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GPS Navigation: Among the Most Preferred Ancillary Services by Car Rental Customers

Smartphone in the car with maps for navigation

In recent years, the car rental industry has undergone substantial changes. Beyond the car rental itself, customers are seeking a more comprehensive and personalized experience. This trend has led to the growth of ancillary services, which add value and increase customer satisfaction.

Despite the prevalence of smartphones and navigation applications, satellite navigation systems (GPS) are still in high demand. This service is particularly popular among travelers visiting unfamiliar regions or countries where they might encounter problems with data connectivity.

In an increasingly digitalized world, it might seem surprising that renting dedicated GPS devices is still a common choice among car rental customers. However, there are several convincing reasons why customers prefer to use a dedicated GPS device rather than the navigation application on their smartphone.

Firstly, using a dedicated GPS can help save the battery of one’s smartphone. Navigation applications are known for their high energy consumption, and using a dedicated GPS avoids draining the phone’s battery, ensuring it’s available for other needs during the trip.

Secondly, the use of a GPS device avoids mobile data consumption. This can be particularly advantageous for those traveling abroad, where roaming charges can be high. A dedicated GPS device offers pre-loaded maps that do not require data usage, thus providing a reliable service without additional costs.

Detail of a driver's finger setting his car's navigator

In the increasingly innovative landscape of car rental, we are witnessing the emergence of combined devices that not only offer GPS navigation functions but go beyond, serving as Wi-Fi hotspots and providing a series of additional services related to the journey and the destination.

These devices, often called “travel companions,” represent a complete solution for the modern traveler. In addition to navigation functions, they offer the ability to connect to the Internet via an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot. This allows customers to stay connected during the trip, facilitating access to email, social media, content streaming, and other online functions without having to use costly mobile data.

Moreover, some of these devices also include the possibility of making calls, adding an extra level of convenience. This can be particularly useful in case of an emergency, or simply to stay in touch with family, friends, or colleagues during the trip.

Friends in a camper watch tourist content on a smartphone

Perhaps the most innovative feature of these combined devices is the ability to provide content and tourist services. Some models offer information on points of interest, restaurants, hotels, and activities in the destination area, turning the device into a sort of personal tour guide. Others offer services such as booking tickets for museums, attractions, or events, making trip organization even simpler and more enjoyable.

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