Save money on car tech by looking aftermarket

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I have an easy way for you to save money on your next car. Think aftermarket when it comes to car technology.

My wife only buys used cars and her last one came with a built-in GPS unit. The vehicle was a little more than 2 years old when she got it and even by then the GPS unit was obsolete and hard to use by today’s standards. If you buy a dash-mounted GPS when you get your car, you pay a fortune, up to 20 times what a portable one will cost that runs circles around it.

Smart Money recently ran a story about what a rip it is to buy car electronics from auto manufacturers. The GPS is the most obvious example. The technology in GPS units go through a revolution almost every 6 months. But there’s no way you a new car every 6 months! So you’re always behind the curve.  

Another example is all the technology for showing video in cars. We’re on the cusp of watching Internet video in cars.

In fact, in my family we’re already watching Netflix in our car. My wife has an iPad and I have a built-in hotspot in my phone. So our kids can go down the highway watching Netflix in the car. This set-up costs nothing compared to an installed manufacturer-based entertainment system in the car that will be obsolete soon and costs a zillion dollar. Well, $1,600 is the usual price, but you could buy 3 iPads for that money!

Finally, you have the backup cameras from the manufacturers that are a fortune. On the other hand, Smart Money says aftermarket ones are around $180 even with night vision.

You can insert any of a number of electronics devices in this discussion. So think portable. Think flexible. Think aftermarket and ca-ching because you’ll save thousands of dollars.



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