Newer cars with free sat nav updates
Subaru isn’t the only manufacturer offering free sat nav software updates on newer cars, Volvo and Volkswagen give free lifetime updates with their new models, whereas updating the sat nav in an older Volvo will cost £125.
Audi’s Navigation Plus systems come with five free updates but owners will be charged a fee for any updates made after this, however, the fee associated with this is currently unknown. Ford offers 7 years of free sat nav upgrades with their new models, but the price after this also unknown.
HERE Technologies, a mapping data provider, stated that manufacturers receive regular map updates but it is up to them how often they share these and how much they charge for them, or if they want to enable their customers to have them for free.
The cost itself is said by manufacturers to be mostly made up of the software packages which they pay for plus the labour costs associated with updating the sat nav itself, although why this differs so much between manufacturers is unknown.
Do you need an updated sat nav?
It may be that you are happy to use a map or print off directions rather than use a sat nav which could end up costing hundreds of pounds to update, but the convenience of being told directions as and when you need them is often something that just cannot be matched.
You may also wonder exactly what a sat nav update can offer you. In answer to this, Nissan stated that their latest European mapping software gives the driver access to an extra 1,439,809km of new roads, new street names, and better junction information, so you may actually feel like you are getting your money’s worth, but not if you seem to be paying way more than a lot of other motorists just because of the car you drive.
It is also worth remembering that if you tend to turn to your mobile phone and use this for mapping and directions you do run the risk of being prosecuted for using your phone while driving, so having a sat nav in the car reduces the risk of prosecution, but it is easily just as distracting as using sat nav software on your mobile device.
Do you think that you pay too much for in-built sat-nav upgrades? Would you be tempted to choose a car from a manufacturer offering free sat nav upgrades as a bonus? Let us know in the comments below.