The dials on your car’s dashboard are essential – they let you know how fast you’re going, how hot the engine is, and whether you have any mechanical problems to worry about. However, every time you look down at these instruments, you need to take your eyes off the road. At highway speeds, you can travel a surprisingly long way without actually looking where you’re going.
Luckily, there’s a convenient solution: head up displays. Sometimes abbreviated to ‘HUD display’, this nifty piece of kit might look like something out of science fiction, but you can actually install one in practically any vehicle. They work by projecting vital information onto the inside of your windshield. Everything from speed to GPS interfaces can be projected this way, and you can install your own for less than you’d think. To help you find the best head up displays on the market right now, we’ve compiled this handy buying guide. Below we run through our 10 favorite options, before answering some common questions about how to get the most out of your new display.
The Best Head Up Display For Cars
Kicking off our list is LeaningTech, with their simple but effective car HUD. The device can be fitted to almost any vehicle, thanks to its plug-and-play setup – just plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter and go! The display projects easy to read information straight onto your windshield, giving you instant access to important figures such as mileage, speed, and driving time.
The display automatically adjusts its brightness from day to night, so you’ll never find yourself dazzled or uncomfortable. The green color is easy on the eyes, even on long journeys, and you can even switch on a speeding alarm to help you keep steady. The universal design is compatible with all cars and trucks, and you won’t need to undertake any complicated wiring to get it going. Another neat safety feature is its fatigue driving alarm – you can set this alarm to sound every hour, to help you keep track of how long you’ve been on the road, and avoid driving without adequate breaks.
Universal car HUD
Easy to install into any vehicle’s cigarette lighter
Works through GPS technology
Projects speed, mileage, and journey time onto your car’s windshield
Display brightness automatically adjusts from light to dark conditions
Green display color helps prevent eye strain
Fitted with fatigue and speed alarms
Excellent value for money
- Weight7.2 ounces
Autolover have earned the second spot on our list, with this OBD2 HUD solution. It’s a little trickier to set up than the plug-and-play options on the market, but does come with a simple to follow installation guide to help you out. Because it’s designed to work with OBD2, the device is compatible with virtually any vehicle made after 2003. This means it’s equipped to pick up on fault codes that you’d otherwise have to go to your local garage to have read.
Once installed, this aftermarket heads up display projects a collection of vital information onto your windshield at eye level. You’ll be able to keep an eye on myriad data, including speed, water temperature, battery voltage, fuel consumption, and mileage. You can also switch on additional features, such as reminders to shift gear, speeding alarms, and anti-fatigue reminders. It’s easy to switch between miles and kilometers, too, so you’ll know exactly where you stand even while driving abroad. The display itself is attractive and easy to read, giving you instant access to a plethora of useful stats.
OBD2 compatible HUD for cars
Installation instructions included
Works with the vast majority of cars manufactured after 2003
Projects important data on your windshield at eye level
Displays stats including speed, mileage, fuel consumption, and fault codes
Features built-in anti-fatigue reminder and speeding alarm
- Weight9.6 ounces
The next heads up display car device to make it onto our list is produced by Timprove. Unlike the previous two options, this one depends on an LCD display, rather than projecting data straight onto the windshield. It’s universally compatible, and sits on your dashboard at eye level. As you drive, the high definition screen will be filled with important data, including speed, driving direction, journey distance, and driving time.
You can also set up an alarm to warn you when you exceed the local speed limit, or when your battery voltage drops. It automatically switches on and off with your car’s ignition, and adjusts its own brightness to match whatever conditions you happen to be driving in. Its matte appearance also prevents glare-related issues, helping keep your vision as clear as possible on the go. Finally, this display can also help to keep you and your passengers safe: along with its other functions, it can also be used to carry out a brake performance test, so you can easily check up on your brakes before a long journey.
