CHOICE membership

Cost of map update on built-in GPS


Yep. I have a TomTom that’s a couple of years old which I use on my '08 Liberty. The TomTom is a very good unit, and includes quarterly map updates and regular updates for the speed camera data. A good deal IMHO.


Am I correct that Tomtom speed cameras are only the fixed ones? FWIW Garmin has a subscription called Cyclops that supposedly updates fixed as well as mobile camera “possible locations”. It updates daily but you have to manually connect to update your unit. Other than that it is slick. There is also a POI database that includes cameras (some downloads are open and free, but membership for everything is $10 or $20 once off.) POIs show as waypoints rather than smart integrated warnings like Cyclops though.


I believe so. The only warnings I can recall is at traffic lights and so on.

On another matter: I believe the TomTom can receive real time updates on traffic via a smart phone, but I’ve never nutted that out. The Subaru does this automagically - and it does it very well.


Tomtom, Garmin and Navman all have traffic services from broadcast signals. My Garmin has a special power cord with an embedded antenna.

All of them are supposed to route you around traffic but I have found Garmin to be about 10% effective on a good day. The traffic information seems to be garbage in garbage out. It is certainly not close to reality across Melbourne’s major roads, if anywhere in Australia. In the US traffic information comes from camera networks and news helicopters. Here I think they try to coax in random budgies to reveal what they saw.


… shame it doesn’t calculate a firing solution for same … :wink:


I miss one thing about the USA, and that is radar detectors are legal in most jurisdictions. I had one that was awesome that could track pretty much anything transmitting a signal. In the 1990’s there was also laser detection but reality was its only advantage was it gave you an extra minute to fabricate an excuse why you were speeding before the police got to you. The warning time for laser was “oops just got hit”. The modern incarnation detects photo radars.


Dunno. In my experience, budgies are pretty smart!


seems there is a bit of interest on the net in being creative with these systems…


I am really surprised about this manufacturers ripoff. I had no idea it cost so much to update! I have a Garmin portable which came with free lifetime maps. I’ve had it for years, and update every year or so at no cost - excellent value. I think I might prefer the portable option to the built-in if this is what happens to those with built-in GPS.


My dad was quoted around $690 for a map update on his 3yo Merc. In comparison $290 for 3 yrs seems a good deal; but yes, I agree, overall, it’s a rip off.

I have been using the Tom Tom Go app on my Android based phone for around 8 months now & am very pleased with it. The large, high resolution screens on our smartphones nowadays give you a pretty decent display.

Maps are downloadable, so the app works fine even when offline. For current traffic info you need to be online, naturally.

It’s a subscription based service costing $9/mth, or $30 for 12 mths. You can trial it for free, as they give you 70 kms/mth at no charge.

I was lucky enough to pick it up on a $15 for 12 mths special they had back in Oct last year.

All updates, maps, speed cameras etc, are included in the subscription.

I love the large screens of the built in GPS systems but the cost of updates is a major negative.


I’m sure a Merc map would be at least twice as good as one from Subaru. Smoother, faster with better finish. :grin:

Nothing to do with monopoly power of a case of what the market will bear …


Actually it’s not that great at all. His display does not show his current speed or the road’s speed limit (so no overspeed warning), & speed cameras aren’t included :frowning2: Pretty poor actually.

You’re right about monopoly power & what the market will bear.


The phone’s GPS has a downside, that it is a mobile phone not to be touched in any way whilst driving on a road, including while stopped in traffic, and apparently that includes “roads” such as a Maccas take away lane! See Vic road rules section 300; other states have similar if not identical rules. 10 penalty units, and is all encompassing including touching it at all, eg if using it as a music player. I presume the inclusive definition is to avoid “discussions” on whether the phone was being used as a phone or as something else. If it is a mobile, it is thus by definition being used as a mobile not a GPS or music player.


This is from the Vic Roads website:

Fully licensed car drivers

Using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited, except to make or receive a phone call or to use its audio/music functions provided the phone:is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle, or
can be operated by the driver without touching any part of the phone, and the phone is not resting on any part of the driver’s body.

Using a phone as a navigational device/GPS while driving is prohibited unless it is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle. All other functions (including video calls, texting and emailing) are prohibited.

If you are a P plater then the rules are different & are spelt out on the abovementioned page.

Not sure about other States, but I only drive in Vic. If I’m going interstate I’ll check first.


Part of the operative text is:

and the body of the phone—

(iii) is secured in a mounting affixed to the
vehicle while being so used; or

(iv) is not being held by the driver, and the
use of the phone does not require the
driver, at any time while using it, to
press any thing on the body of the
phone or to otherwise manipulate any
part of the body of the phone;


If you’re moderately comfortable mucking around with your car’s accessory electronics then there’s another alternative to the extortionate OEM gps vs. third party (tomtom) systems, and that’s to install a tablet (android or ios doesn’t matter, the idea’s the same).
Advantage is free map updates for life via google maps, use of other apps as well, and if you plug it into an amp then you can use it for entertainment as well. And it’ll connect to your home wifi for updates whenever you pull into your garage. And if you dash mount it then you won’t fall foul of using mobiles while driving laws.
Disadvantage is it’s a bit fiddly to set up.
There are many guides and videos on how to do it, but picking one at random…


We opted for a tablet as suggested by Ash @airedale, which we bought out of China: (Where we bought ours) (<- Scroll down the page to below the accessories for the range of available tablets.)

Our 7" tablet has a DVR (digital video recorder) built into it, and it came with a digital speed display app which is very handy.

It is installed on our windscreen, out of the way, with a suction cap set-up like GPSs have. The large screen makes it much easier to see and follow maps.

Because it is easily accessible, we have password protection on start up to secure it; though this makes it fiddly because it needs the password every time we start the vehicle, and some applications will not load automatically on start-up. It can be put to sleep instead of turning off when the vehicle is turned off, but this has two disadvantages. Firstly, the DVR causes problems when turned back on from sleep mode. Secondly, the tablet’s battery runs down (overnight) and may go flat. Once this occurs it won’t turn back on until a minimum charge is obtained.

We have an older Navman and this vehicle tablet is sooooo much more functional, and for a lower price.


Looks like you’re one step ahead of me - My initial comment was along the lines of mounting a conventional tablet within your dash (and hard-wiring it in for power), but then I wasn’t aware of the existence of automotive-specific tablets such as these.
You’ve found the best of both worlds here, and I love the inclusion of a dashcam as well.


If the price was higher than a TomTom … why did you proceed?

IMHO the days of dedicated GPS systems (Vehicle manufacturers or Garmin) are over.

If you have a smartphone (and are not concerned about using Google) then Google Maps is far superior in terms of function, for example it:

  • incorporates real time traffic information and adjusts recommended routing accordingly
  • can handle complex situations such as streets which are blocked at some times or are one way at some times
  • the maps are much more up-to-date
    These capabilities are invaluable travelling in foreign countries or unfamiliar cities.


If you are talking about the vehicle based tablet, it was cheaper. :slight_smile: