How to choose a phone mount for the car
Drive safer and smarter with a phone mounting kit
Keeping your phone safe, secure, and accessible is an essential part of being a smart driver. In this article, we'll explain the different types of phone mounts available so you can decide on the one that's best for you and your vehicle.
By now, you'd think everyone would be fully aware of the perils of talking and texting while driving. Sadly, as anyone who's spent as much as 20 minutes on the road lately already knows, everyone most certainly does not. It's almost like we as a species have lost the ability to think of others and learn from our mistakes or something.
Besides being dumb and dangerous, driving around with a phone in your hand and your eyes on the screen is flat-out illegal in most states now – and expensive, if you get caught. Here in Virginia, for example, a citation for talking or texting behind the wheel can result in a fine of up to $2750 (as we write this). Your state’s rates may vary, but we doubt it'll be pocket change.
All that said, our phones are a huge part of our everyday lives, and everyday life often requires driving somewhere. Your smartphone needs to be within reach to be used safely while driving. And that’s why you need a phone mount.
How and where do I mount a phone in my car?
In this article, we’ll take a look at all the ways you can keep your phone secure and drive safely. If you want to discuss your options, a Crutchfield advisor is just a phone call away. Just not while you’re driving.
Types of phone mounts
Keeping your phone in a purse or pocket is fine if you’re one of those people who just doesn’t use your phone at all in the car, but most of us aren’t those people. Flipping it onto the passenger’s seat gives you a good chance of seeing your not-at-all-inexpensive phone go hurtling into the footwell when you slam on the brakes to avoid a wayward deer or something.
Given those options, it's no wonder phone mounts are so popular these days. There are a variety of mount styles to choose from, so it’s important to see what’s out there and what’s best for you and your vehicle. In many cases, the right choice depends on how your car’s interior is configured and how you use your phone.
These mounts are the easiest to use, which is a big reason they’re the most popular mounts on the market. Many of these mounts can be clipped to a vent, which keeps them handy and out of the way. How much they block the vent depends on the size of your phone, so keep that in mind. And yes, they are safe for use with your phone.
Wireless charging mounts
Your phone mount can also be a wireless phone charger. Qi (pronounced "chee") is the universal standard for wirelessly charging phones and other devices. Just place your compatible Android or Apple® phone on the charger’s pad and it’ll keep your phone secure while also keeping a constant inductive charge flowing into the device. To learn more, check out our informative article on wireless charging.
The Scosche MGQWD-XTET features 360-degree rotation, so you can get the view you want
Looking for something that's really high-tech and just plain cool? The Scosche MGQWD-XTET widens its motorized arms to accept your Qi-enabled phone. The arms then close to secure the phone while it charges wirelessly. If you use wireless Android Auto™ or Apple CarPlay®, this is a great way to keep your phone's battery topped off. And putting the phone in place feels a lot like docking a spaceship, which is just neat.
For some cars and trucks, you can choose a vehicle-specific mount that’s designed to give you a sleek, factory-finished look. These brackets mount to the subdash behind the dash panel. Installation takes some work, but you end up with a "factory" look. To see if there’s a custom mount available for your car or truck, enter your vehicle information.
A vehicle-specific bracket brings a sleek, more integrated look to your dash. This bracket is designed for select GM vehicles.
Where to mount your phone
On the windshield
Placing the phone right in front of your face might be tempting, but since there's all that important stuff going on right in front of the car, you'll need to compromise. We recommend placing a suction mount in the center of the windshield.
On a vent
Mounting your phone on an HVAC vent is a great option, because it’ll be out of the way and easy to reach. This is also a good option for the left-handed, because you can mount the phone in such a way that you won’t need to reach across your body to access functions with your dominant hand.
On the dashboard
You can go front and center here, or, depending on how your dash is designed, place the phone mount on the left side. With these mounts, it’s important to pay attention to what covers your dash, since some materials work better with these mounts than others. Your vehicle’s center dash speaker (or lack thereof) is another thing to keep in mind.
In a cup holder
These expandable mounts fit securely into a cupholder and give you a nice combination of security and convenience. With these mounts, though, the location of the cup holder matters. If the cup holder is toward the front of the center console, that’s probably fine. If it's in the center, you’ll quickly get tired of whacking your phone with your right arm. You should also think about how important it is to have one or more cup holders available for beverages while you’re driving.
No matter how you're using your smartphone, mounting it properly is as important as mounting it in the first place. Don't mount it directly in front of the vehicle's airbags or too high on the dash, because it could become a missile in the unfortunate event of an accident.
With your phone mounted in a safe, convenient place, you'll be ready to hit the road. You'll enjoy all the features that make having a phone in your car a great idea, while avoiding all the dumb things that other drivers – like that person in front of you who is OBVIOUSLY checking his texts – have been doing since mobile phones first became ubiquitous a few years back.
Have questions? Ask a Crutchfield Advisor!
Let's get started!
Ready to shop? Use our vehicle selector to see if we have a vehicle-specific mount for your car or truck, or go straight to our entire collection of phone mounts and chargers. If you have questions of your own, give us a shout via phone, chat, or email