LCD heads up display for any vehicle
High definition screen sits at eye level on the dashboard
Displays useful data, including speed, driving direction, and journey distance
Features a speeding and battery voltage alarm
Matte appearance prevents glare
Screen automatically adjusts its brightness to match ambient conditions
Can be used to carry out a brake performance test
- Weight5.8 ounces
Another car HUD display to catch our eye is this design by Navdy. The dashboard mounted device displays information on a glass screen – at eye level, so you never have to take your eyes off the road. It can also be linked to your smartphone, allowing you to access Google Maps, calls, and messages, all without lowering your eyes or fiddling with your phone.
It’s easy to take calls and messages on the go with simple hand gestures, and you can even access music your music apps through the display. The screen automatically automatically its brightness to suit your current light conditions, too. Along with its more high-tech features, this HUD can also display more basic information, such as your speed, fuel level, journey distance, and RPM. Navdy describe their futuristic product as an “augmented driving device” – and it truly lives up to its name, providing all the interconnectivity you need for a comfortable and convenient journey. Despite this space-age appeal, it’s compatible with any car equipped with an OBD2 diagnostics connector. To hook it up to your smartphone, all you need is Bluetooth connectivity.
Smartphone compatible HUD for cars
Compatible with all OBD2 cars, and Bluetooth enabled smartphones
GPS HUD design can connect to Google maps, helping you find the quickest route
Dashboard mounted display helps you keep your eyes on the road
Bright screen automatically adjusts itself, for easy viewing in any light conditions
Answer calls, take messages, and listen to music all through the display
Display more basic information such as speed and fuel levels
- Weight2.58 pounds
The next car HUD projector to earn itself a spot on our list is by Kivic. Their dashboard mounted display can be hooked up to Android and iOS smartphones via Bluetooth, giving you access to useful driving apps, as well as basic trip data, on the go.
It’s compatible with most navigation apps – from Google Maps to Waze – making it easy to find the best route wherever you roam. It’s easy to see, too, since brightness settings automatically adjust to meet ambient conditions. You can also tailor the brightness manually. If your car is fitted with a rear camera, Kivic’s HUD can make your life even easier, by displaying the feed right onto its conveniently placed screen. Finally, this HUD is virtually universal – simply plug it into your cigarette lighter and mount it on your dashboard with the adhesive sticker supplied.
Dashboard mounted HUD projector
Display sits at eye level, so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road
Connects to smartphones via Bluetooth
Allows you to use useful driving apps on the go
Displays trip data, such as speed and mileage
Screen brightness automatically adjusts to meet ambient conditions
- Weight1.1 pounds
Arpenkin have also found a spot on our list, with their universal HUD. The device projects vital trip data – from vehicle speed to fuel consumption and mileage. The display adjusts its brightness automatically, so you can see it easily come rain or shine. It’s also designed to prevent any glare from forming on your windshield, reducing the risk of eye strain and fatigue.
Arpenkin’s device is compatible with all OBD2 equipped cars, making it incredibly versatile, too. Handy alarms will let you know if you exceed the speed limit, or the voltage in the battery drops, helping you to stay safe on the road. It automatically shuts off whenever you switch off your car’s engine, too, preserving the battery, and giving you one less thing to worry about. Included with this HUD is everything you need to get it up and running – a cable, manual, anti-slip mounting pad, and a special reflecting film for your windshield.
HUD projector for all OBD2 vehciles
Displays vital data at eye level on your car’s windshield
Makes it easy to access vital information, including speed and battery voltage
Includes anti-glare features and automatic brightness adjustment for perfect visibility
Handy alarms let you know if you exceed the speed limit, or if your battery voltage drops
Includes everything you need to get set up
- Weight1.44 ounces
Although this product isn’t technically an HUD, it does help you to keep an eye on the road while navigating. It’s a smartphone holder, which can be easily mounted on your dashboard using the grippy pad included.
The device will safely cradle your phone on the go, allowing you to see your navigation apps more easily while you drive. This not only makes for more convenient navigation, but also improves your safety by reducing distractions. The phone holder is mounted in your car through five sticky silicone gel pads. The pads are designed to keep things stable, even if you need to brake suddenly, and won’t melt when the sun pours through your windshield in the summer. This multi-functional holder can also be used in the home or office – wherever you need to keep your phone at eye level hands-free.
