The 10 Best GPS Speedometers to Buy 2020

The 10 Best GPS Speedometers to Buy 2020

The most important instrument you can install in your vehicle is a speedometer: whether you’re trying to maximize performance on the racetrack or you just need to know how fast you can go to avoid getting pulled over, a GPS speedometer will provide accurate and vital information for drivers.

There are many reasons one might consider purchasing a GPS speedometer: conventional, wired-in speedometers break or stop working all the time, and they’re difficult and time-consuming to replace. Some vehicles, especially sporting vehicles like boats and ATVs don’t even come with speedometers, so if you want to know how fast you’re going, you’ll have to buy a separate, GPS-equipped unit.

What to Consider Before Buying a GPS Speedometer

GPS speedometers vary dramatically in price, accuracy, and form factor. Along with understanding what kind of look and function you seek in a speedo, consider the following when shopping around for the perfect product for your vehicle.

Type of GPS Speedometer

Typically, GPS speedometers come in one of two form factors. The first is designed to completely integrate with your existing instrument cluster, replacing your existing analog wired speedometer. The other type is more of a heads-up display, a separate screen that rests on your dash.

  • Round Gauge: Round gauge GPS speedometers replace your existing instrument-based speedometer. Make sure you buy the proper size that fits in the same size hole as your current speedo, typically 85mm.
  • Heads-Up Displays (HUDS): While the most advanced HUDs are typically more expensive than round gauge dashes, you can still find affordable GPS heads up displays.

Display Size

Are you looking for an enormous, TV screen-sized heads-up display, or do you just need a minimal, analog-style gauge that only measures speed? Displays range from about 1.5 inches in diameter to HUDs of well over 4 inches.

Other Data

A GPS speedometer’s main purpose is collecting and displaying speed information, but plenty of GPS speedometers offer other cool and convenient features: from real-time driving data, to tachometers, to analytics you can download after driving. A GPS Speedometer can be a very powerful tool for helping gauge and learn about the performance of your vehicle.

Installation

If you’re a car enthusiast, you’ll know that the difficulty of installing aftermarket parts varies in complexity. Car customization ranges from slapping on a new sticker decal to swapping out a transmission (or heck, a complete engine).

GPS speedometers are unique in the fact that they can usually be installed without too much fuss, although some GPS speedometer units are meant to fit directly into the instrument cluster, which requires a bit more effort and some mechanical skills to connect it to a power source. Whatever unit you pick, make sure it aligns with your technical abilities.

Top 10 Best GPS Speedometers 2020

1. Best Overall Pick: Eling Universal MPH GPS Speedometer

Eling Universal MPH GPS Speedometer

Why we like it: This simple backlit analog speedometer isn’t just easy to use and operate. It’s integrated and accurate as well.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance

  • Type of GPS Speedometer: Round Gauge
  • Display Size: 3.5-inch diameter
  • Other Data: None

Review

This speedometer has it all: a powerful backlight to make the screen visible in all conditions, a year-long warranty protecting customers from any defects, and waterproof construction. However, there are no data-capturing or analyzing features as seen on units like the TIMPROVE T600 Universal Car HUD. We don’t see this as much of a problem given that those features aren’t used by most drivers, although if you’re looking for speed capture and analysis, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

The most interesting aspect of this speedometer is its ability to fit into a conventional dashboard. It’s not a dashboard-top unit, instead it is designed to slot perfectly in the space where a wired analog speedometer normally fits. As such, it’s powered by the electrical system of the car itself, not a USB port. While this is an advantage for some, it’s a bit of a DIY inconvenience for others.

With a max display speed of 160 miles per hour, you’ll have plenty of room to work with in terms of speed unless you’re driving a race car or a Suzuki Hayabusa. While it has an odometer for total distance, there’s no trip odometer (although the same manufacturer does have a unit similar to this one with that feature available here). Still, for accuracy, reliability, and durability, we’re willing to sacrifice a few features.

Installation

Installation is probably the biggest pain point for buyers of this speedometer: not only does it require you to open up the entire dashboard, you’ll also have to deal with relatively complex wiring to power it.

Once it’s in, though, none of the dashboard-sliding, you get with other speedometers. In our book, it’s a wash: are you looking for a permanent solution or a temporary one? If you’re not afraid to work on your display cluster and you’re looking for a long-term solution, this speedometer might just be perfect.

