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Sat Navs, Recommendations?

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I'm normally a traditionalist, I like my £1.99 road maps and never had any issues getting lost etc. But I can see the benefit of having one especially when driving abroad, which will be the main use for mine (Europe only)

I'm a bit of a sat nav novice, never used one and know very little about them. I do know some have free updates and others you have to pay for and have had a browse online. I'm looking at spending around £150 (cheaper the better obviously) although can go a bit higher for a better one. I'm not looking for a top of the range latest one just one that does the job well. What are everyones experiences/recommendations?

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I use an HTC HD2 Windows Mobile smart phone and TomTom Navigator software with maps for western and central Europe. A bit over your budget but they are available second-hand and in good condition for about £150 plus £60 for the TomTom software. You would also need a dashboard holder and a charger, about £25.

Main advantage is that having it on your phone you always have it with you and you don't have to carry a bespoke satnav around with you. If you leave a satnav in your car, it will soon be gone along with your side window :(.

You could also use an Android phone with the free Google Navigation. It works, but I prefer to have the maps in the memory rather than download them as and when required, expensive when roaming.

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Which?

Results from our latest sat nav lab tests have revealed our highest ever scoring model. They also demonstrate that you can pick up an excellent Best Buy without breaking the bank.

http://www.which.co.uk/news/2011/03/which-tests-reveal-the-best-sat-navs-247674/

I have a 2 year old Tom Tom... Excuse the pun but I am lost without it. Drive in Europe lots. Plug it into your pc every now and then and upload latest road changes. Plus I have Homer Simpson telling me when I have reached my destination. :D

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I use an HTC HD2 Windows Mobile smart phone and TomTom Navigator software with maps for western and central Europe. A bit over your budget but they are available second-hand and in good condition for about £150 plus £60 for the TomTom software. You would also need a dashboard holder and a charger, about £25.

Main advantage is that having it on your phone you always have it with you and you don't have to carry a bespoke satnav around with you. If you leave a satnav in your car, it will soon be gone along with your side window :(.

You could also use an Android phone with the free Google Navigation. It works, but I prefer to have the maps in the memory rather than download them as and when required, expensive when roaming.

Thanks, I have an iPhone and a think there is sat nav software available for it. But what happens if you have no or little reception? I use google maps every now and then patriculary if walking around London or to find a specific road but obviously with no reception it doesn't know where you are!

I think I'd rather have a dedicated sat nav, I don't mind taking it out of the car as it will only be used for long distant driving to Europe not short trips to the shops or anything!

Thanks I'll have a look.

I have a 2 year old Tom Tom... Excuse the pun but I am lost without it. Drive in Europe lots. Plug it into your pc every now and then and upload latest road changes. Plus I have Homer Simpson telling me when I have reached my destination. :D

brilliant, :D

Do you have to pay for the updates?

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Thanks, I have an iPhone and a think there is sat nav software available for it. But what happens if you have no or little reception? I use google maps every now and then patriculary if walking around London or to find a specific road but obviously with no reception it doesn't know where you are!

I think I'd rather have a dedicated sat nav, I don't mind taking it out of the car as it will only be used for long distant driving to Europe not short trips to the shops or anything!

Thanks I'll have a look.

brilliant, :D

Do you have to pay for the updates?

Not sure about the TomTom iPhone app, but on mine the maps are stored in memory so you don't need any reception. You pay's your money and take's your choice I would hate to have to lug a dedicated satnav around with me and the HTC running TomTom is the same as having a dedicated unit, 4.3" screen 1Ghz processor etc.

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Thanks, I have an iPhone and a think there is sat nav software available for it. But what happens if you have no or little reception? I use google maps every now and then patriculary if walking around London or to find a specific road but obviously with no reception it doesn't know where you are!

I think I'd rather have a dedicated sat nav, I don't mind taking it out of the car as it will only be used for long distant driving to Europe not short trips to the shops or anything!

Thanks I'll have a look.

brilliant, :D

Do you have to pay for the updates?

No updates are free.

I was dead against sat navs for years. I was happy with maps and a blokey sense of direction. I find I only use them when I near a destination. Amazing piece of kit I would not be without now. Still keep your maps in the motor though.

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No updates are free.

I was dead against sat navs for years. I was happy with maps and a blokey sense of direction. I find I only use them when I near a destination. Amazing piece of kit I would not be without now. Still keep your maps in the motor though.

Same here, Ive never had problem with maps but I can see how they could make life easier. Especially abroad when the road layouts can be different and confusing.

A few years ago in France I was a passenger in a car following smug friends with thier built in sat nav. This was a back when they had now visual display other than an address selector. No map screen. It just said "take the next left" etc. We ended up getting stuck down a muddy farmers track which led into an open field! Luckily I had familiarised myself with the route on the map beforehand and so had a good idea where we were. So after pushing the cars out I navigated us using the map. This really put me off sat navs!

I'd always have a map and have the route planned on it. I'm not one to put on faith in technology!

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I'd always have a map and have the route planned on it. I'm not one to put on faith in technology!

Absolutely. Only last weekend driving down the A3 and hit horrific traffic. Decided to pull off and work my way over towards Alton and pick up the A31. The Sat Nav would have kept trying to pull me back towards a stationary A3.

Using a sat nav abroad is great. Unusual road layouts, speed limits and generally driving a right hooker on the wrong side of the road demands a little more attention than normal.

