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The smartphones are now capable of navigation with the numerous apps available. This spells an end for the dedicated car GPS. In order to woo back the customers, major brands such as Garmin, Magellan are offering extra features such as multimedia capabilities, bluetooth, mp3 players, even audio books etc. These may be standard in the fixed in-dashboard top end GPS systems. But in the lower priced versions, all the basic GPS navigational features are available at around $150 or less.

Typically the prices varies depending on the GPS devices screen size and features. The portable or handheld GPS with screen sizes around 3.5 inches have the internal or downloaded maps with around 2000 waypoints, rechargeable batteries. The map upgrades additionally cost extra to keep track of latest updates.

Providing lifetime map upgrades, text-to-speech, live traffic updates, connecting to your car stereo, voice commands for hands free use, better receivers, with bigger screens of 4+ inches, touchscreens for input are some of the features available in the top end models.

The devices available for selection of the best cheap or budget car GPS is displayed below based on their increasing prices.

Browse All Top Cheap Car GPS »

Nextar V5

Nextar V5 - 5 in. Car GPS Receiver


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Nextar V5
Garmin Nuvi 30
TomTom XL 350
TomTom VIA 1405
Garmin Nuvi 42/44
Nextar V5 - 5 in. Car GPS Receiver
Garmin Nuvi 30 - 3.5 in. Car GPS Receiver
TomTom XL350M GPS Receiver
TomTom VIA 1405 GPS Receiver
Garmin Nuvi 42/44 - 4.3 in Car GPS Receiver
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Release Date
Mar 2012
Oct 2011
May 2010
Feb 2011
Jan 2013
Designation
Automobile
Automobile
Automobile
Automobile
Automobile
Map capabilities
Map cartridges / Data cards
Internal, Map cartridges / Data cards
Internal
Internal, Map cartridges / Data cards
Form Factor
Fixed
Fixed
Portable
Fixed
Fixed, Mountable
Input Method
Voice Command
Touch Screen
Touch Screen
Touch Screen
Touch Screen
Screen Size
5.0 inch
3.5 inch
4.3 inch
4.3 inch
4.3 inch
User interface
Voice Command
Touch Screen
Touch Screen
Touch Screen
Touch Screen, Voice Command

  • All in all the nuvi 30 is actually a very nice PND to use, particularly for the price. If a 3.5 inch screen is a bit small for your liking then you can upgrade to the nuvi 40 which is exactly the same albeit with a 4.3 inch screen and an RRP of £89.99. The nuvi 50 will take it to a 5 inch screen at a reasonable £99.99. It's packed with useful features and no extra bloat, it's easy to use and it performs well. I'm happy to give this an outstanding 9/10 when taking the price range into consideration.


  • The TomTom XL 350 and XXL 550 series of GPS devices represent a marked improvement over the previous generation, keeping its great form factor while streamlining its software.


  • The TomTom XL 350 is a GPS receiver for people who frequently need to get where they are going in a hurry. It gives you advanced notice on the highway which lane you need to be in, and has fast route re-calculation when you go in a direction you aren't supposed to.


  • The XL 350-TM provides TomTom's usual impressive navigation features, with an industry standard 4.3-inch screen. Included lifetime traffic and lifetime map updates make this one of the most feature-packed GPS devices available for the price.

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    Most TomTom fans will be quite happy with the new VIA series. The core functionality (navigation) performed very well for me, and while the new interface is a bit rough around the edges in places, the overall experience was very good. I'm happy to recommend this model, although I would suggest you investigate the My TomTom update manager a bit more if you're a Mac owner, as I could not get it to function properly with my MacBook Air.


  • Overall, the TomTom VIA 1405 has a lot to offer for not a big price. It's easy to use, and the free maps are a selling point all by themselves. The screen is nice and large, and the . While it doesn't feature hands-free calling, it's still a great choice for the budget consumer, especially with the IQ Routes and free map downloads.

  • Rating Unavailable

    Highly recommended. The only trouble I had testing the Essential series was that it wouldn't connect to the computer once. But after I used it in the car, I was able to bring it in and connect it with no problem. This is a basic navigator but it has all the features most people will need. An improved mounting system and faster processor mark the most significant updates since the nuvi 40.


Top 5 cheap car gps:

  1. Nextar V5 - 5 in. Car GPS Receiver
  2. Garmin Nuvi 30 - 3.5 in. Car GPS Receiver
  3. TomTom XL350M GPS Receiver
  4. TomTom VIA 1405 GPS Receiver
  5. Garmin Nuvi 42/44 - 4.3 in Car GPS Receiver