Pros

  • Long term, fully wired, permanent speedometer solution
  • 160 MPH max speed is all but guaranteed
  • Powered by the car’s electric system instead of a USB port
  • Accurate, reliable, and durable

Cons

  • Requires you to open up the dashboard for installation
  • No speed data capture or analysis
  • Need to make sure you properly fit the gauge to your instrument cluster

2. Best HUD: TIMPROVE T600 Universal Car HUD

TIMPROVE T600 Universal Car HUD

Why we like it: Along with having some nifty features related to braking and acceleration, this HUD is solid-feeling and accurate.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance

  • Type of GPS Speedometer: Heads Up Display
  • Display Size: 3.5 x 2 inches
  • Other Data: Acceleration Analysis Procedure, Braking Analysis procedure

Review

A 12 volt heads up display with a solid-feeling build and an accurate sensor, this GPS speedometer from TIMPROVE is an incredibly popular model for good reasons. Alongside the typical benefits of a GPS-based computer (universal compatibility, no necessity for wiring), the T600 also has a wide variety of secondary readings from driving direction to altitude.

Also included is a multifunctional tool that can help you understand data analytics from how you drive, testing braking and acceleration accurately enough to diagnose braking and engine problems. That’s the main benefit of this HUD: its incredibly feature-rich setup. The device is simply well thought out, from an automatic brightness-adjusting screen to a 30-degree screen angle that is easy to read no matter how you set it up.

The screens are easily changed with a single dial format, while all parts (internal and external) are guaranteed by a one-year quality assurance warranty. Operation starts up quickly, typically taking only about two minutes to pair with the worldwide satellite network.

Unfortunately, the trip time function starts immediately once the device is turned on, meaning trip time will be inaccurate by the same amount of time it takes the HUD to pair: not a huge deal unless you’re doing hot laps at the race track or need super-accurate reporting for commercial use.

Installation

Similar to most heads up displays, this unit simply sets up on top of the dashboard, plugs into a 12V/24V USB power outlet, and is ready to go. While that’s great if you just need something that works as quickly as possible, it’s a bit more fickle and a less-permanent solution than a round gauge device that fits directly into your dash, like the Eling Universal MPH Gps Speedometer/Odometer with Backlight.

Pros

  • Durable HUD with data analytics on acceleration and braking
  • Installs with a simple USB to Mini-USB connection
  • 30-degree screen angle is easy-to-read
  • Single dial format is easy to use
  • Year warranty in case of any damage or other issues

Cons

  • Non-slip mat can slide around
  • Trip timer starts automatically

3. Best Premium Pick: LATNEX GPS95 Universal Digital Waterproof GPS Speedometer

LATNEX GPS95 Universal Digital Waterproof GPS Speedometer

Why we like it: This round gauge speedometer with a digital screen has great data storage but isn’t particularly attractive.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance

  • Type of GPS Speedometer: Round Gauge (With Digital Screen)
  • Display Size: 3.5 inches
  • Other Data: Data Storage, Data Analysis

Review

This GPS speedometer from lesser-known brand LATNEX is an 85mm option that slots directly into your existing instrument cluster, replacing a standard analog gauge with a fully-featured screen and a full potential for data tracking. That data tracking comes completely via GPS, stored within the unit until you decide to download it. And not only is it interesting, but it is useful as well, as it can help with your insurance claims and even verify status or location for legal proceedings.

The screen is a backlit, green LCD with multiple data fields: a clock function, max speed, current speed, a distance odometer, and a trip odometer. Plenty of things to read, especially as once that data is downloaded, it’s all displayed on every single point of the map. Unfortunately, though, a broken unit won’t provide data, and plenty of customers have reported issues with the screen.

And while that green LCD is plenty easy to read, there’s another problem: it’s simply not that good looking. Since its waterproof/dustproof format makes it especially friendly for motorcycle and watercraft use (where it will be most visible), it’s particularly difficult to recommend for that use case.

Sure, it’s an effective round gauge speedometer option, especially if you need accurate data analysis and storage, but other than that, you can save money with a similar backlit option like the ELING Digital GPS LCD 85 mm Speedometer.

