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In Car Satellite Navigation Systems - Sat Nav For All!

GPS Navigation Systems - Reviews, Articles & Help

 

GPS in-car Satellite Navigation Systems have now reached the point where they are incredibly accurate, reliable and easy to use. Maps are available of Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, with more being written every year. Unfortunately for the buyer the choice of which one to buy can be very difficult - there are several major players in the market, and dozens of minor ones. Where do you start? A good place is reading our reviews and guides. In each review we try to be as honest as possible to you, the purchaser, and give the best advice about which one to buy.

As well as covering new Car GPS and Maps, several old, obsolete or legacy devices can be found within the reviews, so if you're thinking about a second-hand purchase, there is appropriate advice too.

Start by reading all the reviews to give you a good idea of what you might be looking for, then I would move on to user groups and forums - see if you can get second opinions off as many different people who have actually used the devices as possible. Have fun & good luck!

Garmin New Voices DemoNew Voices For Your Garmin Nuvi! They're here at last. AT LAST!!!!!!!

 

sat Nav Image libraryShare Your Sat Nav Take some pics of your Sat Nav in an interesting (or not) location and we'll put them on the website!

 

 

Beer glassSubmit Articles / Reviews and Earn Beer! Why not share your knowledge and experience of gadgets (or anything really), publish it on this site, and maybe get a few drinks in the process.

Garmin Nuvi 700 SeriesGarmin Nuvi 700 Series Buyers Guide We help you through the maze of different models to find the one thats right for you.

 

Podcast TitleListen To My GPS, Tech and Net Podcast - On your Ipod, Computer, or any device that can play mp3's. It's free!

Garmin vs TomTomGarmin Nuvi 200 vs TomTom One v3 The two best entry-level Sat Nav's go head to head...

 

Xmas Present2007 Christmas Sat Nav Buyers Guide Our advice on the best GPS to choose this Xmas for yourselves or your nearest and dearest.

 

TomTom Go 520New TomTom Go Range We look at the new TomTom Go 520 and Go 720 Sat Nav's. TomTom ARE BACK!

 

TomTom 520 vs Garmin Nuvi 200Garmin Nuvi 200 vs TomTom Go 520. A comparison review of two new Sat Navs that should be poles apart.

 

 

Garmin Man2007 Garmin Range Guide let us guide you through the different models in the current Garmin Sat Nav range so that you can choose the model that has the features you want and need.

 

TomTom One XL vs Garmin 200wBudget Widescreen Sat Nav Test We put the popular TomTom One XL up against the Garmin 200w / 250w to see which is the best entry-level widescreen Satellite Navigator.

 

TomTom OneHiring a Sat Nav We look at how easy it is to rent, rather than buy, a Sat Nav for those one-off holidays or business trips.

 

Sat Nav SignSat Nav GPS Map Reality Check We need to manage our expectations as to what these units can do, and not leave our common sense at home...

Satellite2007 Sat Nav Range Overview A quick look at the current range available.

 

My Nuvi 200My Sat Nav So after reviewing dozens of devices, which one did I spend my hard-earned cash on?

 

 

What a Road!2006 GPS Range Overview We try to help you choose the best Sat Nav from the new 2006 ranges.

 

 

Sat Nav Shoot-OutSat Nav Shoot-Out '06 We compare the most popular units in three price points, head to head.

Tomtom 300 Tomtom The best-selling in-car GPS systems by far, the Tom Tom range of devices has units to suit every budget.

 

Navman 520Navman Technically exciting GPS that should rival Tomtom, can they deliver?

Medion 175 Medion offers great value for money, and here we review some of their GPS systems.

 

Garmin Quest Garmin Trusted by many to use the best maps, and with a loyal user-base, Garmin GPS systems have lots of promise.

Sony Sat NavSony Sat Nav Reviews Can the electronics giant break into the in-car market beyond their own fans?

 

 

Mio GPS Mio Budget GPS that will suit many of us whose pockets aren't that deep.

 

Medion Pocket Pc Pocket PC Why buy a dedicated GPS system if you already have a Pocket PC? Get a package with software & GPS receiver, and you'll be navigating in minutes!

 

Road Angel 6000Road Angel 6000 both a GPS Navigator and a Speed Camera Detector, this device shows the big boys how it should be done...

