2 year old Garmin GPS For France -

We have a Garmin GPS with European Maps from our trip two years ago. I am trying to figure out if I need to buy a whole new system because for the , it is pretty close to a new one since I did not have any lifetime map agreement. Can anyone recommend a great system as we are driving through France for three weeks, I feel like the GPS card we have from two years ago might get us in trouble if there are major changes. I have been reading mixed reviews about new systems with advertising pop ups coming onto the screen while you are driving. Can someone recommend a reliable GPS that comes loaded with European maps? Thank you Caroline 55 days to go

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4871 posts

I would use the 2 year old Garmin. How many major changes do anticipate finding? Would you use a 2 year old GPS in the U.S.? I've used one older than that. Even with a new GPS I bring paper maps, just in case...

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7211 posts

I have a Garmin Nuvi 275 (purchased because I wanted something small for travel) and a couple of TomToms with Euro/N. Amer. maps. One of the things that irks me about Garmin is the cost of updates (but TomTom has adopted nearly the same pricing so really not any better). My Garmin was sold as "lifetime updates" but the fine print says that doesn't include Europe map updates. My last TomTom didn't work out of the box. While their tech support is more than helpful, when they couldn't solve the issue they had me send the unit to Texas for replacement. If that happens to you, return the unit for a refund and buy a new one. Texas sent me the wrong replacement, twice, before I finally gave up and bought a Garmin.

Posted by Steve
Gaston, Oregon, USA
869 posts

Ditto Andrea. My TomTom is 6 years old. I have used it in France, Germany, Austia, Italy(includ. Sardinia, Sicily), Portugal, Spain, and on a couple of cross country trips in the US, etc. We will be taking it to Ireland in May. My last major map was a quite a few years ago, and I'm not going to worry. I have never had a problem using it. I always bring along a Michelin map of the Country where we will be traveling, and a compass. I look at the GPS as another tool. It is not infallable, nor do I need or expect it to be.

Posted by Carol
Lynn, MA, USA
74 posts

Hello, Thank you for your responses, I just found out the sd card is from 2009 when we went to Italy so that is too much time I think. Now I have to figure out if I buy a $99 SD card with updates or a new preloaded model.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7683 posts

$99 is cheaper than a new model. If the unit works I would just buy new maps.

Posted by terry
tallahassee, FL, USA
2 posts

I went on Amazon and bought the SD card as i needed 1 prior to the may 1 2013 release. It was only $36 or so, new, worked fine. I would look at other places than Garmin for card.

Posted by Carol
Lynn, MA, USA
74 posts

My husband saw the SD card for around 29 or 32 dollars, I was afraid that something would be wrong with it for such cheap money. My husband disagreed. I wish I knew if I could trust the low price SD card.,,,, traveling 3 weeks by car with kids and I am really depending on the GPS with good maps??? This is one of the last issues I need to figure out. I know I don't need the new expensive pre loaded model because I don't know that we'll be back in Europe again soon. Next time its Morocco, Marrakesh, Fes and the Sahara. I had read and watched the little that Rick Steves writes about these areas... I wish there was more by him. I am so confident of my three week France trip because of Rick and Steve Smith they, and you are the best!!!!

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1970 posts

I would keep the 2009 GPS as is and buy a new map upon arrival. At the most you'll have a freeway connection open or a roundabout at what used to be a four-way stop. For example, there is a new freeway between Sens and Tours, which will show up on the map. My European GPS, which we bring every year, is from 2007. Most of the time the cars come with them even if you didn't request one.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7683 posts

The SD card was probably cheap because the people selling it weren't going to be needing it again, not because there was anything wrong with it. Lots of people sell map chips after they return if they don't anticipate going back to that place again soon.

Posted by Brad
Greeley, CO, USA
232 posts

Hey Carol your question is excellent. Wondered that ourselves many times. We are going to Paris three weeks from today. We have always used the car navigation until three years ago when we made the circle from Munich to Budapest and Prague and back to Munich. Our now three year old Tom-Tom took us right to the front door in both Budapest and Prague. I don't know how with all the switch backs, false roads etc. We just downloaded the updated map for France the other day. After Paris, we are going to Normandy, Bastogne and then across to north of frankfurt. I would not buy a new one. The SD card in ours works great. I even bought the SD in Erding right outside the Munich airport. Never any problems with it.