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My Garmin GPS in France

I'm taking mine, my question is, will it work with the plug in cable it came with? Or is the power in European cars different the USA? It came with the cigarette lighter type plug in and I'm thinking I should also bring a USB type cable? I'm getting the micro sd card with the map of Europe.

Posted by
805 posts

I have been using my Garmins in Europe for years, it is the same voltage and cigarette lighter socket. A USB cable might be an idea to take as well since the outlet might be a bit more conveniently located, but that depends on the make and model of the car.

Have a great trip.

Posted by
771 posts

Either the cigarette lighter plug or the USB cable will work fine. We've used both in France without a problem, although the USB port was easier to reach in the last car we had.

Posted by
166 posts

Thanks so much. All this preparing for an overseas trip can be overwhelming. So much to plan and prepare for. I'm not through asking questions here I'm sure. Thanks for all the valuable tips and information.

Posted by
6619 posts

One of the fun parts of driving in Europe is hearing the GPS voice mispronounce the names of streets, cities, etc. It sharpens your perception of the host country's language. Or you can set it to talk in the local language, improving your skills as you try to figure out what to do at high speed. ;-)

Set the device to show kilometers instead of miles, so the voice you hear is consistent with the signs you see along the way.

Posted by
166 posts

I got my micro SD card from Garmin. So, it's plug and play right? All I have to do is change the country to France and it's a go?

Posted by
2573 posts

Make sure your device has a European map database. It is also possible to download maps to your phone and use Waze if you are going to be within one general area for a while. Optimally you have a data plan that would allow you to use your phone for navigation. Maps will be current and road conditions will be updated in real time.

Posted by
15644 posts

One problem I had with Garmin in France is that for nearly every place name I entered, several came up. The car I rented also had built-in GPS with the same problem. It took me a bit to figure it out, but the best thing seemed to be to know what the zip code was in my area and choose the name with the nearest zip code.

Posted by
1161 posts

Another vote for ensuring your device has the current European maps in it. They usually charge you to download these maps if they're not already in your unit, but you can do it by plugging your Garmin into your computer and using their app.. Also, some USB ports don't have enough current to power a GPS unit. I would bring a USB cable in case, but the 12V lighter plug should work fine regardless.

Posted by
7491 posts

Just as you check the wipers and flashers when you rent a car, look for the “charging” icon to be sure a previous renter did not blow the cigarette lighter fuse.

Posted by
1175 posts

We saved to favorites in our GPS the addresses of our hotels across Normandy and Brittany, museums we wanted to visit, restaurants we found interesting, etc. We stayed in a B&B south of Bayeux which had no numerical address, just outside of Villers-Bocage. We used Google Maps and pinpointed the rural location using the directions they sent. We used longitude and latitude designations (a choice on your GPS) for the entry of their driveway, saved that to favorites, and we drove right to it. Worked for us. Good luck.