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Sat/nav rental car

Atlanta, Georgia
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43 posts
95 reviews
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Sat/nav rental car

We are planning to rent a car and tour Scotland for 8 days. Is it best to rent a Satnav from the rental car company? Is there an alternative? We do not own one but I'm wondering if buying one in the US would be less expensive, though we would need to get UK maps.

I noticed that if I rent the car through Priceline the price of the Satnav isn't quoted.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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1. Re: Sat/nav rental car

Is there an alternative? You mention (in a roundabout way) the best alternative yourself, a map. Easy to use, compact, inexpensive, lightweight.

www.rac.co.uk and www.theaa.com both have route planning functions as well. Have a go with a few journeys, say, Fort William to Mallaig or Inverness to Dufftown and see what you think of what's available on line.

There is a great deal of very useful information here as well, especially with respect to signs and road markings: https://www.gov.uk/highway-code

london
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2. Re: Sat/nav rental car

if you have a smart phone, you can get apps that you could use as a satnav

UK
Destination Expert
for North Wales
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3. Re: Sat/nav rental car

I use Navfree App on my iPhone. Quite basic compared to a Garmin but for door to door directions it is quite good.

This might help

pcpro.co.uk/features/381289/satnavs-tomtom-v…

Bear in mind that whatever SatNav you use it needs a signal, and you might not have a constant signal in remote areas.

I once drove with Satnav in a poor signal area and when you lose a signal for several minutes and then pick it up again the poor lady giving you directions gets very confused when the signal resumes.

Nowt wrong with a map in most instances. I tend to just use the Satnav for the last couple of miles to find a specific place in a built up area.

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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4. Re: Sat/nav rental car

>>whatever SatNav you use it needs a signal, and you might not have a constant signal in remote areas<<

GPS devices get their signal from a series of satellites that cover the whole globe. After all, the initials stand for GLOBAL Positioning Service. Any GPS device will always know its exact position, no matter how remote that may be. The only thing that might cause a problem would be tall buildings (or maybe tall trees) that prevent the device from receiving enough satellite signals.

The amount that car rental companies charge for a GPS is out of all proportion to the cost of the devices. If you would like to use a GPS (and I find them helpful), buy one in the US so you can get used to how it works on familiar roads.

Amsterdam, The...
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for Amsterdam
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5. Re: Sat/nav rental car

I suppose it depends on how much the rental company charge you for the hire of the sat nav. Normally it's around £8 to £10 per day which is extortionate IMO.

You can go to a local retailer such as this one http://tinyurl.com/odvd6e3 and get a cheap sat nav or as you said just buy one at home and load it with maps.

UK
Destination Expert
for North Wales
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6. Re: Sat/nav rental car

Thanks Sydney nick, you are right

I should have inserted the word " App" after Satnav as my post was about phone apps

offline maps apps are available to overcome this .

Stanley, Falkland...
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7. Re: Sat/nav rental car

Where are you going in Scotland? Much of the road network is sparse, and it would be difficult to get lost.

Many towns are signposted for long distances. EG Fort William and Campbeltown are signposted for about 100 miles.

I agree Satnav can be useful in cities, but will you be doing much driving in cities?

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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8. Re: Sat/nav rental car

Thanks, Leuca. I now understand what you were intending to say, and I agree.

Although now some smart phones and tablets have built-in GPS and do not need to rely on locating mobile phone towers.

Manchester, United...
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for The Hebrides
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9. Re: Sat/nav rental car

As no 7 implies, you really don't need a satnav in Scotland outside the cities. But if you decide to use one, you will need a map as well.

Atlanta, Georgia
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43 posts
95 reviews
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10. Re: Sat/nav rental car

Thank you for these very informative replies. I feel we have several good options now, none of which involve getting the Sat/nav from the rental car company. This is why Tripadvisor is so valuable, Even the TomTom which is an expensive app, is far less than the ten day rental. The plan now is to rent the car at LHR after my husband's work in London and turn it in in Ediburgh where will get the first leg of our flight home.

I wish I had these ideas before we visited Ireland and Northern Ireland last year. We did get the sat/nav. Very expensive for the few times we needed it. Dhmellor is correct. It was in Dublin that it was most useful. We used it to get to our rental and to get out of town only but we may well still be there if we had not had it. It took us on some quaint paths in the countryside quite successfully,too.

UK roads are better and better marked, I know.. Interesting about there not being many roads in some areas so it is hard to get lost.

We are very excited about our first trip to Scotland.

Thanks again for the advise and links.