Installation

Installation is about as easy as with other round gauge speedometers: wire it up to have power flowing through the unit and you’re off to the races. That sounds simple, but at its most complicated, it involves removing a pane of glass, taking out a speedometer, unwiring it, rewiring it, and replacing the pane of glass: it’s not as simple as filling up your gas tank or refilling your windshield wiper fluid, for example.

Pros

  • Green LED screen is easy to read in all conditions
  • Equipped with waterproof construction for watercraft and sporting vehicle use
  • Data tracking storage and downloadable
  • Easy to install as far as round gauge speedometers go

Cons

  • Installation is trickier than with HUDs
  • One of the least stylish round gauge speedometers on the market

4. Best Looking: Eling MPH GPS Speedometer with Adjustable Overspeed Alarm

Eling MPH GPS Speedometer with Adjustable Overspeed Alarm

Why we like it: This pricey round-gauge speedometer is waterproof, durable, and beautifully simple.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance

  • Type of GPS Speedometer: Round Gauge
  • Display Size: 3.5 inches
  • Other Data: Overspeed Alarm

Review

Great for drivers who might be tempted to push the speed limit, this speedometer from well-known manufacturer Eling has a built-in adjustable alarm that gives you a warning when you’re going too fast. It’s a great reminder to stay safe on the highway or even when driving around town.

GPS speedometers are also phenomenal for boats, given that typical boats with outboard motors have no direct way to know their speed through the water. This will fit in the standard boat speedometer outlet, measuring 3 and ⅜ inches, and requiring a clearance of 55mm to fit in the socket. Unfortunately, and similarly to its lineup-sibling, the ELING Universal MPH GPS Speedometer, there’s no trip distance function, just an overall odometer.

This classic looking and stylish speedometer will last you longer than your vehicle, probably, measuring distances up to 999,999 miles and with strong customer support. Nabbing multiple spots on our list, we’re impressed with all of Eling’s round gauge speedometers.

Installation

The fact that it requires a GPS antenna is a bit of a pain up-front, but long term it will save you a lot of time over other GPS speedometers that can take up to five minutes to sync to GPS networks. This speedometer just requires a small fraction of that. Otherwise, just pop it into the existing speedometer hole and wire it to the power source (the speedometer has a manual that includes relatively in-depth installation instructions).

Pros

  • A premium round gauge speedometer with waterproof functionality is great for boats
  • Permanent installation with direct wiring
  • Classic and stylish look
  • In-depth manual is detailed enough to provide consistent and reliable information

Cons

  • No trip distance function
  • Requires 55mm of rear clearance

5. Best Budget Pick: LeaningTech Original Digital Universal Car HUD

LeaningTech Original Digital Universal Car HUD

Why we like it: This inexpensive HUD requires next to no setup while providing accurate info and an automatically adjusting backlit LCD screen.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance

  • Type of GPS Speedometer: Heads Up Display
  • Display Size: 4 x 2 inches
  • Other Data: Speeding alert

Review

With no extra setup required other than plugging the unit directly into a USB port just for power, this GPS speedometer unit does exactly what it needs to do: keep things simple. Operation is managed by just three buttons: one that navigates between displays, the other one that changes the unit from KPH to MPH. Brightness is adjusted automatically via a daytime light sensor; the unit also uses green light so as to not interfere with drivers’ eyes.

The GPS takes between one and five minutes to sync, sometimes a bit of an issue if you’re in a rush, although it does measure both driving time and distance, something plenty of other speedometers lack. Our favorite feature, though, is a speeding alarm that makes sure to alert drivers when they’re speeding via three beeps, informed by GPS data.

But what’s truly special about this product is its status as the only true heads-up display on our list. The inexpensive and small unit includes a reflective sticker which, when positioned properly, reflects the screen up onto the windshield, displaying relevant, readable data on the glass itself. It’s a phenomenal and futuristic way to visually experience driving data.

Installation

With a tacky non-slip mat that simply sets up on the dashboard, installation with this unit is about as easy as it gets. But there is an annoying downside to that: with just the weight of the unit itself holding the GPS onto the dash, hard braking and acceleration can move the unit around.

