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GPS in Europe

Looking into a GPS for Italy and France. On Garmin's website it says that they are legal to sell in these 2 countries, but illegal to use. Does anyone know anything about this?

Posted by
31464 posts

Cathi, Garmin sells several GPS units that are equipped with Euro maps, so not sure why these would be illegal to use? I'll be interested to see what other replies you get on this question.

Posted by
9363 posts

That would surprise me, too, Ken. TomTom (made in the UK) also sells Europe maps.

Posted by
104 posts

Please post the link that shows that I looked & searched their sight for that info and did not locate it.

They sell alot of maps for Europe I'd like to know this too.

Posted by
10 posts

I don't believe GPS units are illegal to use in any European countries. I sure hope not because I'm intending to use my Garmin CSx in Sept/Oct when I go.

I think what you are referring to is a specific feature in some of the new Garmin products (e.g. Nuvi) called the "FM Transmitter". This feature transmits the sound from the GPS unit (e.g. "turn left in 1 miles") to a FM station your car's radio can pickup. This allows you to more easily hear the GPS directions through your car's stereo speakers instead of the tiny GPS speakers.

I found the following at the bottom of a Garmin product description:
"Use of FM transmitters is currently illegal in certain European countries due to specific radio frequency restrictions. You must check the local regulations in all European countries in which you intend to use the FM transmitter to ensure its legality. You accept full responsibility for complying with all such laws and regulations applicable in your particular country of operation."

Posted by
805 posts

Definitely not illegal. We used a GPS in both those countries with no problems.

Posted by
2 posts

I was refering to exatly what Tim quoted. Thanks for the advice. I guess as long as you use it without the FM transmitting, it's legal.

Posted by
1 posts

I just returned from a 10 day trip to Italy with garmin nuvi 360 preloaded with US and europe maps. It is one of the best auto travel tools ever invented. We drove through Tuscana on winding roads without a hitch. All you need is the postal code of your destination and the machine will tell you all the turns and directions even through the narrow hill towns and narrow streets of ancient Roma. You do not even need to know the names of the streets on the way. The english and australian voice mispronounced the italian names of the streets but we got everywhere we wanted. If you stay a long time at one location you can set it as your "home" as we did in Toscana and all of your side trips are easily retraced. I do not know about the legality, but you can put the device on the seat or floor out of the way and it still picks up a signal. BTW many Italian people had them suctioned to the front window. Enjoy

Posted by
31464 posts

Marc,

I'll be using a Garmin Nuvi 370 on my next trip to Europe, so it was interesting to hear of your experiences. I'm assuming that you downloaded additional maps, as the Nuvi 360 doesn't normally have those?

GPS units seem to mispronounce names in North America also, which I suppose is understandable as some names are difficult for humans to pronounce.

Posted by
1 posts

I purchased a GqrminNuvi 370 that has both North American & European Maps on it. Used it while traveling throughout Italy and France both in a car and walking. Worked great.

Posted by
1 posts

how much does it cost above and beyond the normal price to get maps of Europe in a GPS device?

We are Headed for hungary/Slovenia/Croatia at the end of August and I want to see what I need to do to have GPS with me.

Having used GPS on a few of my trips to europe, I will not have a rental car unless I have a GPS (either from the rental co or my own)

Joe

Posted by
850 posts

Would like to see the link to Garmin's website saying they are illegal to use. Since their X70 series have Europe maps it would not make sense they would be illegal. Plus, how would they ever enforce such a law.

The TomTOm is a Netherlands company and their 910,920 and 930 models sold in the U.S. have Europe maps on them.
Tomtom and Garmin have had suits against one another for infringments on patents but nothing to make the Garmin illegal to use in Europe.

Posted by
9363 posts

Lane, if you read through the earlier posts, you'll see that the illegality issue refers only to the FM Transmitter capability that some GPS units have. They are not illegal otherwise.

Posted by
850 posts

Sorry Tim for my oversight. Thanks Nancy and Kent for pointing that out. Maybe one day I will learn how to read.

Posted by
12040 posts

Just a note... don't completely leave your map-reading skills at home. My experience with a GPS-equipped rental car in eastern France and some areas of Switzerland is that the device is far from infallable.

Posted by
157 posts

Hi, I used my Garmin 370 this past trip - while in Italy we went through a Police roadblock (looking for something/someone) and they said nothing about it and it was attached to my windshield. I also saw GPS unites all over Italy in other cars on the autostradas. The Garmim 370 worked flawlessly by the way and it came with the European maps pre loaded.

Posted by
67 posts

Has anyone researched which is easier to use or best to use...garmin or TomTom. I'm confused and want to purchase one for our trip to Hungary/Czech Republic in October.

Cathy

Posted by
9363 posts

Cathy, I think it's more a matter of personal preference. TomTom is a European company, though, and has been around a lot longer than we have had them here. You might check out the Consumer Reports website to see if they have a chart that compares features.

Posted by
875 posts

We bought a TomTom 920 for our trip to France this spring. We bought it online from Costco which was the cheapest price we found. It was well worth the money and, of course, we can now use it in either of our vehicles. It was amazing technology, and we were very pleased with its ease of use. Of course one of its main features is the already-loaded European maps!