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Advice on buying a sat-nav for a used car

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Posted by Nikolai Kalenski on 27 November 2012

Sat-navs really are a handy device that I think all drivers - regardless of their level of experience or the kind of car they own - should look to have. Although these products are now often built-in to new high-end vehicles, if you're buying a slightly older second-hand, you may find you have to purchase one separately.

Even if you have been driving for many years, I can't stress enough the importance of getting a good-quality sat-nav. After all, nobody wants to get lost while on the road - particularly when they're driving to a destination for the first time or have an urgent appointment they cannot be late for - so the assistance such items provide will be vital.

It's also worth bearing in mind that these devices can also help to make sure you're in the right lane when approaching junctions, provide directions to amenities such as petrol stations and alert you to where speed cameras are located. Of course, the particular features that you can use will depend on the particular model you buy, so you should consider what you want from a device and which facilities you're most likely to use on a regular basis before you make a purchase. With that in mind, here are some of the devices that I think are worth considering for drivers of all budgets and backgrounds.

Garmin nuvi 2515

If you want an affordable sat-nav, the Garmin nuvi 2515 is certainly worth considering. Although it is not as expensive or feature-laden as some of other devices in the company's range, it still has everything you need to help you reach your destination.

Featuring a 5-inch touchscreen and pre-loaded maps of the UK and Ireland, the gadget comes with Garmin's trafficTrends technology, a service that calculates your route based on estimated traffic flow levels.

Other services include park position recall technology (a feature designed to help you locate where you parked your car) and built-in Bluetooth, which enables you to sync the sat-nav with your phone so you can make hands-free calls.

TomTom Via 135

The TomTom Via 135 also allows hands-free calls to be made, while gadget-loving drivers may be interested in the fact it enables icons and text descriptions to be added to the destinations they drive to the most.

If you choose this device, you can get alerts to tell you when you're approaching a speed camera, while the foldaway mount makes it easy to attach the sat-nav to your car's windscreen.

Navman Tourer

Finally, I think the Navman Tourer is a great choice of sat-nav for those who often take long trips, partially because it includes features such as 3D junction views and speed limit alerts.

It also comes with a Choice of Routes service that allows you to preview what the fastest, shortest, easiest and most economical directions for you to take are, before selecting the one that is right for you. Buy this sat-nav and you'll not onlys access maps for roads in the UK, but you can also plan routes for dozens of European countries. France, Portugal and Germany are just three of the countries whose roads and motorways information are included on the device, so it's perfect if you often take your car overseas.

Whether you own a second-hand Nissan or some other car, I can't stress enough how useful sat-navs are, but what are your experiences of using these devices? Please leave a comment and let us know!