 

Road Angel 7000Road Angel 7000 is a few quid more than it's smaller brother, but it's worth looking at the extra features...
The Perfect Sat Nav... A Short article about what we'd like to see in the Sat-Nav's of the future. More Sat Nav Questions is the place to read, or submit your own, questions to this site. Older questions and answers can be read at Sat Nav Questions.

Comments / Questions:

Hi , I just go a Garmin Nuvi200 and it works so well in Nigeria with our converted maps. I was wondering if anyone could render help on how to add a advert banner on the screen. I would like to put my signature on it. Toochukwu.

Create a .jpg picture with your signature on it, copy it to an sd card, put the sd card in the slot, go to the picture viewer, select a picture and make it the splash screen.

I have a TomTom 710 and I need to update the maps, I live in spain and am having trouble getting the updates,i.e. when it comes to what model I have there does not seem to be anywhere to answer,plus they only seem to be interested if you have a U.K.address, is this the case? Keith.

Try the Tomtom website.

I have a Garmin Streetpilot c320 which I would like this model to update the mapping. The problem is I cannot find any sign of this facility on your site. Have you given up on this model???? C john.

Go to Garmin and check for updates.

Does any car sat nav give a speed reading with tenths of miles per hour, e.g 2.7 mph?  Does the Garmin Nuvi 250 in "pedestrian mode" do this? Halfie.

No.

i will be visiting cyprus in may 2009 so can i get a map for my navman n60i? Colin.

I don't think there's any available.

I have a Nuvi 660 which I purchased in August 2007. At the time none of the roads to my house appeared for about 1 mile up to my home as it was a new development. After getting constant reminders to update the maps I went online today and was offered a 2009 map package:

SHOCK 1 - the update is £59.99

SHOCK 2 - until you pay for it and it is £60 (okay it's only a penny but am sure there is some law against mis-advertising prices)

SHOCK 3 - the website is dreadful for buying a download

SHOCK 4 - it took 3 hours to download the update to my computer (on a fast broadband connection)

SHOCK 5 - it then took another 45 minutes for the update to process, then another hour for it to transfer onto the system

SHOCK 6 - after 5 hours and £60 outlay, you'd expect your own street that was built 3 years ago to appear (google maps and every postcode look up on online shopping does) on a 2009 version - the street was built in early 2006.

I have now emailed Garmin and will post here whether I get a satisfactory response. I do not mind paying for the update, but since it does not do "what it says on the tin" then I feel that Garmin should make some sort of gesture. Read between the lines what you will, but at the moment my advice is that a Garmin sat nav is a licence to be ripped off beyond the initial purchase.

I had been very happy with my sat nav up until today. Kevin.

It's unfortunate that your road isn't on the update - report any errors on Garmins Map Update Page, and I think it's important to realise that a large percentage of the price of any Sat Nav is the maps - so the updates aren't going to be cheap.

Hi, I have a 2005 Range Rover Vogue and I'm just about to buy a 2009 model, does anyone know if I can transfer the locations stored in the sat nav memory of the old car to the new car, both are the touch screen DVD versioin. As usual, the local Land Rover dealer says it can't be done but I think they just can't be bothered to investigate. I'd be happy to pay is anyone can do this for me. Steve.

I'd contact Land Rover and ask them.

i need to replace my window sucker for my garminc550 could you please tell me where i can get on from i think i need the whole bit that goes into the back of the sat nav. Keith.

Go to Amazon and buy a whole new windscreen bracket.

I have a Nuvi 200, and would like to hard wire it, could the radio power supply be used for this purpose. I intend to plug the Garmin power lead into an optional mini cigar lighter from halfords. Ken.

Be very, very careful when wiring anything unless you're a trained electrical mechanic. Short the wrong wire and you could pop all your air-bags.

hi all i have a aytobe atb083 satnav from maplins i would like to put camera alerts on it but finding it hard anyone got any tips for me. thanks.

I don't think anyone has done speed camera warnings for that unit.

Something arrears to have gone wrong with my tomtomXL. I cannot get it to do anything useful.It acts as if the bottom righ hand part of the screen is being permanently pressed, and will not allow me to programme it. It is still picking up the GPS signal. Tried resetting, but it only turns it off, and it doesn't go back to factory settings. Any suggestions as to what I can do?

The screen is broken. TomTom's come with a two-year guarantee - take it back.