Pros

  • Only true heads up display on the list
  • Three-button operation keeps things simple
  • Brightness is automatically adjusted
  • Directly plugs into USB port for power

Cons

  • Non-slip mat doesn’t keep the unit perfectly in place
  • Takes a long time to sync

6. Best Digital Display: ELING Digital GPS LCD 85 mm Speedometer

ELING Digital GPS LCD 85 mm Speedometer

Why we like it: This ELING GPS speedometer meshes worlds, providing an LCD screen in a round-gauge format.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance

  • Type of GPS Speedometer: Round Gauge
  • Display Size: 85 mm
  • Other Data: Speeding Alert, Cardinal Directions

Review

This unit mixes the digital format, accuracy, and reliability of a heads-up display with the classic look and dashboard integration of a round gauge display. It fits in a standard 3 ⅜ inch hole with a clearance of about 55mm behind the display itself.

All of the dimensions and the form factor itself is pretty standard as far as round gauge speedometers go, but where this device is really special comes when you look at the display itself: seven different backlight options all light up an brilliant, easy-to-read screen, simultaneously displaying a wide variety of statistics from cardinal directions to a trip and lifetime odometer.

It also has a speeding alert. Unfortunately, though, no data capture or analysis is available.

And with an IP67 rating that certifies the device’s water resistance, a working temperature range from negative 40 degrees to almost 200, and a fluctuating voltage that works in nearly every vehicle’s electrical system, this device isn’t just for use in all conditions, it’s also nearly universally compatible. Some might say it’s even overbuilt, but when you’re paying about three times the price of competitors, you’ve got to make it worth it somehow.

Installation

This unit requires a pretty intense installation process, taking out the existing gauge and replacing it with the GPS-enabled unit. And unlike an HUD, which doesn’t require any antenna setup during installation, this device needs to be wired to an external antenna.

The only benefit to be claimed through installation is the fact that it’s a permanent solution compared to other HUDs that just sit on top of the dash (the LeaningTech Original Digital Universal Car HUD, for example).

Pros

  • Standard 3 ⅜ inch size fits easily in existing dashboard space
  • Brilliant, easy to read screen
  • IP67 waterproof rating
  • Incredible range of functional temperatures

Cons

  • Overbuilt and too expensive for day-to-day use

7. Easiest to Read: TIMPROVE Universal Digital Car HUD GPS Speedometer

TIMPROVE Universal Digital Car HUD GPS Speedometer

Why we like it: A utilitarian HUD with a large format screen is a more permanent solution than most HUDs with an included mount.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance

  • Type of GPS Speedometer: Heads Up Display
  • Display Size: 3 inches
  • Other Data: Adjustable Overspeed Sensor

Review

A large-format screen meant for display and attachment directly to the dashboard, the TIMPROVE Universal Digital Car HUD GPS Speedometer is an excellent and more permanent alternative to dashboard-top units like the TIMPROVE Universal Digital Car HUD GPS Speedometer. By including a mount that attaches directly instead of a non-stick mount, it turns a temporary solution into an effective and integrated permanent one.

Using the same green LEDs that are designed to be easy on the eyes as other HUDs such as LeaningTech Original Digital Universal Car HUD, this unit is as user-friendly as it is well designed. A single button control toggles between screens and data fields and requires only a connection to a USB power source (no antenna installation necessary).

It’s also fully featured: along with the standby speed and odometer functions, it also has a driving timer that can be paused, a trip distance tracker, and an adjustable overspeed sensor. The unit itself feels a little flimsy and isn’t weather-resistant, but if you want something for the interior of your car and you don’t want to wire in a new speedometer, it’s hard to go wrong with this device.

Installation

At 4.8 ounces, this is one of the lightest units on our list, functional and useful for smaller vehicles like motorcycles, mopeds, and even bicycles. Setup is easy, powered by a Mini-USB to USB connection, setting up on an included mount that is both multipurpose, durable, and flexible.

Pros

  • Only requires a connection to a GPS power source
  • Adjustable overspeed sensor
  • Trip distance tracker
  • Doesn’t require any wiring

Cons

  • Unit feels flimsy
  • No water resistance/weather resistance

8. Best for Performance Vehicles: ACECAR Heads Up Display

ACECAR Heads Up Display

Why we like it: This HUD from brand ACECAR is great for those looking to add a custom touch to their vehicle. It also pulls live OBDII data.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance

  • Type of GPS Speedometer: Heads Up Display
  • Display Size: 3.5 inches
  • Other Data: Fatigue Alarm, Engine RPM

Review

This performance-oriented and relatively pricey heads up display is an homage to a race car dash, the brilliantly colored screen displaying data in real-time in a compelling and visually appealing way.

