Do all rental cars have GPS?

I can’t remember the last time I rented a car, but do they all have GPS these days and do most people know how to use them? I have never used one.

I have had an issue of some people getting lost as they near the rental. For whatever reason MapQuest sometimes takes them the wrong direction. And then when I looked up the directions on Google Maps, it was correct for me…but another guest insisted she chose the correct street address and it still brought her to the incorrect property. There is a property with almost the exact address that I tell people not to select.

Anyway, I have been emailing guests the last 10 miles of directions and tell them to go by mine even if their GPS says something different.

I really don’t want to give exact directions from the airport, etc. as I don’t want to be responsible if an exit is closed off or something. So I have been telling them to go by their GPS until the last 10 miles.

Does GPS go by Mapquest or does it go by GoogleMaps?

Yes, I know I am still living in the 20th century. Has anyone had any luck contacting Mapquest to get the directions right? With Mapquest I know for a fact it was giving incorrect directions because I was typing in the address myself.


No. Rental cars, at least here in Boston and in NYC, only have GPS if you pay about $10/day on top of the rental car fees. Most GPS providers are using proprietary satellite information, and may or may not have any relationship to either Mapquest or GoogleMaps. Phones use different maps entirely. Whenever someone heads to the wrong address instead of mine, it is because they pick the first thing that pops up which is AVENUE, but we are on STREET. Of course, I warn people, but a few still go to the Avenue, and then it takes them about 30 minutes to get back to us during rush hour. And when they do arrive, they are grumpy even though they all acknowledge that they were not paying attention.


I told one guest "be sure not to use Mapquest but GoogleMaps is correct. And be sure to select “Road” and not “Lane.” Then I got the dreaded phone call where they can barely get cell reception and the rental they are looking at isn’t what they saw in the photos!

So I take it if they are using directions from their phone…then as soon as they lose signal - they won’t be able to access those directions? Or can they still access them but they just can’t make/take phone calls? I didn’t think about that before, so maybe I should just go back to emailing them the directions from the major airports and telling them to print?? What do you think?

I was just concerned that maybe an exit or road changed, but I’m not even sure how quickly GoogleMaps edits the info?

If you don’t have cell service, you don’t have your maps unless you have downloaded them in advance. Most people have no idea how to download their maps, and if they figure that out, don’t then know how to access them. You have to send at least written directions. My guests use those directions. There is hardly a guest who doesn’t leave the notes that I send them pre-arrival printed out behind in the trash.

Many of my guests are arriving from other countries, or don’t have a cell phone. Roads around here are complicated. I send driving instructions to anyone who is foolish enough to bring a car. And then taxi and public transportation directions to anyone arriving by plane, train, or bus.

I think you should send directions, and assume that there will be a technology failure. At least this way, there is no way that you can be the reason for their inability to get to your home.


Thanks for the phone explanation!

Not all rentals have GPS. A lot of people use their phones; but not all foreign phones work in the US and vice versa.

I’m waiting right now for a French couple who should be arriving in the next 15-30 minutes. I can’t call them because I don’t have a smart phone and my phone is not set up to make international calls. I’m not sure if they can call here – their phone is registered in France. I gotten no email responses from them in the past 3 days of trying I suspect they’re “on the road” and not checking things…

I should have clarified in the original post that I was referring to American guests.

I’m just trying to figure out how my location got moved on MapQuest. Why was it correct when I first started renting, and “who/what” was able to move it to the incorrect location?

I am not sure about MapQuest but Google Maps is very good at taking and incorporating feedback. (I wasn’t aware MapQuest still existed.) It might be worthwhile to try to contact MapQuest to let them know of the error.

If someone is using a GPS, their maps should be up to date. Unlike with a smartphone (which has 3G/4G or wifi and regularly update), some GPS don’t automatically update.

I agree with the advice to supply directions for the last 10 miles.

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Apple maps and google maps on my smart phone (which is latest iPhone and always updated) are often wrong

Landmarks, if available, are also good. And sending a map of the locality is also not a bad idea, though I’ve not personally done it, because my place is rather easy to find.

I’ve had two guests choose to use Google Maps over following my directions. They both got lost.

given i am literally on the intersection of 4 suburbs, each corner being a different one and both sides of my house a different suburb, you have a slim chance getting here relying on a gps and not the written directions in my listing.