I AM GETTING A NEW MAZDA I HAVE READ SOMWHERE THAT HEAT REFLECTING GLASS INTERFERES WITH SAT/NAV SIGNALS IS THIS TRUE IF SO HAVE THEY OR ARE THEY DEVELOPING A COMPATABLE SAT/NAV.

Modern GPS receivers are very sensitive, and often work through treated windscreens, to make sure though, try before you buy when you get your new car.

can i use my laptop as a satnav with a gps receiver?

Yep, just get a Bluetooth GPS reciever and the appropriate software and a power lead for your laptop in the car...

I think I want a Garmin 300T (Tesco @ £119.99) but I'd need the aerial to get the traffic reports, right?

But I can get a 300 here:

http://www.mynewcheap.co.uk/products/details/garmin-nuvi-300-sat-nav/10013/

for £76.00, and it also accepts the GTM12.  Will it work if it doesn't have the "T" suffix?

The "T" suffix usually means its the same model, it just comes bundled with the traffic aerial.

hi,are there any satnavs out there fully compatible with mac, just bought a navman s30 3d and its software isn't. Brendan.

TomTom and Garmin have Mac compatible software to work with their units, but thats about it I'm afraid.

Just starting to use a nuvi 255t. I've noticed that previous journeys appear to be shown as a light blue (thin line). I thought that nuvis didn't retain route data unlike say an etrex? It this a new feature with the latest firmware?

Can't find a mention of it on the Garmin spec's, but it sounds like an interesting feature.

i just bought a Garmin nuvi 250w, is there anyway to D/L a mp3 player to it to play back MP3's i know its not a standard option on this model. Ryan.

No.

I have a new Sat Nav Sony NV-U93T, on the display its it shows a spanner sign and service its new one day old does any know why this is? Vijay.

It probably wants connecting to the internet (via your pc) to check for updates - use the software that came with the unit.

can i put coordinates (n&w ) into my garmin nuvi 250w sat nav as my destination? Nevi.

Yup, lat and long.

Are worldwide maps available for Garmin / Tomtom?  Can I buy one in the UK and then download the required maps? Andrew.

Do they cover the whole world? No. Do they cover most industrialised countries? Yes. Where to find out? Tomtom.com and garmin.com and look for the map sections.

How does one alter the assumed road speed settings on a GPS navigation system? My system is always calculating about twice the actual times for the journeys that I make.

Also, is there a GPS road navigation system which keeps track of points on one's driving licence? Preferably one which sounds an alarm or flashes and LED or something at around 12?

Sat Navs are notoriously bad at working out journey times, and it can't be changed.

Ha Ha!

A while ago I wrote to say the English British voice gives wrong instructions eg turn left in 100 meters kilometers instead of turn left in 200 meters. The English American and Thai voices work fine. I hed reloading a new British English file from Garmin but no success. You suggested a re-boot but unfortunately no difference. The Garmin Nuvi 200 has a Thai operating system and this problem affects all of them in the shop. Garmin have not found a solution - any ideas please I want to have a \British English voice!! Many thanks.

I'd stick with the US voice until Garmin come up with a fix.

I'm after my first sat nav system and need advice as to which is best.  All I really want is good quality directions with safety camera sites.  The ability to update maps via a PC would also be required.  What can you recommend ?? Gary.


Get a Garmin or Tomtom, they're both great brands and you won't go wrong with either, and both come with Speed Cameras pre-installed, but you will have to pay a subscription if you want them updated.

You need to ask yourself "What maps do I want?" "Do I need Bluetooth Hands Free mobile phone capability?" "How big do I want the screen to be?" "What's my budget?"

Decide on those, then head on down to your local electronic store and choose - but only get a Garmin or TomTom, no matter how cheap the other brands are!

i need to get my sat nav fixed were do i go for it please.

Depends where you live. Just Google "GPS Sat Nav repairs", or check the yellow pages. You may have to return it to the manufacturer.

can you tell me how long a battery last in navnan s90i and wot happens when it is no good thanks. Billy.

Navman list the approximate battery use time of 5 hours max on a full charge. How long it will keep recharging is a different matter - 2 to 3 years max I would have thought, then you'd need to return it to Navman to get a new one fitted, use it on the lead all the time, or buy a new, updated unit.