Dashboard phone mount
Universal design fits the vast majority of smartphones
Grippy silicone gel pads keep the device firmly on your dash
Reduces distracted driving
Suitable for use in your home and office, as well as the car
Includes a 45 day money back guarantee
- Weight5.3 ounces
This head up display by Dodoro has also earned itself a spot on our list. It’s compatible with pretty much any vehicle, since all you need to set it up is a functioning cigarette lighter or USB port. It projects important data onto your car’s windshield, including speed, and driving direction.
The device also features an audible speed alarm, which is triggered whenever you exceed the local speed limit. Its glare-free projection doesn’t interfere with your view of the road, and in fact makes checking your speed safer than lowering your eyes to the car’s instruments, since you can keep your eyes on the road at all times. When you switch off your car’s engine, the HUD will automatically shut off, too, ensuring you don’t drain the battery while you’re away.
Suitable for all vehicles with a functioning cigarette lighter or USB port
Displays vital information, such as speed, at eye level on the windshield
Features a speed alarm, helping you to stay under the limit
Brightness settings automatically adjust for comfortable reading
- Weight7.2 ounces
The next HUD to earn a spot on our list is this simple but effective display by Sherox. Its projector is designed specially for windscreen glass, so there’s no need to install a film before use. It displays all the basic data you need, without feeling cluttered. This simplicity allows you to focus on the road with ease. It’s compatible with all OBD2 and EUOBD enabled cars, making it incredibly versatile.
It displays your car’s speed, water temperature, mileage, and voltage – all at eye level so you never have to take your eyes off the road. It also features three handy alarms, letting you know if you’ve exceeded the local speed limit, if your car has overheated, or if your battery’s voltage has dropped. The bright display is easy to read, even in sunny conditions, but quickly decreases as conditions grow dimmer.
Car HUD compatible but OBD2 and EUOBD enabled vehicles
Projects vital information onto the windshield at eye level
Simple display doesn’t feel cluttered
Displays speed, water temperature, mileage, and voltage
Includes a speeding alarm, which activates if you exceed the local speed limit
Includes a low voltage alarm
Brightness automatically adjusts with ambient light conditions
- ModelTCA A100 BLACK
- Weight6.7 ounces
Capping off our list is this head up display by ITEQ. The unique glass panel design sits on your dashboard at eye level, providing you with information about your trip without having to look away from the road ahead.
The display also features a speed alarm, which is triggered whenever you exceed the pre-set speed. Along with speed information, the device can also display your journey time, altitude, and direction of travel. It’s easy to install too – simply plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter and go! Every ITEQ product includes a three month guarantee, so you know it’s built to last, too.
Universal dashboard mounted HUD
Easy to install – simply plug into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter
Displays useful data at eye level: speed, altitude, direction, and journey time
Three month guarantee included
Easy to read LED display is bright enough to see on sunny days
Remember to unplug when you exit the vehicle
- Weight2.4 ounces
Best Head Up Display For Cars Buying Guide
These 10 head up displays are the best of the bunch, and we’re confident you’ll find the perfect fit for you among them. To help you work out which display is best for your car, check out our handy buying guide below. We’ve also taken the time to answer some common questions about this handy piece of kit.
Features to Look for in a Head Up Display
When it comes to choosing a head up display for your vehicle, there are a few key features to consider:
An HUD is no good if you can’t read the display. Look out for a bright display, which can be adjusted (whether automatically or manually) to be visible in various light conditions. If in doubt, you can gauge the display quality by looking at photos from other users.
Some HUDs can be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth. This allows you to see your navigation apps alongside other trip information. Many HUDs with this connectivity double up as a car phone, too. If you travel a lot for work and need to take calls on the go, this could be a great feature for you. Whichever device you choose, be sure it’s compatible with your vehicle - some are universal, and simply plug into the cigarette lighter, while others must be wired into a specific OBD system.