In this way and at this price point, it’s really more of a custom vehicle modification than more utilitarian units like the LeaningTech Original Digital Universal Car HUD, with a price tag to match.

But for the custom, tuned, car meet crowd, interesting and colorful dashes are a quick and simple way to add aesthetic value to the dashboard or interior.

A custom HUD is also a phenomenal way to better understand and read the data of your vehicle, with this one displaying not only speed (more accurately than even a standard odometer), engine RPM, a fatigue alarm designed to keep drivers awake, and even an input to the OBDII port that can display engine error codes.

All of these features come displayed on a screen with a feature for brightness adjustment (with both manual and automatic control options). While the feature that can help display and diagnose error codes is both unique and interesting, it’s only functional on certain cars post-2008. Customer support is responsive and helpful, although the durability of the unit itself is somewhat questionable.

Installation

Unlike any other speedometer on the list, this device pulls most of its display information from the OBDll port itself, the same port that error codes come from. That means the install is quite easy from a wiring perspective; no need to crack your dashboard open and no need to mess with any wiring. It’s also a completely authentic HUD, reflecting directly onto the windshield instead of only serving as an auxiliary screen. It’s the real deal.

Pros

  • Pulls information from the OBDII port, no need for wiring
  • Custom HUD makes data easy to read on dash
  • Colored screen improves the look of your vehicle
  • Manual and automatic brightness adjustment

Cons

  • Unit has a quite high price tag
  • Durability is not a strong suit

9. Easiest to Use: Kingneed Original Universal GPS HUD Odometer

Kingneed Original Universal GPS HUD Odometer

Why we like it: An economical HUD has plenty of features and is quite easy to setup, although accuracy at high speeds can be questionable.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance

  • Type of GPS Speedometer: Heads Up Display
  • Display Size: 4 inches
  • Other Data: Time and Mileage Tracker

Review

This HUD’s best feature is, well, its features: a stop/start driving timer is included as a secondary data field, as well as an altitude sensor, a distance calculator that can count down as well as up, a conventional odometer, and a programmable clock.

Unfortunately, as fully equipped as the unit is, there’s no data capture or analysis as with more expensive HUDs like with the TIMPROVE T600 Universal Car HUD.

That’s okay for us, though: at about three-quarters of the price, it doesn’t feel completely necessary to have every last bell and whistle, especially considering that setup is easier than the more expensive models.

This unit also contains features that some premium models don’t have, for example, an hourly alarm meant to help keep drivers awake and alert, and a mileage and time sensor that can be downloaded after the fact, so really, it’s only missing acceleration and braking data.

As with any budget product that claims to be as good as the premium version, there are a few issues. Primarily, water resistance and durability: keep this unit well mounted and well protected from the elements, or you’ll be buying a new one before you know it. Also an issue is accurate speed, as readings over about 75 mph are somewhat suspect.

Installation

Installation is about as easy as most HUDs, setting up on your dash via a powered USB port and ready to go in seconds. While it won’t stay permanently in place, it’s not meant to: it’s a dashboard-top unit. Still, those looking for permanence should check out a round gauge product, like the relatively inexpensive Eling Universal MPH GPS Speedometer/Odometer with Backlight.

Pros

  • Includes an hourly alarm meant to keep drivers alert
  • Inexpensive unit keeps things simple
  • Installation is remarkably easy
  • Has an abundance of necessary data fields

Cons

  • Accuracy at speed can be unreliable
  • Dashboard top unit can move around during use
  • No water resistance
  • Durability isn’t great

10. Best for Recreational Vehicles: VJOYCAR Universal Digital GPS Speedometer HUD

VJOYCAR Universal Digital GPS Speedometer HUD

Why we like it: With an included mount and waterproof design, this unit is great for those that need a speedometer or heads up display for recreational motor vehicles or boats.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance

  • Type of GPS Speedometer: Heads Up Display
  • Display Size: 3 inches
  • Other Data: Overspeed Alarm, Driving Time

Review

Looking for something that works better on a motorcycle, ATV, or snowmobile than a sedan? Consider this GPS-powered speedometer from direct-to-consumer brand VJOYCAR. It’s a compact heads up display that sits on your dash or near your controls console, more compact and slim than most other HUDs but still boasting a large, easy-to-read three-inch screen.

