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Sat Navs From A to B for Cheap!

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Using a sat-nav to get from A-to-B is now the rule rather than the exception, and they make great presents for the directionless!

Whether you're looking for a Christmas gift or want to treat yourself, it's possible to get a big brand sat-nav for under £100, or a budget model for less than £50.

We've rounded up some of the best sat-nav deals online and on the high street, and added a section on handy apps for smartphones, which could mean you don't need to buy a sat-nav at all.


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Foehn & Hirsch UK sat-nav, £44 Includes MP3/MP4 FM transmitter

You can order the budget Foehn & Hirsch sat-nav online from eBuyer* for £43.57 including delivery (order before Sun 18 Dec for delivery before Christmas). It's in its clearance section though, so stock's limited.

Perhaps the simplest sat-nav on the market, it's slim, light and compact. It has a 3.5" colour touchscreen, and instant route calculation so, if you make a wrong turn, it'll automatically get you back on track.

It has a built-in FM transmitter, which you can tune your car stereo into so music stored on the sat-nav can be played over your car system. It also lets you browse any photos, e-books and videos you've saved on the 2GB internal memory, which can be expanded via the SD card slot.

Mio F360 GPS sat-nav System, £50 User friendly with 3D junction view & lane assistance

If your budget doesn't quite stretch to TomTom prices, the Mio F360 GPS is a cheap equivalent at £49.97 delivered from Dixons*(order before Fri 23 Dec for delivery before Christmas).

Its 3.5" colour LCD screen shows detailed maps of your route, and for tricky junctions, there's a 3D view. The lane assistance feature combined with spoken street names means you can listen for when you have to turn, without taking your eyes off the road.

Reviews seem to agree it's simple to set up and easy to use.

Garmin Nuvi 2200, £70Save on fuel with the cheapest Garmin

As a big player in the sat-nav market, Garmin models usually come with a hefty price tag, but Amazon* is currently selling the Nuvi 2200 for £69.99, including delivery.

It's preloaded with UK and Ireland maps, plus speed limit warnings and a handy fuel-saver feature that calculates the most fuel-efficient route.

However, several reviews say the Nuvi 2200 reads numbers as a whole rather than single digits (think A-three-hundred-and-twenty-nine, instead of A-three-two-nine), which can be confusing. It doesn't feature lane assistance either.

TomTom Start² Europe, £95
Cheapest TomTom, with full EU mapping

Currently cheapest at Amazon*, the TomTom Start² includes full EU mapping for £93.28 including delivery (order before Sun 18 Dec for delivery before Christmas).

It has all you'd expect from a TomTom, including lane guidance, speed restriction notifications, fixed speed camera notifications and "POI" (points of interest).

TomTom users also get a free update with the latest maps, as long as you register it online within 30 days of purchase.

If you don't mind a refurbished TomTom it's also worth browsing the TomTom outlet store, which can offer some decent discounts off standard prices.

Free sat-nav apps for your smartphone

If you've a web-enabled phone (with a decent screen), it's possible to use this as a sat-nav, so you can avoid buying a separate product. Many mobiles now include Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, which you can use with various downloadable apps.

Apps can vary in price, from free to around £50, but if you're going to pay this much for an app it's probably wiser to buy a separate sat-nav. The only downside to using apps over maps is that the large files could take up a lot of your phone's memory, and if your screen's not big enough you may not be able to see where you're going anyway.

If you're going down this route though (pardon the pun!), below are some of the top free apps for iPhones, Androids and BlackBerrys:

Google Maps for mobile
Available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry

What is Google Maps? The app offers free turn-by-turn directions (with voice prompts if you choose to turn them on) whether you're travelling by car, by bike or walking.

How does it work? Most smartphones now come with Google Maps pre-installed, but the service itself works best with devices that support Google's operating system, Android.

The mapping itself is like normal Google Maps, but less detailed. However, It moves fast and follows where you're going, so you can see if you're going the wrong way.

Pros: It has a simple POI search and can be integrated with other Android and Google Apps, for example, "check in" wherever you are to let your friends know you're there with Google Latitude.

Cons: This app requires a constant data connection, so isn't that handy if you're lost in the middle of nowhere and can't get a 3G signal. Also, the "navigation" aspect is still being tested, so may not always be accurate.

Available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry.

Waze GPS & social traffic app
Available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry

What is Waze? Waze is a free GPS and social traffic app, available on iPhones, Androids and BlackBerrys.

How does it work? Powered completely by its users, you can build and use live maps, real-time traffic updates and turn-by-turn navigation to improve your daily commute.

Pros: Once your route's planned, should other "Wazers" report any traffic jams, road works, etc you'll automatically be re-routed based on live road conditions.

Cons: While it's free to download, unlike Navfree it needs a constant data connection to work.The UK mapping for the app only began this year, so isn't that developed. Waze says: "It'll be a little while until the app delivers its full value."

Also, reviews suggest the BlackBerry version has flaws. When we tested it on a BlackBerry, we couldn't get it to connect properly.

Available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.

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