Echo Dot in a car
That’s an Echo Dot in a car.

Cork Gaines/Business Insider

When Amazon put the Echo Dot on sale for $35 during Prime Day, my reaction was probably like a lot of others: Should I buy another Echo, and if I do, where would I put it?

Then, with a little help from a funny moment involving my 6-year-old daughter, it hit me: Why not put an Echo Dot in my car?

Sure enough, I ordered another Dot and installed it in my car. So far, it has turned out to be the best $35 I have spent in a long time.

I’ll walk you through how I installed it (it’s easy), what I use it for (just about everything), and why it is the best car infotainment system I have ever used (it turned out to be better than I imagined it would):

Our family already had 3 Echos — a regular Echo in the living room and Dots in the office and master bedroom — which we used for music, controlling various Hue lights and Nest thermostats, maintaining shopping and to-do lists, re-ordering Amazon items, and other general goofiness. In other words, we were already tight with “Alexa,” the Echo digital assistant.

Our family already had 3 Echos — a regular Echo in the living room and Dots in the office and master bedroom — which we used for music, controlling various Hue lights and Nest thermostats, maintaining shopping and to-do lists, re-ordering Amazon items, and other general goofiness. In other words, we were already tight with

Amazon

So when Amazon dropped the price of the Echo Dot on Prime Day, it was tempting to order another. But where would we use it? (sorry, kids, you’re not ready for an Alexa in your room).

So when Amazon dropped the price of the Echo Dot on Prime Day, it was tempting to order another. But where would we use it? (sorry, kids, you're not ready for an Alexa in your room).
Amazon.com

Then I recalled a funny moment in the car when our six-year-old tried to ask the radio to play her favorite song. Nothing happened and we laughed. But while staring at the $35 price tag on the Echo Dot it hit me, “Why couldn’t we put one in a car and use it as a media device where everybody would have easy access?”

Then I recalled a funny moment in the car when our six-year-old tried to ask the radio to play her favorite song. Nothing happened and we laughed. But while staring at the $35 price tag on the Echo Dot it hit me,

Cork Gaines/Business Insider

11 hours later, Amazon’s free one-day shipping had an Echo Dot on our doorstep, ready to be installed in the truck.

11 hours later, Amazon's free one-day shipping had an Echo Dot on our doorstep, ready to be installed in the truck.

Cork Gaines/Business Insider

I do have a bit of advantage here as the owner of a 2015 Chevy Silverado. It has several USB ports, a Bluetooth stereo, and built-in WiFi.

I do have a bit of advantage here as the owner of a 2015 Chevy Silverado. It has several USB ports, a Bluetooth stereo, and built-in WiFi.

Cork Gaines/Business Insider

While few will have all three features, it is easy to imagine this would also work with a lighter socket adapter, the Echo Dot’s own speaker, and tethering to a phone as a hotspot.

While few will have all three features, it is easy to imagine this would also work with a lighter socket adapter, the Echo Dot's own speaker, and tethering to a phone as a hotspot.

iStock/SolisImages

Installing it was a snap. Just plug in the Dot, turn on the car, go through the regular Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth setup like you would with any Echo, and voilà!

Installing it was a snap. Just plug in the Dot, turn on the car, go through the regular Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth setup like you would with any Echo, and voilà!
Amazon Alexa App

I currently have the Dot sitting on top of the center console for easy access to anybody in the front or back seats.

I currently have the Dot sitting on top of the center console for easy access to anybody in the front or back seats.

Cork Gaines/Business Insider

Interestingly, the Dot also fits perfectly into a standard cup holder if you want to hide it and still have constant voice access. However, I was nervous I would forget and place a sweaty drink on top of it.

 Interestingly, the Dot also fits perfectly into a standard cup holder if you want to hide it and still have constant voice access. However, I was nervous I would forget and place a sweaty drink on top of it.

Cork Gaines/Business Insider

One thing that concerned me was the lag when starting the car and turning on the Dot. Inside the house, the Echos are always on. I was worried this would be a nuisance. It turns out, the Dot…