CHOICE membership

Cost of map update on built-in GPS


Soon after I bought my new outback in 2016 I noticed the maps were way out of date. I went through the menus to find the maps installed were dated early 2014. As Subaru push the benefits of having the latest maps I insisted the dealer update them free of charge. After much haggling he agreed and after updating I found they were still a year out of date. I wonder if this is widespread in the industry in order to scam large amounts of money out of customers who need to have current maps. For my next new car I’ll be checking the installed map date before accepting delivery.


There have been other posts reflecting your experience. FWIW we bought a new 2013 Renault in 2014 and everything was updated to a current 2014 map prior to delivery. Further updates? Not at their prices!

It is not obvious whether the importers or dealers deserve appropriate ‘recognition’ but from the numbers of vehicles with portable GPS or fixed mobiles running GPS to supplement or replace the built-ins, consumers are voting with their $.


Possibly to make money. Another convenience tax.

As @meltam outlined, one would be better buying a entry level android tablets with inbuilt GPS, and installing one of the free GPS apps.

As outlined above, we use Mapfactor GPS and have found it very good, and better coverage in remote areas than in car GPS mapping systems.

The disadvantage is the tablet isn’t built into the car meaning it needs to be held by someone or placed somewhere in the vehicle. Also one needs to remember to take the tablet when travelling.

The advantage is one can use the tablet for connecting to WIFI when travelling/in the home, storing ones own music collection (if additional storage is available) for playing in vehicle if one has bluetooth or AUX jack and other such use.


The many stories here, seem to highlight the need for advocacy from Choice.

The fee is unreasonable by any measure. We have public enquiries into bank charges, because the fee isn’t related to the actual effort and cost involved. I think the fee Microsoft and the many other software companies charge for upgrades is unreasonable and many complain, and consumer groups have got onto that, with I suspect, an impact. The cost of supplying a new street guide, a printed book, is only 10% of the fees being quoted here, yet I am confident that the costs of upgrading softcopy mapping is minute in comparison with hardcopy!

This is a Global problem it needs a Global solution.


My factory built-in one in my Camry was always telling me to go in the wrong direction. The dealer said I needed a new CD to update the system- cost? $350 for a CD, thanks but no thanks.


I have Tomtom and Garmin products, portables and a built-in, and as a general statement the Tomtoms are a generation behind in the user interface, but most often superior in routing.

My Garmin has led me on local (‘interesting’) tours of the city I would never have known about, and sometimes I think they have a royalty deal with the petrol companies.

That being written my Tomtom was routing me from Toronto CA to Kalamazoo MI and after we crossed the river into the USA it inexplicably directed to leave the Interstate highway and wanted to make a U-turn back over the bridge to Canada! I reckon that one would have been worth 50 Garmin ‘curious’ routings on its own if I was clueless enough to follow it. But here in Melbourne the Tomtom wins every time.

Tomtom sells a model for about $300 (GO520) with ‘lifetime’ world maps included. That enhances the irritation of the auto companies slugging $350 each for sometimes years old maps.



* Lifetime means the useful life of the device, i.e. the period of time TomTom supports your device with updates, services, content or accessories. A device will have reached the end of its life when none of these are available any more.

Another words, when TomTom decide to cease supporting the device, the lifetime warranty ceases. TomTom control this irrespective of whether the device is still working/functional. A little deceptive.


Which is why I wrote ‘lifetime’ rather than lifetime :slight_smile: And noting @BrendanMays comments onward.


An update for my Toyota Camry’s GPS was $350 I declined the offer saying I could by an add on for less.


6 posts were split to a new topic: Automotive GPS Speed Accuracy vs Speedo


Co-incidentally this week an email came in from TomTom offering a free map update. Our TomTom device is 10 years old & rarely used as the maps are out of date.
I thought, OK, I’ll do that. plugged it in & it downloaded maps & stuff, then showed an add offering $85/year for 4 updates per year. The downloaded maps didn’t appear to be new version at all - the version number I think unchanged. Seemed a dishonest offer in the first place.


I had thought that Apple CarPlay & Android Auto allowed on screen play from your mobile, & hence your mobile nav system. Reading above, that doesn’t seem what happens.