/ Motoring, Technology

What would you pay to update your sat nav maps?

Sat nav on map

The whole point of a sat nav is to get you to your destination smoothly. However, several brands make you pay for pricey map updates. Have you faced big bills to keep your sat nav up-to-date?

Sat navs are all about taking the stress out of your journeys. However, with many sat navs you have to pay more to keep your maps up-to-date. Drive with out of date maps and your sat nav may not recognise new road layouts and you could end up just as lost as if you were relying on the old fashioned kind.

Every time I switch on my two-year old sat nav it reminds me how old my maps are. And have I updated them? No. With the TomTom website asking for £75 for a year’s worth of map updates I’d rather pay £90 for our cheapest Best Buy sat nav which includes free map updates for the life of the model. But what about you?

Map updates the cost of a new sat nav

Many new sat navs from big brands like Garmin and TomTom now include lifetime maps, so you never have to worry about digging back into your wallet for up to date maps. But if you’re stuck with an older model like me, what do you do?

Have you stuck with older maps and hoped for the best? Or are you happy spending £75 every year with TomTom or £50 for a one-off update or £75 for lifetime updates with Garmin for up to date maps?

The story is even worse if you have a built in sat nav in your car. When we looked into update costs a few years ago update prices for these were even higher, with some dealers charging additional fees to have these updates loaded.

The question is, what do you expect from your sat nav? Do you expect it to stay up to date indefinitely without you having to pay more – or are you happy paying to keep your tech up-to-date.

Professor/Dr Brian Rothbart says:
20 September 2016

Read all the comments on built-in SatNavs. Certainly has made me rethink whether I want to buy a car with a built-in unit!
Currently I am using a 8 year old Garmin (255 Nuvi). Just purchased my first map update from a firm in Russia for 25€. Certainly a lot cheaper than what I have been reading.

Jay Ayliff says:
30 December 2017

Just bought a Toyota Auris. Map updates are over £100 per year. Thinking of ignoring the built-in satnav and carrying on using the standalone Garmin I had for my previous car.


Cheaper still buy a paper road map and learn to read that and follow road direction signs they are still everywhere I have NO need for a satnav and I travel to many places that I have not been to before Another “expert ” gimmick to get you to spend money Useful at times maybe but you can manage to find your way without one A lazy peoples device that’s all


The main advantages of a satnav (for me) are in getting direct to an address (paper maps don’t do that unless you have a lot of A-Zs), and in plotting another route if your chosen one is proving a problem. You can’t read a paper map on the move, but you can follow spoken instructions.Far from a gimmick, I find a satnav extremely useful.


Google maps will show you where any address is if you put into search I have used it many times to find exactly where I need to be You don’t need A to Z s


But using a mobile device to show an address is rather like using a satnav. Many use mobile apps instead of a standalone satnav.

The govt. had a roadmap when they invaded Iraq – if only they’d got guidance from above.


I do things my way you do yours your way I accept that and will not argue with any one at all about some things I give my thoughts on many things but do not want you to agree with me just maybe think Too many seem to be incapable of thinking at all they want others to think for them and to take care of all their needs all through their lives


I have never owned a satnav as I think half the fun of driving is finding your own way about and they are a distraction. I also think they are a danger to other drivers as it only takes a split second at speed to take your eyes off the road to cause an accident. Too often I have been a passenger in a vehicle with a satnav and finished up way out in the sticks on its shortest route or in a dead end somewhere.

Once we finished up in a churchyard and were confronted by a lone grave digger. We had a polite conversation through the window with doors firmly locked and then beat a hasty retreat!


Bishbut says that “Google maps will show you where any address is if you put it into search”. Not so; we have lived at our current address for over five years and it is still not shown on Google Maps, and our postcode is shown somewhere completely different. Shortly after we moved here I notified the emergency services of our location and sent them amended street maps showing the roads on our small development.


Is your fairly new development visible from above in satellite view John? That tends to be more up-to-date than on-the-ground street view.

Until recently, any address in our road would take you to the centre of the postcode and not the actual address. It is still a couple of houses out even now.


Not yet, Alfa. It is still just a clearing in the woods with a few sandy tracks across it. A street name has appeared but it is the wrong one. The postcode marker is now in the right general location but not accurately sited. Nobody here minds very much.


Near Bangor there is a fair bit of new development taking place, and it’s always amusing when our satnav shows the car leaving the road and driving across a field.


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Are built in satnavs just another gimmick to persuade you to buy that car ?? Just adding to the unnecessary additions to all cars but I admit some modern additions I find useful and would not do without but not many


Satnavs seem standard equipment in many cars, but I would not pay for one if not. i’d buy a standalone one that I could move from car to car and use when walking in a new town. However, my compulsory inbuilt satnav is very good, but particularly so as it presents essential information in the head-up display – a feature well worth paying for, in my view, even though I am a bit of a scrooge.