[Updated September 10, 2015]
TomTom offers two software packages to install on a PC or Mac to update your GPS : TomTom Home or TomTom MyDrvie Connect. They allow updates to be made to the instrument’s software and its cartography. Via the Map Share function of these software programs (map corrections directly made by the users), it will thus be possible to download certain map corrections free of charge on all GPS models. These free updates include the following road changes:
- Change in speed limits
- New street names
- Blocked roads
- Changing the direction of traffic
- Change in management restrictions
However, these corrections will not completely solve the guidance problems associated with obsolete mapping. In order to solve them completely, you need to go to a complete update of the map.
- Also to be read: The Best GPS’s of 2016
If your GPS is fairly recent, it is possible that it has a “lifetime mapping” license (here is the list of eligible models). You will then be able to update the map completely free of charge (using the above-mentioned software) and find the new roads or traffic signs on your GPS. This free update can be done 4 times a year, during the lifetime of the product.
For owners of older models or those without a “lifetime mapping” licence, you will have to get your hands on the wallet and the bill will be steep. Count 50 euros for a complete update of the French cartography and up to 70 euros for a European map. Again, you will need to use TomTom Home or TomTom MyDrive Connect.
With map updates costing nearly 70 euros, the question of buying a new GPS with a lifetime map license can legitimately arise.
All the more so as the latest GPS devices offer valuable new features such as voice recognition, connected services such as Waze and free lifetime map updates.
Our two benefit/price recommendations revolve around Garmin and TomTom. The Garmin Drive Smart 50 LMT offers a nice compromise in the Garmin GPS range. With its still simple interface, its elaborate guidance functions and its lifetime free map updates, it is positioned as a very complete browser. It also has voice recognition to spell out destinations and a Bluetooth connection to link it to a smartphone for connected services such as Waze-like community alerts and detailed traffic information.
On the other hand, at TomTom we will choose the Start 52, which is significantly cheaper than the Garmin and is an efficient and cheap proposal. The TomTom Start 52 offers few accessory functions so that you can concentrate on guiding. No infotraffic or Bluetooth connection, the Start 52 goes straight to the point, but does it well. However, it has advanced lane change guidance and free lifetime map updates. The screen has a good definition and the system of fixing to the windscreen is very practical.