Question about Tom-Tom GPS

I’m thinking of getting one of these if I go to the Black Friday specials tomorrow but a question: if you buy the device, does it require a monthly subscription service or is it “self contained”? If you don’t buy a service, how does it do updates to road info?


I don’t know anything about Tom-Tom, but AFAIK you can use the GPS without a subscription. I have GPS in the Prius and, just like any GPS, it receives a signal and displays the map.

You’ll probably have to buy updates. Ones for the Toyota are very expensive and have to be done at the shop. Things change (like the local Toyota dealer is no longer where the navigation system thinks it is), but since I navigate by addresses when I’m going somewhere unfamiliar it doesn’t matter and I can still use the 2005 software.

It is self-contained and will work right out of the box.

However to get map updates you will need to pay. You’ll need to judge whether you think the roads are going to change significantly each quarter to make it worthwhile paying for this.

I found that the changes were so minor that it didn’t warrant paying the extra.

Since this seems to be a factual question about the device, I’m moving it to GQ.

twickster, Cafe Society moderator

The subscriptions are usually for things like real-time traffic, traffic safety alerts, fuel prices, and updated maps. Sometimes they could be already included with your device, so check the box. I have a new map in mine, and there are subdivisions that aren’t listed either in it or Google maps yet, but that might be rare. FWIW, I have a TomTom One 30, which I think is probably the cheapest model out there, and the only think it doesn’t do is read aloud the name of the street; it just says “turn right in 200 yards,” “turn left now,” etc. Other than that, it’s perfect, and that’s not really a problem, but I’d get the read-street-name model next time. Also, the battery life sucks, and I like to use it while walking or hiking, but it dies too soon.

It’s self-contained as has been said - the satellite signals are free for all. They will let you update the map online to the newest version within 30 days of purchasing it, after that you will have to pay for map updates. From what I’ve seen, the updates cost as much as a new lower-end device on sale (around $100) so you are better off just getting a new device every couple of years, with all the new bells and whistles that are always being added.

There are lots of sites which offer free POIs* for gas stations, shopping malls, restaurants etc.

You just download them onto your TomTom and away you go.

Even speed cameras are available free (or for a much lower cost) at various sites.

The dynamic traffic info isn’t something I’ve ever needed - I just want to know where I’m going, how far I’ve got left, and when my next turning is.

*Points of Interest

Just curious why you don’t get a smart phone that has a tom Tom or other GPS program on it instead? A twofer. :slight_smile: Man, I love my Windows Mobile phone as I always have the GPS with me (as well as a phone, can surf the Dope from anywhere, and a few other killer apps).

I don’t because I don’t need/want the monthly fee that I’d have to pay for a smartphone. :slight_smile:

My SIL gave a Garmin to my wife who passed it on to me. There’s no recurring charge or subscription of any kind, and the map can be very useful, as can the turn-by-turn navigation. I’ve lived in this city nearly all my life, so I know approximately where just about any address is, and what side of the street I should look for it on when I get there, but it sure is nice not to have to struggle to read the building addresses while driving by. It does have POIs, but they are not very extensive; I suppose if I upgraded I would see more. I do have VZNavigator on my mobile phone, which costs some extra money each month, and does have traffic and a great deal more POI information. It’s often happened that I look up a POI with my phone but use the Garmin to do the navigation.