Do You Use You GPS Routinely In The Car Or Only When Needed?


As posted above, I am just curious if you use you vehicle GPS all the time when driving, whether you need it or not, if you don';t even turn it on when not needed, or do you put it elsewhere when not needed? My wife drives a Dodge Grand Caravan and she completely stored the Garmin Nuvi 500 most of the time and only powers it up when needed. I, on the other hand, leave it on the dash and I even use it to navigate to places that I know how to get to without it. I just like to see it displaying the map even when I don't need it.

I suspect that members here are more inclined to be like me just becasuse we have an interest in GPS, but I am sure that there aree some that put them in storage when not needed. Maybe some people don't even keep them in the vehilce.

Anyway, how about other here?

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Don't use it for every trip

Don't use it for every trip but since my area has had a huge amount of roadwork, resurfacing, temporarily closed roads - I have it with me in case I have to reroute to place I know but don't have alternative routes to.


I have my times when I use

I have my times when I use and then when I don't. But it's handy when I need it most. Of course everybody has a gps on their phone. But my phone gets ready hot when I use it. It also eats up my limited data plan. But with my Garmin it shows my traffic for free. It also doesn't get hot when I use it.

Garmin Nuvi 660, Garmin StreetPilot i3(Retired), Garmin Nuvi 200(Retired), 1(wifey)+ 1(myself)=2 Garmin Nuvi 1350 LMT, Nuvi 2455LMT

I drive a dump truck for a

I drive a dump truck for a living, I set up my Nuvi 2689 every single day, whether I think I'll need it or not. I like having a rolling map. Also there are time when I'll be paving roads so it's a great help getting in and out of a job without ruining the new asphalt.

My Jeep has a built in dash Garmin based GPS, so in effect it's on anytime my radio is, a quick tap of an onscreen button and the map appears. The built in GPS isn't as feature rich or as user friendly as my 2689, nor is it as up to date, they want a ridiculous amount for a yearly update, but it's great in a pinch if there's an unexpected detour I need to get around. If I want up to date maps and a better all around GPS for a trip I'll set up the 2689.

ETA this is an updated post due to a change in personal vehicle and Nuvi, I originally posted in this node in 2012.

. 2 Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, Nuvi 2689, 2 Nuvi 2460, Zumo 550, Zumo 450, Uniden R3 radar detector with GPS built in, includes RLC info. Uconnect 430N Garmin based, built into my Jeep. .

all the time

I turn it on before starting stays in the vehicle all the time unless up dating.


if my car is in transit

My 3597 is on the dash.

If nothing more than to alert me to weather issues or traffic plugs on the various freeways..

Honestly, I dunno why the call em freeways.. It costs a lot of $$$ to sit stopped on the freeways for long periods of time.. They don't seem to be all that free!

Never argue with a pig. It makes you look foolish and it anoys the hell out of the pig!

same here

BarneyBadass wrote:

My 3597 is on the dash.

Same here. I like the map that knows where I am. I think I'm training it to give me more accurate ETA estimates by letting it watch me drive.

The predecessor 3790 certainly seemed to learn. My wife's gave significantly different ETA estimates for the same trip. She left hers turned off nearly all the time. Around town here in Albuquerque the 3790 estimates were generally remarkably good in the later months of my use.

personal GPS user since 1992

Educational and interest value.

Frequently, around town, metro St. Louis, I turn on the GPS just to see the side street names and, sort of, where they go or don't. It gives me ideas for short cuts or escape routes if there should be an accident on my route later on.

So... yes, I use it often, just for the educational and interest value.


Of course I use it!

I've been using a GPS since the Garmin III. I'm a geek! It's plugged into the cigarette lighter, as soon as the car turns on, the GPS turns on!



My garmin 770 is on the windshield all the time, most of the time is just showing the map without routing anyplace. but is there if I need it for anything.