I BOUGHT THE GARMIN NUVI 255W IT WAS SENDING ME THE WRONG ROADS FROM MY PARTNERS NUVI 200 I HAD TO PHONE GARMIN UP AND THEY TOLD ME TO UPDATE FROM MY PC I DID THE OTHER DAY NOW WORKING BUT ITS A JOKE WHEN THEY SAY IT WORKS STRAIGHT OUT THE BOX MY SAT NAV IS NOT TELLING ME SPEED CAMERAS EVEN THOUGH THE SPEED CAMERA IS TICKED ON THE SETTINGS CAN ANY ONE HELP THANKS. DEREK.

I WOULD TAKE IT BACK IF I WERE YOU!

im looking for updates and speed cameras for my keomo sat nav where is their web site gone and is there an alteranative site. Sandra.


Sorry, but Keomo have gone bust. I don't know of an alternative.

I have a Garmin Nuvi 200. How do i set it up to alert me when a fixed camera is approaching as it says in the brochure? And is there any way of getting distance between two points but not from where the garmin is currently? Chris.

Go to the settings and make sure in the Proximity Warnings section Speed Cameras are ticked.
You need to go into demo mode (settings, system), then enter your first address, view map, set loc., then enter your second address, go, simulate the route - that should work.

Hi Having been impressed with my son's Garmin 200 sat nav I am thinking of getting one for my wife and I. My query is re road map updates for Garmin and TomTom sat navs. Are they free? Thanks
John.

You always have to pay for the full map updates that come out every couple of years or so. TomToms have a feature called "mapshare" which allows you to download map corrections (and add your own) for one year after you've purchased the device.

I have a nuvi 760. Does this have a feature for 'alternative routes'? Kate.

Yes, tap the the menu button - and its there. I think it says "detour" or something like that.

Only a Comment - I have just purchased a Garmin 250W and am very disappointed to find that my local hospital (Stamford - Lincs) as in common with my older C510 is not mentioned in the POI, even although this has been in existence for over forty years and incorporates an active A&E department, albeit that this operates on a non-weekend part time basis.

I mistakenly thought that the POI in the 250W would have been somewhat updated over the C510's. John.

Why not report it on Garmins map error form?

I'm heading to Cornwall this summer, and wondered what budget sat nav would you recommend which includes a pedestrian mode. Thanks. Chris.


Grab a Garmin Nuvi 250 from Amazon.co.uk - £95 with free delivery. (May '08).

Pls advise on your recommendation for purchase of sat nav system. my requirements are: widescreen, bluetooth, gb maps, audible directions, secure fitting(i read that some have dodgy windscreen fixings??!!). your thoughts will be very much appreciated. thx in advance. Neil.

The Garmin Nuvi 610t is a bargain at the moment - you get get it for £150 from
Amazon.co.uk

It's got widescreen, bluetooth for hands-free, traffic info, a great bracket, a loud voice and maps of the UK.
Make sure you check your mobile phones compatability at
Garmin

The voice has gone from my sat nav (tom-tom). Roger.

Whenever you get a problem with your GPS Sat Nav, the first thing to do is try a simple reset. Normally there will be a button or pin-hole somewhere on the device - refer to your instructions and don't stick a needle in the microphone hole!
If that doesn't work there will be a way to do a factory reset, with Garmins it involves the touch-screen, TomTom's there's a menu icon.
The moral is to always back-up your device regularly (Through Home with TomTom, copy contents to your hard-drive with Garmin), just in case.

How do I change the road speed settings on my Garmin Zumo? The arrival times are always way out. Ian.

I don't think you can.

I have recently purchased a Nuvi 250. When driving it does not visually or audibly give indication of fixed safety cameras. Is it faulty or do I need to activate something? Thanks Mike.

Press the spanner / wrench, settings, proximity alerts, change, then make sure the Garmin Safety Cameras is ticked.

Tom tom do an upgrade for 20£ from currys, to suit hgv vehicals. can garmin do the same,so it can check bridge heights, weight limits etc. David.

I only know of this company that do a similair HGV product for Garmin.

HI, Amazon Sales Rank No. 73256 Navman iCN 600 Series USA Maps. Are these maps on cd rom format (not sd card) and do they include Canada.
Many Thanks, Bob.

The 600 series maps are usually supplied on cd-rom, and you install it onto the devices sd card using Navmans software. I think it includes Canada - check this link.
However, these maps are quite old, and expensive. You'd be better off spending the money on a new Garmin or Tomtom, depending on which maps / features you need.

