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cigarette lighter powered gps in rentals

Will my u.s. cigarette lighter powered gps fit into a rental car?

Posted by
17 posts

When we were in Europe a few years ago our Garmin gps wouldn't fit in the cigarette lighter. We were able to buy an adaptor so it worked fine. You may want to check if there is such an adaptor for yours before you go.

Posted by
16769 posts

As a back-up plan, regional maps that show a pretty fine level of detail are sold at gas stations as you go. Happy driving!

Posted by
711 posts

Cigarette lighter sockets are universal the world over as is the 12 volt negative ground wiring. You still want the paper maps as a back up, if only because the GPS does a great job of telling you exactly where you are but a lousy job of showing where you are in the grand scale of things.

Posted by
4689 posts

Make sure that the previous renter has not blown the fuse before you leave the area of the rental company. It can be easy to overlook that the GPS is running on battery because the lighter socket is actually dead!

Posted by
9110 posts

Until a couple of years ago I would have thought Tim's notion was hogwash.

Not only is the fuse sometimes blown, it seems to also get weakened somehow and blows down the road. It's gotten so bad that I now travel with a couple of both sizes of 15s and a TSA-friendly Leatherman. Figuring which box the bugger's in when it's raining isn't a sack of grins either. You can buy replacements at any little convenience store, but plucking the old one out can be interesting if all you have for a tool a money belt.

As far as I've noticed, the problem is UK-unique and no guess for the reason m

Posted by
4689 posts

The last time we found our lighter fuse blown was in Tours (actually, the TGV station at St. Pierre des Corps) France. I can't see any reason why it should be U.K. unique - people with inverters for their laptop charging and (who knows? CPAP machines and whatever else) could easily blow this fuse in any country. I do know a guy who rents a no-electricity cottage in Scotland every year, so he does use his lighter plug daily .... But even at home in the U.S., every time we buy a car, the engineers have developed a new dimension of fuse, and our old collection is no good anymore.

Indeed, the Hertz guy in SPdC had to rummage around, and gave us an approximate, rather than exact replacement.

Posted by
3262 posts

@Ed- as an owner and sometimes driver (sometimes pusher) of various MG roadsters and sedans over the years, I wonder if the spectre of Lucas electronics still looms over anything automotive and electrical in the British Isles? Maybe modern Jags, Vauxhalls, etc. (and by association any vehicle in the U.K., regardless of origin), are doomed by Lucas, the Prince of Darkness ;-)

BMWs from the late 80's & early 90's had lighter sockets that had a slightly larger diameter than standard American vehicles (maybe for lighting up fat cigars?), so many plug-in devices couldn't get a proper fit or make good electrical contact. Perhaps things have standardized for all cars now.

Posted by
1239 posts

@Cyn, Lucas is not really a brand we deal much with anymore, or at least if we do they are hidden. We have the same products as across the EU when it comes to cars. Indeed we have a thriving car industry but it is Nissan, Toyota, Vauxhall, Honda and BMW. The cigarette lighters though have been almost entirely replaced by 12v sockets in modern cars, in Scotland at least we took to the smoking ban like a fish to water.