Samsung and Gamin

Around town I prefer my Samsung Galaxy S7. I can use yelp for businesses or speak an address and have a website up, see the hours of operation and reviews. Directions button routes me via Google Maps App with alternate routes and times. This all gets sent to my Bluetooth device along with the Pandora commercial free music, etc. I've got an old car so I use a BT to FM device that also charges the S7.

On the motorcycle or on the road where cell service fades in and out and I go in and out of network, I prefer using my waterproof Garmin that makes it easy to control via gloved hand. XM radio works better on the road than Pandora and choppy service.

Zumo 550 & Zumo 665 My alarm clock is sunshine on chrome.

google maps

routinely. The arrival time is dead on, and shows multiple routes at once. This can save on average 15-30 min. on my daily commute. It's starting to track data, however, like avg speed, distance, etc. I'm sure LE can get this with a court order.

all the time,, live traffic

all the time,,
live traffic comes with live roadworks
there aren't many alternate routes so its good to get notified asap, without having to backtrack 5 miles to the previous road

If only ..


I only use it when I'm traveling to somewhere that I don't normally go. Why would I want the noise of a voice telling me something that I already know? My GPS does not have traffic, weather or a camera.


MikeG1 wrote:

I only use it when I'm traveling to somewhere that I don't normally go. Why would I want the noise of a voice telling me something that I already know? My GPS does not have traffic, weather or a camera.

The only time I hear a voice is if I have a planned route keyed in, except traffic alerts but you don't have that, if it's just on like a rolling map, nothing. Having a GPS set up and on already is great if you run into a traffic problem/detour in an area you know your way through, but only the one way, not the surrounding area.

. 2 Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, Nuvi 2689, 2 Nuvi 2460, Zumo 550, Zumo 450, Uniden R3 radar detector with GPS built in, includes RLC info. Uconnect 430N Garmin based, built into my Jeep. .

Almost always on

I almost always turn the GPS on. Around here you could have a road blocked at any time. It is much faster to get a route around it if the GPS is already on.

The GPS built into the HD comes on when I start the bike. I would rather look at the map view than the radio station info so I press the navigation button.


Only when needed

I see no need to use it, unless I'm going someplace that I'm uncertain of the route.

I do not get traffic in my city and even if I did, the traffic problems are minimal.

It would just become a distraction.


Only on when on road trips

Only on when on road trips

Most of th time

But not on my morning commute.

Shooter N32 39 W97 25 VIA 1535TM, Lexus built-in, TomTom Go

I just leave the gps mounted

It's just handy for me to leave the unit in a vent mount. It's very usable, but out of the way. Thanks to the quick release on the Garmin 3597, I can remove and put on the floor when required. I just never know when It'll be handy to have ready.

Do you use your GPS Routinely

No just when i go to places i am not sure of and need a good route.


I've come to depend on the

I've come to depend on the speed limit and traffic camera alerts...

All the time

Like riveroaks, if not for navigating then for traffic and traffic camera alerts

Where there's a will ... there's a way ... DriveSmart50LMT-D, Nuvi 2508LMT-D, 1490LMT, 1310, Montana 650T, Etrex 20

Only when needed

Even with my car's built in unit.

non-native nutmegger

For me it is mostly when I

For me it is mostly when I am going to a place I am not familiar with. I know all the red light cameras locally and since my trip to work is less than ten minutes I rarely need directions. My truck also came with navigation so I use that occasionally to find an address.

I really like the POIs when I am more than 30 minutes from home.

John B - Garmin 765T

part of landscape

After a while GPS is becoming part of dashboard landscape. Sometimes you don't even remember when you just turn it on, even for warnings (like RLC) only

All the time ...

Even if you know where you are going there are those pesky cameras ...

It's really nice having a

It's really nice having a warning when you are coming up to a RLC. Too bad the HD GPS doesn't have that option.


GPS with me everywhere

I only bring it in if will get too hot sitting in car. I have it on all the time. Speed is more accurate. I find I rely on it more than my instruments. It's great for RLC and speed cameras, school zones. Even near home, good to have audible reminders. Have Nuvi 2689 LMT. Enjoy 6" screen clear voice and helpful in unfamiliar areas to see ocean, trains, parks, street names etc.. I Never leave home without it. I go here to update speed cameras and POI's:

GPS Always On

Good idea to keep GPS on even during routine or short trips. Keeps you sharp and allows for detours when necessary.