Which HUD you select will also depend upon what data you want to see displayed. Some devices connect to your car’s OBD system, allowing them to display everything from fuel consumption to diagnostic codes, while others stick to simple information like speed. Simpler displays are not necessarily inferior, as they’re generally less cluttered, so easier to read.
Benefits of Using HUD for Cars
Installing a head up display in your car comes with a number of benefits:
- Using an HUD means you don’t need to take your eyes off the road to check your speed
- Using an HUD can give you access to trip data you may not otherwise be able to see
- Installing an HUD is generally simple
- Some HUDs can be connected to your smartphone, allowing you better access to your navigation app of choice
- HUDs are available to suit all budgets
- Using an HUD can help prevent speeding and fatigue
How to Install a Head Up Display For Cars
How you install your HUD will depend upon the manufacturer, and you should always follow their instructions carefully.
HUDs are generally installed using one of these two methods:
- Cigarette Lighter
Universal HUDs are simply plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter. They gather data about your trip via GPS, and don’t depend on the car’s internal electronics. These are the easiest to install - simply plug them in, and mount them on the dashboard.
Other HUDs are installed by plugging them into your car’s onboard computer. This allows them access to any data fed into the system. OBD connectors are located in different areas on different vehicles, but you will often find them under the steering wheel. Consult your car’s manual if you’re struggling to find the OBD connector. Once you’ve tracked down the port, it’s a fairly simple matter of making a few connections, and mounting the device itself on your dashboard.
Different Types of Head Up Displays
There are three main types of head up displays in the car world:
- Built-in HUD
Some high-end modern cars have HUD systems already built in. They’re pretty much invisible to the driver, but project information onto the windshield at eye level, through a series of mirrors.
- On-Board HUD
The displays on our list all fall into this category: they’re after-market devices mounted on your dashboard, and project information onto either your windshield, or their own glass display panel. Many can be connected to your phone via Bluetooth, allowing you to view your navigation app, or take calls hands-free.
- Smartphone Apps
If you want to give HUDs a go before making a real investment, you could try a head up display app on your phone. These apps project information onto your windshield when you place your phone in the right spot on the dashboard. You’ll probably need a grippy mounting pad to keep your phone in place throughout the journey.
Best Head Up Display For Cars FAQ:
Q: What are HUDs for?
A: Head up displays (HUDs) are an alternative to conventional dashboard dials. They’re designed to make it safer and easier to see vital trip information by placing it at eye level. This means you don’t need to take your eyes off the road to read a speedometer, or check your mileage.
Q: How do head up displays work?
A: HUDs were originally developed for aviation purposes, but they’re just as useful to drivers on the ground.
They work by treating your windshield as a screen, and projecting images onto it. Sometimes, your windshield will need to be coated with a special film to make the display more easily visible.
Q: Are HUDs safe?
A: Yes, HUDs are safe to use. In fact, once you’re used to using one, your driving is likely to be safer than it was without. This is because a head up display allows you to keep a better eye on your speed, or navigation instructions, without having to look away from the road.
Our Top Pick
For us, the best HUD for car has to be this simple, effective, and budget-friendly device by LeaningTech. The ‘plug and play’ technology is compatible with virtually all cars and trucks - simply plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter, mount it on the dashboard, and you’re good to go!
It projects vital information onto your windshield at eye level, making it easy to keep an eye on your speed without taking your eyes off the road. The green light display is comfortable to read, with an automatic brightness setting that changes with ambient light level.
As you drive, you’ll be able to see your speed, journey time, distance covered, and more. A handy speeding warning also alerts you whenever you exceed the local speed limit, helping you to stay safe on the road. Overall, it’s an easy to use device that will make driving a whole lot safer - and more comfortable.
- How Head-up Displays Work - How Stuff Works
- Adding A HUD To Your Car: Three Options - Slash Gear
- What is a head-up display, and is a HUD worth the money? - Car Magazine
- Heads up Display, Working and Types - Automotive Electronics