A GPS for my son & I to share: Please help!


My son gets his drivers license this Friday (gasp!) and I would like to get a GPS “thingy” that we can both use. Mostly he’ll be going to school & back but if he needs to venture further, I’d feel better if he had one with him. I’ve started looking at them I’m lost with all the brands & styles. Seems like a lot of you have one so maybe you can suggest something. Here’s what I know I want it to have:

Easy to use
Voice directions
Auto correction when he/I screw up
Easy to read display (getting old sucks)
Easy to enter where you want to go
Easy to move from car to car
Quick to hide when parked - lot of car break-ins here
Updatable maps
Anything else I should have but don’t know it
Relatively affordable

Thanks so much! Now let the arguments begin.


You may be using that line of reasoning with your wife, but she probably knows it’s really for you…
Give the kid a decent map. He’s young, and has time to get lost and find his way back.
You, on the other hand, are earning money, supporting a family, and getting older. You don’t have time to get lost and deserve to get a few good gadgets and not feel guilty.
A buddy of mine has a TomTom 510…it’s a little pricier than some others, but it’s pretty easy to use, update, and rates pretty high on just about any review. Meets all of your criteria except I don’t know what your definition of “affordable” is.

Go to a big box store and try them out. If they’re hard to figure out in the store, they’ll be more of a PITA to use while you’re driving. The tomtom is one of the easiest to jump into and get unlost right away, in my opinion.

Be aware these things in general are easy and popular to steal. All a thief has to do is smash a window and yank it off the dash/windshield. I’ve never heard of anyone stealing a paper road atlas before, though.

Good luck.


LOL, I’m a single mom (aka divorced woman - gasp) but I do admit to buying myself toys. I will have him rely on maps but given that he has his father’s common sense (none), I want a bit of assurance that he’ll find his way home.

Thanks for the ideas!


I don’t think there’s such a thing as a teenager with common sense.


Another blow struck for internet conversations!
Sorry about the assumption, but the reasoning still stands.
Get the good stuff for yourself, let the kid figure it out and call you if he gets lost…which, if he holds to the code, he will never admit.


Son and friend just came home this weekend for a concert using a tomtom. It came off the window with a suction cup. I don’t know which one.

Some one give daj59 a good answer! I want to know too!

It is sad, but neither of my kids can read a map. Sons friend can’t either. They are the mapquest generation. Even though they all know mapquest can be really wrong at times.
I don’t understand it. In college hubby and I went all over the place from Maine to New Orleans to Key West with a map. I do not remember a map reading class.

You are right about taking it down. We aren’t in a high crime area, yet I read in the police report someone went down a main street for two miles and broke into and stole every GPS they saw.

By the way, you will never sleep at night again!


How long do I have to wait before I start pointing thing out?

It’s rare, but it does exsist.

why won’t she sleep at nite again?


get the magellan

I used to have the 700 but upgraded the car to one with a built in nav system.
I regret selling the magellan. If you don’t need the mp3 player… get the 800 series


Hello felllow female shopper.

I bought myself a Garmin Streetpilot C320. I didn’t do a huge amount of research on it. The price was right $279, plus I added the 1GB Secure Digital card for $22. I have had the unit for less than a week and it is pretty cool. It took me a while to figure out how the suction cup thing worked, believe it or not (it isn’t as straightforward as you would think.) It does have an autocorrect feature, there are voice directions, the display is average in size (but you listen more than you view anyhow), it’s mount is removeable so is the unit if you want to go into a store and put it in your purse or something. The maps are good, but there are some newer developments not yet detected on the software. Plus it has a screen where it recommends food and lodging. You can store favorites (i.e. places you go frequently that are hard to get to.) As with any GPS, you may find yourself altering your route because your known route of travel is better. They aren’t perfect.


nothing in life is perfect


I’ve never had a GPS system and don’t know know much about them, but you do also have the option of one that hooks up to your laptop. It should give you more freedom to minipulate your data and stuff depending on what program you use. I bought microsoft streets and trips for my laptop and was dissapointed that I could not add streets to it. I never got the gps portion, but I think despite the drawbacks, (IE it being less portiable and harder to read while driving) I think I would like it better.

Easy to use
Voice directions
Auto correction when he/I screw up
Easy to read display (getting old sucks) -----------------------Bigger LCD W/ laptop.
Easy to enter where you want to go----------------------------Laptop has keyboard.
Easy to move from car to car------------------------------------Not with a laptop
Quick to hide when parked - lot of car break-ins here----- not with laptop.
Updatable maps----------------------------------------------------Definatly with laptop.
Anything else I should have but don’t know it
Relatively affordable---------------------------------------------laptop ones can cost about $100


They are cool, though. It will pay for itself in the gas I will save, I am sure. Plus the investment wasn’t much. It is a write-off for my business.


With a laptop you can compute gas useage and other paramiters easly.


I’m not that anal. I drive a truck, afterall.


if I was into that I wouldn’t be running around telling everyone…


Mabye, I’m just pushing the laptop option.


or your trying to make sure you never come off the twit list


Cars add the element of car crashes to the mix of what your kids are doing at night.




If he needs a GPS unit he is probblibly going of to college, so he has proobblibly been driving for 2+ years.