I am a techno phobe. This site is awesome, thanks. I had a Garmin 200 fitted with a new Saab with power wired in rather than through the lighter. The power seems to have blown 2 units (shorted). Saab are now saying it is no good to hard wire and they are giving me back money for the unit for me to get my own. Would you expect it to bolow like this and can it be charged from the lighter or does it have to be from the PC?

Ok, if you hardwire a Sat Nav into a car, there are a couple of things that the mechanic must make sure is right: It must be wired up to true 12v, which can be tricky in modern cars, as voltages often change depending on whats happening in the car. The other thing is that he must use a cigar socket connection, so the Sat Nav GPS uses its original lead - including the plug - because the Garmin needs the right voltage, I think 5.5v. If they chop the end of the Garmin lead off, the unit will blow.
Often its best just to use the cars cigar lighter socket, then its easier to move between vehicles.

Thanks for that. Having seen your great website yesterday I went and got the Nuvi 250 from Halfords. The fitted mounted unit (i.e. screwed in)that Saab put in is in front of the gear shift, relatively low down and the cigar socket is in the same spot. However when the Garmin is on the mount it part covers the socket! Great I know, but if on the sucker pad the windscreen shelves so far away the unit is out of reach! Hence looking to have Halfords hard wire it in too.
Halfords said easy as just take the power from the back of the cigar lighter unit.
Actually coming to think of it, I remember seeing the lighter adapter chopped off from when Saab fitted it. But if tapping power from the back of the lighter unit should it still be OK? Thanks for input.

If Saab chopped off the end of your original Garmins power lead then that is definitely what caused your unit to blow - they HAVE to use a mini cigar socket. When Halfords fit it they should know to use a mini-cigar socket, and the back of the Saab cigar lighter is a good a place as any other 12v source. If you want to have your unit higher up, but not on the windscreen, maybe a dash-board bean-bag mount would be suitable.

Could i buy a sat nav programe to use on my lap top so i could take the lap top on journerys with me. Marcus.

If you Google "laptop GPS Navigation", there's a few options out there - as long as you buy a GPS receiver too - CoPilot Live is one, but what's interesting is Garmin are about to release their own software for laptops, which you can buy with a GPS reciever:
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=13484
It's not out yet, but should be good when it's released.

Are there free updates available for the garmin nuvi 310?

The operating system is updated for free here, but maps and speed camera updates you have to pay for...

This site is most helpful.
My query was already answered here after searching everywhere else. Many thanks to contributers.
Paul.

No problemo, spread the word!

I've just got a Navman N40i and I'm having issues with the in-car charger. The socket is definitely working as it is still heating up the cigarette lighter but nothing is happening when I plug the Navman in. Went to a Ford dealers and they were unable to help or provide any reasons for it not working. I've also tried it in another Ford and the same issue. Is this to do with the voltage?? Claire.

First up, is the power switch on the bottom of the unit turned on?
Does the unit turn on if fixed to a mini usb connector to your PC?
Next try the lead in another make of car.
If none of that works you may have a duff lead, or the fuse has gone in it., but sometimes Sat Nav leads don't fit a particular car and you have to use an extension lead or hard-wire it in.

The unit is definitely on and can charge it using the mains charger and pc connection.
You refer to an extension lead - where would I get this from as I don't really want to hard wire the unit in?

Ok, you can get cigar socket extensions from Halfords, but first you need to make sure that it isn't your in-car lead that is faulty or its fuse has blown. The easiest way to do this is to try it in a different car. If it works the lead is probably just not compatible with your Fords socket - a rare problem but it does happen.
If the lead doesn't work in another car, change the fuse in the end of the lead if its got one (check your instructions), or the lead might need replacing.
To be honest your best bet is to head down to Halfords anyway with the unit and lead and ask them nicely to check it as you might need to buy a new lead, If it works ask them to try an extension / splitter in your car so you can see it working before you part with any cash.

I am so lost in knowing what to buy.I like this site as it gives sound advice. I do not have a huge budget but like the sound of bluetooth in the sat nav is this feature really any use? What sort of system would you recomend? Ems.

The ability to take and make hands-free calls through your Sat Nav is an excellent feature. Bargains can be had at the moment on the TomTom Go 520 (UK Maps) or Go 720 (Euro Maps) which both include that facility. If you're just after a simple yet reliable Satellite Navigator, I still think the Garmin Nuvi 200 / 250 is a great option for those on a budget who don't need those extra features.

 

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