Despite the fact many of today’s vehicles come with Sat Nav installed, there are several generations of cars on the road and market that do not contain such luxuries. If you have one of these vehicles, you may find that you would like to purchase a Sat Nav to aid you in your travels.
Each driver will undoubtedly want different things from their Sat Nav – like most purchases in life, this means that there is a host of different models on the market to try and meet the widest range of needs for the paying public.
For example, you may prefer your Sat Nav to show you the way to your destination with a 2D plan view rather than the fancier angled, three-dimensional map graphics version.
Inbuilt or Portable Models?
Sat Navs, as a general rule, come in two forms – inbuilt into the front panel of the car, or portable. It is often the case that the “fixed” units that are often required to be fitted by specialists, are generally more expensive that their portable counterparts.
This is generally due to the fact that this sort of navigation system is more sophisticated and secure – i.e. less likely to be stolen or loss. They are often linked with the onboard sound system, so work in tandem with the radio and/or CD player.
Portable Sat Navs on the other hand, have the advantage of – as you would expect – portability. This means that you can take it wherever you want, or use it in any car you want – nothing to be sniffed at, especially when you change cars, or hire one when on holiday.
When choosing a Sat Nav, ensure that the map coverage that is included with the system is for what you require of it. Try and consider what your future needs – map wise – may be. Check that you can easily extend the coverage (e.g. to Europe or North America) at an affordable price, or if possible, for free!
Points Of Interest (POIs)
See what kind of POIs are pre-installed in the Sat Navs that you are looking to buy, and see if you can add sets of POIs that are specifically tailored to your needs.
Some typical POIs that most road users need include:
- Petrol station finder
- Restaurant finder
- Hospital finder
- Cinema finder
- Tourist information finder
Speed camera alerts
Many people like the idea of owning a Sat Nav that warns them when they are nearing a speed camera.
However, if you do opt for a vehicle with this option installed, you will need to check the laws of the countries you are driving in. In France, for example, this is now against the law and drivers are required to switch this function off when driving in France.
Live traffic updates
Frustrated by congestion on a regular basis? If so, it may well be worth considering paying the extra cost of a Sat Nav that receives live Traffic reports.
If you shop around, you will find that there are a number of Sat Nav manufacturers who offer free subscription to live updates with their more expensive models.
Try Before You Buy
Perhaps the most important step before you make your purchase is actually trying the Sat Nav out. Buying online is handy and means that you are able to often find a product for cheaper than you would on the high street, however it means that you cannot try your intended purchase out.
If you have done all your research prior to buying, it may be worth your while visiting a retailer to find the model and giving it a trial. Even if you are simply trying it out when standing on the shop floor – trying the display and menu system out for ease of use, for example.
Never rush into a purchase. Always try before you buy.