The look and function are interlinked, with a slick carbon fiber finish hiding the fact that the speedometer is completely waterproof. Especially as the device is meant for use for sporting vehicles that might spend time in the rain, we appreciate the fact that manufacturer VJOYCAR took the time to make the device truly waterproof.

With an adjustable overspeed alarm meant to help you monitor your speed, the manufacturer isn’t just looking out for your vehicle, but for you as well. Our only complaint is the fact that the beeps aren’t really loud enough to hear over wind noise when driving a motorcycle, boat, or snowmobile at speed. Fortunately, that issue is made up for by the fact that other features include a trip odometer, lifetime odometer, and display that can display both KPH and MPH.

Installation

As far as HUD speedometers go, it’s not the easiest in the world to set up, especially on sporting vehicles. There is an included mount is better than the non-slip mats that come with some devices, but it’s fragile enough that it’s probably worth it to invest in a third party option instead of using the factory version.

Pros

  • Truly waterproof and dustproof construction is great for motorcycles and boats
  • Data is tracked, maintained on the device, and fully downloadable
  • Overspeed alarm can help you monitor speeding habits
  • Fully featured with both trip and distance odometers

Cons

  • Installation is a little tricky and requires rewiring
  • The round-gauge speedo isn’t very good looking

Guide to Buying the Best GPS Speedometer for 2020

While a GPS speedometer is a small investment next to most car improvements you might make to your car, it’s important, keeping you safe under the speed limit and fulfilling a vital legal requirement for all cars on the road in the US. Read on to learn how you can maximize the value you get out of a GPS speedometer system.

Styling

Beauty in a speedometer is subjective: just as with cars in general, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. While some prefer classic-style analog-dial GPS speedometers and others want a full digital dash, there are some universal styling tips that can help your aftermarket GPS speedometer blend in seamlessly.

Pay Attention to Color

Contrary to what you might think, matching a gray dash to a gray speedometer can often go wrong if the two tones don’t perfectly match with each other. A much better idea? Pick a color that matches with your interior accents (anodized red, blue, or your personal preference. If you’re not into a more custom look and you want your GPS speedometer to blend in with no fuss, black will always, always blend in just fine.

Secure Mounting

While round gauge speedometers fit directly into instrument clusters, dashboard-top HUDs suffer from the annoying problem of sliding around during hard acceleration or braking. While some manufacturers offer mounts (the TIMPROVE Universal Digital Car HUD GPS Speedometer is a good example) or non-slip pads on the base.

While those looking for a truly permanent solution will probably be better served by an option that fits into the dash, you can buy dual-sided tape or Velcro to create a DIY solution.

Installing a GPS Speedometer

While a GPS speedometer is a lot easier to install than a traditional wired speedometer, there’s still a significant amount of work that needs to go into the installation of round gauge models, and some work that goes into a dashboard-top unit. Consider the following before purchasing.

Powering Your GPS Speedometer

The biggest benefit of a GPS speedometer? It doesn’t always have to be wired into your car’s existing electronics to function properly. Unfortunately, that means you’ll have to rely on some type of auxiliary power to bring electricity to the GPS, most often a USB-mini USB port or connection. While most cars made in the last ten years have a USB port installed, older vehicles typically require something that fits into a cigarette lighter or auxiliary power outlet. Purchase a 12V/24V option to power all of the options on this list.

Wiring Your Speedometer

While HUD GPS speedometers simply sit on your dashboard and only require a USB to a power source, round gauge speedometers need to be wired up to the existing power behind the dashboard. Most owner’s manuals will give you a rough idea, and the process isn’t particularly difficult, but check out the video below for a visual representation of the wiring process. Most steps are relatively universal across products.

GPS Antenna Setup

Figuring out your antenna takes you one step further than wiring in a conventional power setup, requiring you to use a connector to turn an existing cable into a GPS antenna. While ELING products actually don’t require an independent GPS wiring process, other round gauge speedometers use a simple connector to break open the wire sheath and then connect to the wire itself.

If you’re not confident enough to do this process yourself, it’s probably a good idea to take the unit to your local auto shop. They’ll be able to help you out. Your speedometer owner’s manual will describe it in more detail.

Speedometer Screen/Feature Setup

A pro tip? If you’re planning on reselling your car after installing a GPS speedometer, make sure your odometer can be adjusted to read your previous odometer reading. When reselling vehicles, tampering or misrepresenting mileage is a felony under federal regulations.

