Rather than hiring a GPS...

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by harvyk, May 2, 2014.

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  1. harvyk

    harvyk Senior Member

    Apr 15, 2009
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    I've booked a car in LA in a little over a week and a half. The cost to hire a GPS from the car hire place with US maps on it was around the $150 mark. I don't know how I stumbled across it but I found out navman actually offer rental maps, so I purchased one of their cheaper GPS models, which came to $119, and I'm planning on "renting" the US maps which will come to $25, and no doubt I'm given an activation code which will allow me to use them for a month.

    So for $144 I now have a GPS with US maps available to me whilst I'm there for $6 less than it was going to cost me to rent a GPS whilst there. Even better is that I'll get to keep the GPS once I get back. (thus saving on the cost next time I travel and rent a car)

    Not sure if other brands do rental maps (if garmin / tom tom do have them they've hidden them well on their site).

  2. RooFlyer

    RooFlyer Enthusiast

    Nov 12, 2012
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    I'm staggered at that cost of hire car GPS.

    Did you think about using your phone, with pre-cached maps and/or a cheap data service? But you are set now, so no probs.

    I actually have gone back to paper maps for much of my o/s driving (but have a GPS with world maps too :) ). A GPS is great to get you from A to B (and FANTASTIC for getting out of Old Towns or medieval cities!!) , but I find on highway driving that you miss a lot not knowing exactly what's around you or nearby. You just follow the line on the screen, not realizing there are scenic alternatives or good things to do over the hill.
  3. Austman

    Austman Established Member

    Sep 21, 2007
    Another option can be to use a GPS Navigation app for your phone or pad device.
  4. moa999

    moa999 Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2003
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    I pretty much use Google Maps w/ Navigation nowadays.

    Got me through a week in Italy and Switzerland pretty easily, and seemed a lot more accurate than a friends Navman.
  5. Denali

    Denali Established Member

    Sep 17, 2012
    Sydney suburbs
    Last trip to the US, we bought a garmin gps at a local radio shack with lifetime free maps for less than $100USD.
  6. tgh

    tgh Established Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    We paid thru the nose for our Hertz never lost a few months back, against the advice of my son who just uses google on his phone.
    As senior citizens… we find the voice directions quite invaluable , especially on busy freeways with endless slip lanes.
    Prior to leaving 'Oz, our old Navman with US and Euro maps flatly refused to update on our mac , or an old windows clunker revived for the purpose.
    It ended up useless with no maps at all….. and I will never ever ever ever…….. buy another Navman product.
    I did scour the stores in SF searching for a gps before picking up or wheels , but they are a bit passe now and I didn't find one in stock anywhere for a reasonable deal.. caveat emptor
  7. jastel

    jastel Member

    Jul 19, 2012
    Never paid the $$$ for a hire car GPS, sometimes paper maps, sometimes phone/ipad, sometimes buy a cheapy in the country with maps on it.
    Getting lost can be fun, so long as you have time.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. blu

    blu Active Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    We rely on Satnav's advanced lane guidance and use our Navman overseas. Next will be Ireland where I think you can buy local maps on a SD card.
  9. whatmeworry

    whatmeworry Established Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    My old Nokia E5 has free offline maps which I can upload to my phone. I also have the Nokia Lumia 520 windows phone which also has free uploadable offline maps.

    The lumia 520 car maps are geo locked to Australia unless you pay $20 to unlock the phone. The E5 battery is better but the lumia GPS looks on quicker.
  10. here2go

    here2go Active Member

    Mar 11, 2012
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    Lumia 520 unlocked is c$150 from Hardly Normal, etc. Use GetPrice and/or StaticIce.com.au to get a vendor. By far the best value smartphone on the market for the ease of use and quality of core apps from Nokia (aka Here Maps, Here Drive). Buy before you go, download the maps for the States you are visiting over WiFi, get a car charger, and off you go!
    Get a Lumia 1020, you'll have an awesome camera with maps. Grab a local SIM, and post your photos on the go.

    Nokia owns Navteq, which pretty much powers 85% of GPS navigation devices around the world.
  11. drron

    drron Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2002
    Sunshine Coast
    Every few years I buy a Walmart book of maps for the US and Canada.never fails.And a lot cheaper.
  12. Grooba

    Grooba Established Member

    Mar 4, 2008
    +1. Probably also cheaper if you research your data options before traveling.
  13. burmans

    burmans Senior Member

    Feb 21, 2006
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    +1 on that, I use Google maps and my phone at home and the same overseas, sometimes takes a bit of searching to find a cheap data plan though ( eg Europe)
  14. lovestotravel

    lovestotravel Senior Member

    Sep 18, 2008
    Generally I always rent a car that has GPS built in, Cadallic Escalade, MB GL450, MB E Class, BMW 5 Series, BMW X5 so that solves the problem of not having GPS when overseas.

    Failing that if the location only has basic cars I always pick the GPS/Neverlost option (Hertz) and the cost is about $8 per day.

    Well worth it as I don't need to worry about charging a device, mounting the device, removing the device everytime I park etc etc.

    A small investment to save lots of hassle/time/effort when I am mostly on holidays.
  15. BensAdventures

    Jan 10, 2010
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    I used to always get a GPS, or GPS equipped car, then I found Co Pilot GPS on my Samsung Phone. I had to buy some maps, but it is awesome! In the USA it has great lane departure advice, invaluable on some of the on-ramps and off-ramps around LA. Once you buy the maps, they are yours. You can also just buy maps for a region, not a whole country, which is handy. No data need! I used it everywhere I go, anywhere in the world.
  16. irv

    irv Active Member

    Apr 11, 2012
    Port Macquarie NSW
    Purchased a Tom Tom cradle for Iphone 4 and the Navigon Northern USA app, was perfect.
  17. iRobbo

    iRobbo Intern

    Jan 24, 2011
    Did the rental map thing too. Was great, but: make sure you activate before you go. There were issues with entering the code and we ended up having to phone to get it to work.

    Also, certain States have different laws on where you can mount the GPS, I think California was illegal to mount it on the windscreen, best to check and confirm.

    We considered buying a cheapie when we got there but were time limited and were starting off on the Big Island of Hawaii which we has not been to before. Less stress having it sorted before we went.
  18. serfty


    Nov 16, 2004
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    Puchased a Garmin from Amazon online 5 years ago - it came with USA maps lifetime. They would not ship to Oz, so an AFFer arranged a US delivery address for me from where it was onshipped.

    Cost was about $150 rather than the $500 it would have cost to buy at the time on Oz with USA maps loaded.
  19. kpc

    kpc Senior Member

    Mar 11, 2003
    A few years ago, I bought a TomTom GPS locally in Australia, and you could choose either North America or Europe maps for free. I now bring my own GPS with loaded Nth American maps to use when I hire a car in Nth America, avoiding all the extra charges:)
    • Like Like x 1
  20. FuzzyAUS

    FuzzyAUS Member

    I just bought an app for my phone and its on my ipad too, full maps offline, but if you have data will pull updates as needed etc..

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