Is fitted or aftermarket sat nav better?

The majority of drivers now use satellite navigation.


A survey by the Department for Transport National Travel Survey revealed that 2014 was the first

year more drivers used sat navs than maps, with 52% of drivers now using electronic navigation.

Of that number, the report claimed that 39% used a portable sat nav or an app on their smartphone. Just 13 per cent had a system that was integrated in their vehicle.

But if you’re looking at joining the crowd, which is best? Satellite navigation that is in-built with the car, or an aftermarket, portable navigation unit?


What’s the cost difference?

If you want to specify a sat nav system on a new Nissan Qashqai it will cost £750. It’s exactly the same price with a Volkswagen Golf. That’s very expensive when compared with an aftermarket device.

You can buy a basic sat nav for around £60 while one with a bigger screen and European mapping will cost around £250. And of course, when you sell the car, you can take the portable unit with you.


When should you choose a built-in sat nav?

“The smaller the car, the less a used buyer will expect it to have sat nav,” said Nothard. “Conversely, the bigger the car, the more a used buyer will expect it to have sat nav.” So if you’re buying a Fiat 500, anyone who buys the car from you won’t be looking for sat nav; but buyers may ignore models such as the Audi A6 if they don’t have in-built navigation. However, as time passes and more cars are offered with integrated sat navs, more used-car buyers will expect them.


So what’s the answer?

If you’re buying a new car and planning on keeping it for a long time, it probably makes sense to specify a built-in navigation system. If you like to change your cars every couple of years, whether you go built-in or not depends on the size of car. The bigger the car, the more compelling the argument for specifying it because it will make the car more attractive when you sell it on. For small city cars, you’re probably still best saving some money and buying an aftermarket system.

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