This time last year I was driving in South Africa for the Footy World cup. Sat Nav was a life saver. 100`s of km`s of straight roads and sat nav was letting us know where the next fuel stops were. We even found a road lodge to kip down for the night.

Another advantage is the kids stop asking me " when are we going to be there Dad" ... " Now that just look at the Sat Nav

Went to the coast at the weekend and when we got near I said to the kids. "Whoever spots the sea first is the winner".. My boy pipes up with.. "I can see it on the Sat Nav, I win". :rolleyes:

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Keep your map for planning your route and use a satnav to make sure that the turning you think you need is the one ahead. They're also quite useful for finding the right spot in an unfamiliar city. Mine is built in to the car, not great, but it just about works despite the occasional effort to send me around junctions with turning restrictions, and an obsession that going 20 miles out of your way to use a bit of motorway being faster than a straightish B road (although you can change that to shortest instead, where it'll find every tiny lane with grass growing up the middle).

Part of the problem I have with satnavs is that I ignore them if I don't like the look of where it's telling me to go, even if it turns out it's got it right.

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My advice would be TomTom every time.

I've used it in the UK and Europe both are very good.

Personally I choose the base model (TomTom 1 I think it is - or at least used to be), with European Maps included.

It will just about hit your budget.

If you go for a more expensive one you start to get traffic avoidance etc but this usually requires an annual contract and is a bit of a PITA.

I wouldn't bother.. personally.

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How does it tell you where you are if there is no reception?

It receives the GPS position through it's in-built GPS receiver, but does not need to have a mobile data connection as a Google Navigation system does.

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Not sure if it's any good, but refurbished tomtom 550s are going for 80 quid on hotukdeals.

Here is a linky, and it seems it is rated as a very good deal.

http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/tomtom-go-550-live-refurbished-nav-was-129-99-now-79-99-delivered-using-code-tom/966256

Edit to add it's a factory refurb.

That looks good, might have a look at the model. Anyone used tom-tom 550? Any good?

Edit: no European maps unfortunately :(

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My advice would be TomTom every time.

I've used it in the UK and Europe both are very good.

Personally I choose the base model (TomTom 1 I think it is - or at least used to be), with European Maps included.

It will just about hit your budget.

If you go for a more expensive one you start to get traffic avoidance etc but this usually requires an annual contract and is a bit of a PITA.

I wouldn't bother.. personally.

I subscribe to TomTom traffic but it's not too good in France. I think the authorities are a bit slow in reporting the road is clear so the TomTom continues to divert off a clear road. I tried it for a few days this year but now switch it off. It's good in the UK though.

I forgot to mention the speed cameras. They are adding another 600 in France this year and they are not all easy to spot so I update my European speed camera database every week or two.

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I suspect you'd be hard-pressed to find a mid-range-to-smart phone without satnav these days.

I have both Nokia and Google versions. The Nokia is the better for international travel, 'cos it can load a country's data in advance rather than having to access it live and pay roaming data rates.

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I suspect you'd be hard-pressed to find a mid-range-to-smart phone without satnav these days.

I have both Nokia and Google versions. The Nokia is the better for international travel, 'cos it can load a country's data in advance rather than having to access it live and pay roaming data rates.

I do have an iPhone and sat nav software is available but I think I'd rather have a dedicated sat nav. If I was to drive anywhere further than a couple of hours away the battery would run out!

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I do have an iPhone and sat nav software is available but I think I'd rather have a dedicated sat nav. If I was to drive anywhere further than a couple of hours away the battery would run out!

I use a cigarette-lighter-to-USB plug for that!

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Most satnavs will give you free updates for a year, so it picks up things like new roads and speed cameras etc

When that expires it will still work but you will be stuck with whatever map it had loaded when the free updates ran out.

note that Traffic updates are not the same as Map updates!

e.g. tom tom = £20 per year

http://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/shop/mapupdateservice/

so it we assume a 5 year lifespan thats

£100 purchase

4 X £ 20 updates = £80

Total = £180

or for the same money you could buy a new printed A-Z map every month or so

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Most satnavs will give you free updates for a year, so it picks up things like new roads and speed cameras etc

When that expires it will still work but you will be stuck with whatever map it had loaded when the free updates ran out.

note that Traffic updates are not the same as Map updates!

e.g. tom tom = £20 per year

http://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/shop/mapupdateservice/

so it we assume a 5 year lifespan thats

£100 purchase

4 X £ 20 updates = £80

Total = £180

or for the same money you could buy a new printed A-Z map every month or so

I'm not fussed about traffic updates and I'll probably only update the maps once a year if that. I looked at the iPhone ones and the reviews are not that great plus it's £53 + £20 ish for the holder and car charger. So I could get a basic dedicated one for that.

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Its worth mentioning that TomTom doesnt allow you to install any PocketPC versions of the satnav software onto other phones when you upgrade to a new phone and ditch the old one. TomTom has to stay on the old phone which is why I dont use TomTom anymore.

Just phone tech support and they'll transfer it for you, I've done it many times.

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.....or for the same money you could buy a new printed A-Z map every month or so

Over the six years I have had my tomtom GO500 I have gone for a couple of map updates. The trouble is you are not quite sure what you are getting for your money (there is no amendment summary showing what new bits of the road network they have added).

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