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Using our own GPS for UK Car Rental

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Virginia
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Using our own GPS for UK Car Rental

I wasn't sure where to post my query because it isn't strictly London but I know some posters have a London stay before/after their car rental & journey outside of London. So perhaps they can offer advice.

We're returning to London in Sept for 9 nights & then we're picking up a rental car at Heathrow for 5 days of exploring East Anglia. I'm so excited to be returning & this is the first time we've made 2 trips to London in one year. I'll be celebrating one of those milestone birthdays & there's no place I would rather celebrate than London. DH said, let's do it so we are.

So, now to my questions. We have a complete set of OS maps we've used on previous trips & they were very helpful for navigating. I would rather not rent a gps; too expensive. I was thinking about downloading the UK maps for our Garmin & bringing our own gps. Has anyone done this? Was it a useful addition to the OS maps? Or, did you get a lot of quirky directions?

Also, am I correct in assuming the 12V power connector should work in our rental car?

Thanks so much for your help & if there is a better place to post this please let me know.

Bingley, United...
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11. Re: Using our own GPS for UK Car Rental

< However Heathrow is very convenient for the return. >

May not cost you much more for returning to a different airport.

< Therefore, as long as you have your standard cables, you should be able to plug your unit in the car. >

And if you forget / break or otherwise make them unusable replacement cables are available at Pound shops for - em - One Pound. Ignore what is written on the card as, for example, my "Blackberry charging lead" does very well for my Samsung phone & Kindle.

London, England
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12. Re: Using our own GPS for UK Car Rental

If you do decide to do a one-way rental an excellent location to rent from would be Woodford.

The rental depot is 5 yards away from the station entrance (Central Line) and has easy access to the M11 (for Norfolk).

The companies based there are Europcar, Alamo and National (all part of the same group but they set their own rates). There is never a queue so you'd be on your way pretty fast.

Hampshire, England.
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13. Re: Using our own GPS for UK Car Rental

"All cars have power sockets, indeed the trend is for more not less."

Friend of mine bought a new Renault Clio "music" in 2010, it didn't have a cigarette lighter socket, or any type of power socket. Maybe some other manufacturers are following that lead on certain models, or making it an optional extra..

Edited: 16 April 2012, 11:34
Boston...
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14. Re: Using our own GPS for UK Car Rental

I've rented numerous times, in England and other countries. All the cars had the power outlet. We always bring our own TomTom.

We've had many adventures following Tom, usually sending us through narrow paths in which auto does not fit, especially in farm areas. Likely our fault, as we follow interesting turn offs at will, then depend on Tom to find our way back.

Sometimes it's worthwhile to check the route first to make sure you don't end up having to reverse 3 km. :-)

Steamboat Springs...
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15. Re: Using our own GPS for UK Car Rental

I use Google maps (free) in town. Have not tried it in the country but if you have an unlocked smart phone, Euro SIMs are cheap and viola, you have a GPS.

Cheers

San Antonio, Texas
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16. Re: Using our own GPS for UK Car Rental

I would not try and drive around without a GPS in England, unless you are staying on the main highways. You can get a Garmin Europe map SD card for you USA GPS for around $30 at Amazon. Then all you do is plug in the SD car, and you will have your USA maps and your European maps loaded at the same time. The GPS shows a diagram of each roundabout, and indicates which exit to take. The maps wperfectlyfeclty, even in some very, very small towns.

There was a lot of parking at all the tourist sites we visited, but make sure you have a lot of 1 pound coins. We never found anymachinesmachings, and the machinesarchines do not give you any change.

Bingley, United...
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17. Re: Using our own GPS for UK Car Rental

We've got the message - you don't know how to use maps

You don't have to spam every car hire thread

UK
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18. Re: Using our own GPS for UK Car Rental

Friend of mine bought a new Renault Clio "music" in 2010, it didn't have a cigarette lighter socket, or any type of power socket.

=======

Are you sure it wasn't just in an unusual position, such as back of the glovebox, under an armrest or somesuch?

Detroit, Michigan
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19. Re: Using our own GPS for UK Car Rental

Having GPS/SatNav will make your trip ever so much more enjoyable. It takes a LOT of the stress out of driving in the UK. I've got a TomTom and wouldn't think of driving in the UK without it. Saves a lot of arguments. :-)

Sydney, Australia
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20. Re: Using our own GPS for UK Car Rental

I've got a TomTom too (well, two to be precise, but I don't use them both at once) and use them at home too if I'm not exactly aux fait of where I'm going (crikey, sometimes even when I am aux fait of where I'm going I manage to miss a turn and get lost - that's the problem when my sister and I are going visiting and get to talking about our next trip to the UK, instead of watching for exits off the motorway - it's always these occasions when I don't take Hyacinth that we manage to miss the exit and then haven't the foggiest of how to get back to where we should be).

I like using my own GPS when overseas because I'm used to the way it works and the way it sounds, so one less 'worry' when driving in unfamiliar areas :-)

Edited: 12 July 2012, 02:35