to a cigarette lighter adapter attached to an Add-A-Circuit fuseholder tap. It's auto start when the car is on and auto off when the car is off.

I just mount the nuvi to the cradle and away I go!

“It’s their world. We’re just living in it.”

Only on Trips

I keep mine at home except when I'm driving "out of town" to places whose location I'm not sure of, or to places that are some distance. It provides directions, and fairly accurate travel time. When I already know the location and travel time, it usually stays home.

Tuckahoe Mike - Nuvi 3490LMT, Nuvi 260W, iPhone X, Mazda MX-5 Nav


I use it any time I am in my car. I have speed limits on it, so it can help if I haven't seen a sign in a while. Not perfect but it helps.

Usually at home

I don't use it unless I'm really not familiar with where I'm headed.

Flip Garmin Street P.330 Garmin 255WT Garmin LM50


I use mine pretty regularly b/c of the traffic feature.

=== Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Any of my cars that I'm in,

Any of my cars that I'm in, my GPS goes with me smile I drive for a living and it helps to know where I'm at and to see active maps so I can bypass traffic in cities/towns that don't have traffic updates. And I like having an eta where ever I go.

Hard wired

Mine is hard wired in to my car. I turn the key to accessory or to start and it turns on with all of the other electronics.

It's part of my hands free setup. Phone connects to GPS and GPS is hooked in to my car stereo. So it provides music as well as a relay. And with the new cell phones while driving laws in my province, it's a good idea.

I've also got all of the red light camera points and it's nice to have a warning when I'm approaching such evil devices.

I can take it with me. I just choose to leave it in the car. No, I'm not worried about it being stolen. It doesn't mount to my window. It doesn't mount in the dash. It mounts on the passenger side sun visor. With a flat black interior, 70% tint on all the windows (except for the windshield) and an alarm that is sensitive to the touch, you can't see the GPS unless you're sitting in the car. Hell, you can't see me or passengers unless you're in the car.

Jesus died for your sins. If you don't sin, Jesus died for nothing.

Easier to read street names

I have mine turned on almost all of the time. Like many others I use it to manage my speed, but I have also found that it is easier to see the names of upcoming streets on the gps than on the signs, especially at night.

...avoiding tickets

like most of the replies, I use my locally to help remind me of redlight cameras and posted speeds limits in particular areas around town.

I also like using restaurant poi when we don't know exactly where we want to go eat. We just start driving and see what pops up that suits our mood!!

I usually take mine with me,

I usually take mine with me, unless I am just going to the store-- and for that I use my "Ranch" truck!

NUVI 680, NUVI 5000, MS S&T,

I Would Like to Use Mine More

I currently use mine when I am going somewhere that I am unsure of. It seems almost all of my trips are home to work and back or work to my hobby/work second job and home. I know the redlight cameras by heart and every possible routing for traffic. I think I just need to go more places and do something different.

John B - Garmin 765T

I use it all the time. My

I use it all the time. My speedometer is off by about 5mph. So I use the dashboard function on my 680 all the time.

And I have found that when I am on a trip or date with a woman, they find it impressive that I am totally prepared with the ability to pull up a list of any kinda of food, hotel, hospital etc that we may need at a moments notice. smile

Hotel ! !??

very intresting

Flip Garmin Street P.330 Garmin 255WT Garmin LM50

I have a 780

that I use all of the time. I run my phone through the Bluetooth and enjoy the handsfree feature. The MSN traffic is great to help me find the best route around the congested areas of Phoenix and Las Vegas.

I have a small case that fits over the unit when I park and put the entire unit and beanbag mount in my center console and cover everything with a small towel.

I also as others have mentioned use it for ETA and speedometer features. My car is garaged each night so my GPS stays on the dashboard all of the time except when I am parked in a parking lot.

i use it

i have my gps on all the time when i'm driving

nuvi 2757LM-65LM-65LM


I take mine with me alot more since I started subscribing to the Red light/Speed camera files.

Prior to that mostly just brought it along on trips.

Always take it in with me though, too many of them disappear in my area!

i tend to use my c580 only

i tend to use my c580 only on long trips or planned trips. For my normal commute, I don't bother and just leave it at home.


I rent cars often and take mine on travel. It's a nice way to save favorite place to eat and dance.


take advantage of POI. that is the only reason I always have Garmin ON.
Don't take chances.

My gps

From mp3’s to traffic, I don’t leave home with out it.

nüvi 3590LMT "always backup your files"

Take it with you

I would like to be able to leave the unit in the car but unfortunately in the area that I live there seems to be an active group of thieves who scour the parking lots of shopping malls, hotels, etc looking for any sign that the vehicle has a gps unit inside, leaving a wire showing or a suction cup or other holder in sight invites a theft of the unit. So I make sure that I only take the unit when i need it and whenever I leave the vehicle I take it with me.


All The Time

Actually it depends on which vehicle in our household.

My 760 is installed in a center console storage area (below the radio) and is always on when the engine is running. I don't always open the door/cover to that area when driving though and always close it when parked.

In the bride's SUV there's a storage area under the center console. She leaves the GPS in there until she needs it then drags it out and plugs it into the accessory port.

In both cases the GPS is invisible when the vehicle is parked.


Nuvi 760 & 660, Streetpilot, GPS III, GPS 10X

GPS habits

I use mine all the time.
I go fishing at night and have to travel on some desolate roads pretty late. These roads are very winding. There are no side roads to use if there is as accident to report. By touching the road on the GPS it gives what would be the address if there was a house there. It makes it easier for the police to find where I am. It is also easier to keep a speed check than looking down at the speedometer as the GPS is at window height.

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things!

GPS Usage

I use mine all the time - work vehicle included.
I am a gadget nut and love the average speed etc.
with my Garmin 530. I don't really need it locally for the most part but, I use it sometimes to use
new routes that may be a bit interesting etc.

Pretty much always

I usually keep it on for any trip more than a mile or two. It helps when detouring around traffic and is more accurate than the car's speedometer.

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