GPS and Sat Nav Buying Guide

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Sat Nav Buying Guide

Sat Nav Buying Guide

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Satellite Navigation will help you get from A to B – even if you need to go via C, D and E, without any fuss or tantrums. Most units have large clear displays, show 3D mapping which really resembles the road ahead and are able to locate points of interest such as restaurants and service stations.

Sat Navs use GPS or the Global Positioning System which is a system of 24 satellites in orbit around the earth that allows GPS receivers to pinpoint their location.

Why do I need Sat Nav?
Most people can find their way around with a map, but you can’t read a map on the go and your atlas of Great Britain isn’t much help in towns and villages. Britain’s roads are becoming more and more congested and complicated in layout and restrictions. GPS systems combine knowing where you are with a route planning capability, they can then take the hassle out of navigating providing you with turn by turn guidance to your destination. Even if you take a wrong turn your Sat Nav will know and tell you how to get back to where you want to be. The best systems go further by knowing about useful locations like petrol stations and some even know about the traffic conditions.

How does it work?
The GPS system calculates your location using a minimum of 3 satellites at any one time, these signals are compared with a database of maps within the unit and your current location is calculated and displayed.

Sat Nav Buying Guide

Key Features to look out for

Bluetooth Compatible
Use your satellite navigation unit as a handsfree speakerphone with your Bluetooth mobile phone. Use the large touchscreen to dial numbers &answer calls.

Sat Nav Bluetooth compatible

Speed camera location
Your satellite navigation unit alerts you when you are approaching a speed camera and indicates the correct speed limit on the screen.

Sat Nav Speed camera location

MP3 capability/FM transmitter
Link your MP3 player through your satellite navigation unit and use the large touchscreen to control your playlist.

Complete road maps of Great Britain come as standard but if you travel abroad choose a satellite navigation unit with European or even USA and Canada maps.

Screen Size
The standard satellite navigation (diagonal) screen size is 3.5” but larger models come with 4.3” or even 5.0” screens.

Voice Commands
Voice prompts help you keep your eyes on the road. Plus, make it fun when you choose from a list of accents &languages

Sat Nav Voice Commands

Quick or scenic routes
Set your preferences to the fastest or shortest route, or opt for a scenic path.

Walking & bicycle trails
On some models you can change your preferences to access walking or bicycle routes.

Sat Nav Walking &bicycle trails

Time & Distance
Receive time and distance remaining as you follow a suggested route.

Multiple Views
Choose from a 2D or 3D view. Zoom capabilities offer close-up details or a bird’s eye view of your surroundings.

Points of Interest
Locate the nearest post office, hotel, restaurant, supermarket, petrol station, park, hospital &other common destinations

Sat Nav Points of Interest

Weather & traffic
Receive instant traffic and weather reports that may affect your routes

Sat Nav Weather &traffic

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I stop my Sat Nav making my car a target for thieves?

Follow these tips to keep your sat nav safe.

  • Take portable sat navs and their mountings with you when leaving the car.
  • Wipe away any suction pad marks the sat nav leaves on the windscreen or dashboard as thieves will look for these.
  • Avoid leaving the sat nav in the glove box – thieves usually check there first. Consider leaving the glove box open to show the sat nav hasn't been left in the car.
  • Record your home address under another name to stop a thief from simply following the sat nav's directions and ransacking your house when they know you’re out.
  • Mark your sat nav using special security markers.
  • Note down the sat nav's make, model and serial number and keep the details somewhere safe – not in the car.

Are sat navs distracting to use?

Sat navs take the stress out of driving by guiding you quickly and safely to your destination without the need to snatch a look at your map. Some Sat navs are more distracting than others. For minimum distractions we recommend choosing a model with a large widescreen, clear, simple and timely visual and audio prompts, easy-to-navigate menus and simple operational features.

How do I set up my new Sat Nav?
  1. Read your sat nav system's quick start guide – most have one.
  2. Sit in your car and choose the best position for the sat nav. You’ll need to read the sat nav ‘at a glance’ then quickly get your attention back to the road.
  3. Most sat navs include a support bracket, which attaches to the windscreen using a powerful sucker.
  4. Position the sat nav as low down as possible, so it doesn’t obscure your view of the road or the car's instruments. Make sure the sat nav's cable reaches your power point without interfering with other controls.

How do I find my destination?

Enter as much detail about your target destination as possible into the sat nav. The postcode is good, but if not, you’ll need the (correctly spelled) road name and number, town and county.

Why can’t I find a new build address?

Your sat nav is unlikely to find a newly-built address, you’ll have the same problem trying to get things delivered to a new build estate, – it takes a while for new addresses to make it onto the various systems. Keep trying every few week, it will show up eventually. Consider whether there’s an older address nearby for your sat nav to target instead.

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