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Built in Sat Nav in car
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Chloe Martell

April 13, 2018

Owning a car 4 min read

This month is all about in-car tech, and whether you love it or loathe it, it’s hard to get away from it in modern cars! In a recent survey of 371 people, we wanted to find out what bits of in-car tech we use the most, and how important it is to our everyday driving routines. Let’s talk about built in satnavs!

Who wants it more?

Boys or girls – who has the worse sense of direction and needs the built in sat nav the most? In our survey, 65% of those who said they wished they had a built in sat nav were between the ages of 17-24, and 60% of these were male! So it seems that girls don’t have the worst sense of direction after all, because only 40% of females in the same age said they wished they had it! Good going girls 😉


What’s the difference?

When you’re buying a brand new car, you may be asked if you want a built in sat nav as an extra, but what is the difference between having a sat nav built in, and a standalone one, or an app on your phone?

Built in sat nav

When you have a sat nav built in your car, it’s often much more than a navigation system alone. It can have many other media entertainment system included, so you’ll know exactly where to go and have some great music on your journey, too! Built in sat navs tend to also be pretty straightforward to use and figure out. They’re convenient because they’re already there – so you don’t have to worry about packing your sat nav before you hop in the car. Costs of built-in sat navs can be pretty high, however, as if it’s not included as standard in your car, you can be looking at anywhere up to over £1,000 extra on your car.

Standalone sat nav

Standalone or dedicated sat navs have one function and that is to navigate you where you need to go. Simple, right? They’re a cheaper option than having a built in sat nav in your car and will get you where you need to go. Most dedicated sat nav screens are between 4 and 7 inches, so you can choose the size of the screen that is perfect for you. There are a few downsides with standalone sat navs, one being that if you forget to pick it up before your journey you may be stuck using the trust road signs! Also, if you’re taking a trip outside of the UK you may need additional maps and these can be an expensive update.



Sat nav apps are the cheapest on the market in helping guide you from A to B. They’re convenient, simple to use and easy to update. You can buy a sat nav app on your phone for very little money meaning this is the cheapest option to get your hands on a sat nav in your car – but is it the best option? The quality of the sat nav app can depend on the phone you have, so performance may not always be best with these. Some also need to be constantly connected to the internet and if you don’t have enough data on your plan, this can cost you much more in the long run. You’re also going to drain your phone battery with these, so you’ll probably need to get an in-car charger to keep your phone full of juice when you arrive at your destination.

It’s also worth remembering that even if you are using your phone as a sat nav behind the wheel, the same rules on using your mobile phone apply. It will need to be mounted and set up before you’re on route – so no touching your phone mid journey.

You decide

Whether you want to get your hands on a built in sat nav in your car, or you’re happy with an app (or even an actual map… do people still use these?) you should choose the option that is most reliable for you. You definitely don’t want to be worrying about not knowing where to go when you’re driving in a new place, but enjoying the drive and looking forward to your destination!

Chloe Martell profile

By Chloe Martell

'As a new driver, I'm so eager to share my driving journey with you all - from when I was a learner, going through my test and all the aspects of my driving life now, including my love of cars!'  See more posts by Chloe

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