Buying sat nav mapsby Jack Turner
Updating sat nav maps are crucial for making sure you get to your destination smoothly. We guide you through your map options and how to update.
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Updating your maps for free
Most modern sat navs come with free updates out of the box. Look for wording on the packaging such as Free Lifetime Maps. This means that for the lifetime of the device you will always be able to download the latest version without paying anything extra. If your sat nav is a few years old, you may have to pay for these updates - with Best Buy sat navs starting at around £80, it may be worth treating yourself to a new model rather than paying to update the old version.
We recommend updating your sat nav maps every six to twelve months. Updating is straightforward, but it can be time consuming. Try to do an update the day before you need your sat nav, rather than just before a long journey. You'll need to connect to a PC or laptop, too.
Visit your sat nav manufacturer's website and select the option to update your maps. You'll be prompted to download a small software file. Once it's finished downloading, simply open it and follow the instructions, making sure that your sat nav is attached to your computer or laptop with the USB cable supplied.
Buying maps for an older sat nav
If your sat nav is in its golden years, then you may have to pay to update it. Visit the manufacturer's website and select the option to update your maps. Depending on the brand of your sat nav, you may be offered the opportunity to purchase a newer version of the map as a 'one-off', or upgrade to lifetime maps.
If your sat nav is quite dated, it may be better value just to buy a new sat nav that comes with free lifetime maps.
Buying maps for different countries
Some sat navs will come with worldwide maps. If yours doesn't, and you're planning to travel to an area it doesn't cover, don't despair. You can visit your manufacturer's website and pay to download maps for other territories.
If you are using an app, you can simply download more maps by purchasing them directly from within the app, or via the Google Play or App store.