Looking for your sat nav recomendations

Geetings all,

We're thinking of buying a sat nav and would like some recommendations. It must be easy to use and "speak" English and not cost an arm and a leg. Do they all have lifetime updates? They've got a Mappy ITI E518 on offer in Auchan at the mo for 80€.

Thanks in advance

Sorry to butt in so late.

This was going through my head word for word, as I read your reply:

Keeping up Appearances - Mrs Bucket at her best :-)

I'm a bit late in replying to your post but I have used a Tom Tom for the past 4 or 5 years in UK, France, Spain, Holland. The language is changeable and there updates coming through regularly. It is very reliable and I would thoroughly recommend it.

I always download the tracks when I've been somewhere interesting. The last trip across the sahara was REALLY cool! :-)

Thanks for mentioning BaseCamp, Roger. Hadn't heard of it before. It looks useful.



Well yes.... but driving a car at the same time is a bit hazardous.

Will do, thanks for the tip!

I take it you've tried both!! ;-)

If you really want to get into the GPS thing, load (free!) Garmin BaseCamp on your PC for when you connect.

I have always said GPS was the best marital aid going. Forget Ann Summers!

A big thank you to everyone who took the time to reply. In the end we bought a Garmin with free lifetime maps which was just under 120€ and slightly cheaper than the TomTom...no more arguments about my map reading abilities and my problems in telling right from left!

I bought a "reconditioned" Garmin Nuvi 225W (with full European mapping) from Amazon three or four years ago for something like £64. It looked brand new and works a treat. I subsequently signed up for lifetime updates for about £70. Some of the later satnavs give more advice on lane-changing and so on, but the Nuvi has guided me around France and Spain almost faultlessly. Can't see a need to "upgrade" any time soon, although I'm sure the current models are even more sophisticated.


Hi Wendy

There was a deal on recently on Garmin and I bought one with free lifetime upgrades to maps.

They still aren't 100% up to date but it's pretty good and much cheaper than Tom Tom.


This made me laugh Don, we downloaded Victor Meldrew's voice thinking exactly the same, it's been on mute for the last couple of years. Works great that way lol

We have a Garmin Nuvi, had it for coming up to 4 years and are very pleased with it. Sat Nav's are like anything else, you get what you pay for, i would suggest that you look at paying more than 80E for a better model, think ours was about £130 4 years ago plus about £70 for lifetime map updates, it has full european coverage and has took us, to Italy, Spain & Portugal, and indeed all over France, (we bought it in the UK just before we moved here).

Maybe try Amazon, they're about as competetive as you can get on price.

This is the best reply to a query I have ever seen!

I have a Tom Tom which I use all the time as I am a surveyor and the mapping is excellent - it has the most remote houses installed identified by name- I am continually surprised how detailed the mapping is.

I've had a Garmin for several years. Its been OK, but will sometimes direct me down a goat path as the fastest route. There is an option to download John Cleese's voice which I seriously once considered. Their updates are a bit pricey, so after the first one I have simply left it as is.

I think it all depends on your needs.

I've used Garmin and TomTom devices plus the smartphone apps.

The best I've used has been TomTom, but as I was commuting weekly to Paris and IDF region, it was critical I had both up to date maps and HD traffic (updates every 3 minutes based on other GPS users and cleaned GPRS data from mobile phones). I paid over 140E each year for this service, but it saved me hours of not being stuck in traffic.

Now I've relocated to Quebec, I'm off on a big road trip tomorrow from Montréal to Barrie, ON and I feel very nervous to be going without that safety net.

For a casual user, with no need for up to the minute traffic, I'd go for the cheapest device offering lifetime maps for the areas you want. The big players update every quarter usually. Some offer traffic via FM, which is usually free and covers many countries.

Good luck.