I almost always have it on even around town. You never know when you might have to go a way with which you are not familiar.

Does not hurt

To plug it in and turn it ON even when just cruising around it keep the battery full charge

Always On

There are lots of red light cameras in Florida, so the Garmin is always on.

detour even by map view

romanviking wrote:

allows for detours when necessary.

Yes, and not necessarily using the detour function, or any navigation function at all.

I was once on the way to a rehearsal when I spotted police cars, tail lights, and general lack of movement just ahead. It was a fairly minor road in a residential neighborhood, but a quick glance at the "map that knows where you are" on my dashboard showed that if I ducked left one street the street reached through to an escape path to my nearby destination. Without that assurance I'd not have taken the completely unknown turn with under 5 seconds of thought.

I got to the rehearsal on time.

Situational awareness is good.

personal GPS user since 1992


A look at the GPS will show the side streets that might not be stopped. This is especially useful when the roads don't run parallel.


I've been using my Garmin

I've been using my Garmin 2360 (no traffic, manual map updates) for the past two years. Always on the front of the dashboard, and a good 1 1/2 hour battery life means I don't have to worry about power cords. For my 45 minute commute to and from work it's supplemented by a 7 inch Android tablet running Waze.

Two weeks ago I bought a nice new Garmin DriveAssist 50LMT. It has some nice ADAS features like collision and lane change detection. But a 30 minute battery life means it often needs the power cord. Since it's too big for the comfortable spot in front of the dashboard, it's top right near the rear-view mirror. After parking I have to pull it out from hiding and hook it up. It's always in use for my commute, and makes the trip more interesting, but I don't use it as often as I used the 2360 because of the added hassle.

Re-CAL-culating... "Some people will believe anything they read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

Only When Needed

Rarely use it around town, unless going to unknown area. Always use it when leaving local area.


Its got so

We use them just to remind us when to turn, lol. Makes life simpler for us getting around.

Routinely in the car

I use it for Traffic

use it around town/going to work

Traffic rerouting is the major reason for me to fire it up.

Doctors Appointment

Took my wife to a Doctors Appointment.


Use It Around Town/Going To Work

cratecookie wrote:

Traffic rerouting is the major reason for me to fire it up.

Same here

I use it for

the traffic mostly in the city since I know my way around but also for the Bluetooth to make & receive phone calls.

Garmin Nuvi 2597lmt

Needed it to find a side

Needed it to find a side street to avoid stopped traffic at a School zone that was going to sit there for a half hour before the kids got out.


Whenever Out-of-Town

Whenever we go on a trip out-of-town, I put the Nuvi 650 in the car.

Garmin Nuvi650 - Morehead City, NC

When I hope to get there.


I leave it on all the time.

I leave it on all the time. I like getting the ETA to my destination. At this point its more of a habit than anything else.


I gave a couple of older ones to my kids that keep them in the car. But I leave mine at home unless I am going to use it. I think the kids use their Cell phones unless they are in an area of no coverage then they pull out the GPS's.


I leave mine on most of the time

It's handy to know the name of the street or intersection ahead when driving, even in areas with which you might be familiar. School zones alerts and speed signs, too.

Garmin nuvi 2597MT, 660, too many really.

Only on the Harley now.

I'm always in cell service range in the car. Google Maps on my Samsung S7 does traffic routing and gives me a choice of routes. Coming back from central WI to Chicago 'burbs on I-90 and Maps told be to get off the interstate. I looked at the detour and decided to take it. I missed a long backup and saw part of rural WI I'd not driven before.

But on my Harley, I'd miss the XM radio and there are a lot of areas out west without cell service.

Zumo 550 & Zumo 665 My alarm clock is sunshine on chrome.

Always, except...

It's always on since it also has a dash cam built in. The only time it will be remove when there are updates available.

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