Most GPS speedometers are quite simple to use. Simply check the user manual and use the physical buttons to set up the display to your liking. Since most units have fewer than ten functions, operating these products typically is not too difficult to manage.

GPS Speedometer Laws

Cars are legally required to have functioning speedometers in all 50 states, so if you don’t have a functional speedometer in your dashboard (they break for all kinds of reasons), you’ll have to pick up a GPS speedometer for when that cop pulls you over and asks you how fast you were going.

In your car, you should absolutely make sure you have an accurate speedometer that works in all conditions. Purchasing an inaccurate model to save a buck could end up costing you big time later in the form of an expensive citation.

That being said, each state has different regulations on how accurate a GPS unit must be. For private, non-commercial vehicles, this can vary.

Federal guidelines for commercial traffic state that commercial vehicles (busses, trucks, or truck-tractors) must have a reading accurate to 5 miles per hour while traveling at a speed of 50 miles per hour. Many states follow that same guidance for non-commercial vehicles.

Other Products for Your Dashboard

There are plenty of other fantastic products that don’t only improve the look of your dashboard, but can also improve your experience while driving. From advanced heads up displays to GPS units, consider the following to make life as a driver a bit easier.

  • Car Compasses: Whether it’s for looks, navigation purposes, or both, a car compass looks awfully good up next to a brand spanking new GPS speedometer. And if you’re out of cell range, it could even save you someday.
  • Dash Camera: No one has ever regretted owning a dash camera after a road incident or accident. Dash cams are inexpensive and easy to set up: your future self will thank you.
  • Police Scanner: It’s a right for drivers to be able to keep up with the movements of law enforcement and local emergency personnel. Whether you’re doing long hauls and looking to stay entertained or you’re trying to minimize the possibility of a law-enforcement related hassle, a police scanner is a great addition to your dash.

Frequently Asked Questions

For an inexpensive and convenient accessory, GPS speedometers are actually incredibly technologically advanced. Some of the most common questions on the unique products are answered below.

Will a GPS Speedometer Work Everywhere?

Yes! GPS speedometers rely on the same satellite networks that power everything from military navigation systems to bicycle computers: as long as your antenna has visual access to the sky, your speedometer can work anywhere. If the signal happens to drop out, some GPS computers have features that extrapolate speed so that your computer still has some reliability.

Where Do I Mount the Antenna?

One of the most difficult parts of installing a round gauge, cluster mounted GPS speedometer is figuring out how and where to wire your antenna. This article does a great job of explaining, but the simplest answer is that there are wires running under your dash that can function as an antenna. Just browse your GPS speedometer owner’s manual to find the proper spot to thread in your connector or check out this article on antenna placement.

Is There a Speedometer on Google Maps?

Not only is there a speedometer function built into the Google Maps app that you can use on your cell phone, there’s also a built-in overspeed sensor that alerts you when you’re speeding based on Google’s knowledge of the road network (which, as a warning, isn’t 100% accurate).

So, the short answer? Yes, there is a speedometer function built in on Google Maps that can be accessed within the app. Is it as accurate as a GPS speedometer? Definitely not.

Can I Use an App-Based Speedometer?

Search the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and you’ll be sure to find plenty of developers claiming to produce ultra-accurate speedometer apps. But there are several problems with this approach. Firstly, you’re living at the whims of state legislation and local enforcement of regulations related to phone use while driving.

Secondly, you’re using the application of a developer who has more of an incentive to produce a slick-looking product than to produce a reliable one. It’s worth it to shell out the few bucks to purchase either a dashboard-mounted device or a round gauge device that fits directly into your instrument cluster.

How Accurate are GPS Speedometers?

GPS speedometers, when working perfectly, are just as accurate or even more accurate than wired speedometers, normally with a speed tolerance range of under 2% in either direction. The only issue comes when there’s a satellite network dropout, in which case you’re pretty much out of luck—most speedometers will read as zero miles per hour until they come back into range.

Wrapping Up

A GPS speedometer is one of the simplest ways to improve your vehicle: from using data to help you understand your car better (as with the case of TIMPROVE T600 Universal Car HUD), to adding a custom touch to your interior, to giving you an option to accurately measure your speed using GPS, a custom speedometer is a great, inexpensive way to customize your ride.