I’ve never owned a satellite navigation system before, I never really thought I needed one. It wasn’t that often that I needed to drive somewhere new and on the odd occasion that I did I made sure I planned my route and allowed plenty of time to get to my destination. I’ve never been afraid of ‘getting lost’ as I always thought of it as an opportunity to find new routes or stumble across new places, restaurants or shops to visit.
Then something in my life changed, something major, I had a child. Now you might wonder what this has to do with satellite navigation but let me tell you my days of taking my time getting somewhere by finding my own happy little way are now well and truly over! As soon as my car journeys involved taking my son anywhere, not only did the time I used to have planning my journeys vanish but I generally wanted to get to my destination as quickly as possible. This was to reduce the possibility of travel sickness, fortunately he’s never been sick in my car but it has always worried me, as well as not wanting him to experience the discomfort of sitting too long in a dirty nappy while we got needlessly stuck in traffic, or getting upset because he was hungry and I was lost.
Still, I managed without a sat nav of my own, occasionally I would borrow my husbands or use my phone for directions for when I really wasn’t sure where I was going. I hate borrowing anything like that from my husband because he really likes his gadgets and I feel a huge weight of responsibility in case anything goes wrong when it’s in my care. I don’t necessarily have the best track record with electrical items!
But then recently we reached another milestone in my son’s life, he started school. Not only did he start school but he suddenly started receiving birthday party invitations, lot’s of them! Now I find myself regularly taxiing him to birthday parties at various locations in Manchester and surrounding areas, and some of these places aren’t the easiest to find. This is made worse by the fact that children’s parties generally only last about 2 hours so if you’re late you could miss half the party.
This was exactly the scenario a few weekends ago when I took him to a party near the docks in Liverpool, somewhere I am not familiar with, and ended up in the Mersey Tunnel! As well as making me late, by about 45minutes, we also had to pay the toll charge. My son thought it was brilliant in the tunnel, but that’s just not the point! I was embarrassed that I was so late and if on that occasion I’d had a sat nav with me it probably could have been avoided.
So when I was recently asked to be a security and safety tester for Tesco Compare and review the Garmin Nuvi 50 I was more than happy to give it a try.
The Garmin Nuvi 50 is an affordable (coming in at under £100) and simple to use 5in satellite navigation device. It comes with a sturdy screen mount and an in car charger. You just plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter, turn the power on, press a few buttons to agree with Garmin’s terms and conditions, pop in your destination and then off you go! It could not be more simple, which for me was great.
The Nuvi 50 comes preloaded with map of the UK and has over 5 millions points of interested programmed in. I got my son to think of some places that he likes to visit and most of them came up on our map, it turned into a fun little game but he was a little disappointed when we couldn’t visit any of them, we were getting ready to set off for school!
The GPS on the sat nav seems really accurate and the voice telling you the directions is clear. The mount that is included in the box attaches to the windscreen and feels secure and also easy to remove. The user interface is very clear and easy to understand, not sure what I would have done if it was hard to figure out though, as it doesn’t come with any instructions. It also doesn’t come with a usb cable, I think you would have to buy this as an extra, if you wanted to attach it to a computer to update maps etc. This is one of it’s negative points.
As far as safety is concerned the sat nav has ‘lane assist’ this shows you on the screen what lane you should be in, perfect if you are in a busy city centre or somewhere unfamiliar. It also displays your current speed as well as the speed limit for particular road you are driving on so that you can make sure you are always driving within the speed limit, it sounds a little chime if you do happen to go over the speed limit. It also alerts you when you are approaching a speed camera.
Another feature of the Garmin Nuvi 50 is the ‘Where am I?’ which you can use in an emergency to find out exactly where you are and where your nearest petrol station, hospital or police station is. It can also provide you with contact details for the nearest breakdown or recovery service. Thankfully during the time I tested this product I didn’t need to use this feature, but it’s always good to know it’s there, especially when there’s a child in the car!
All in all the Garmin Nuvi 50 is basic and super easy to use, it suits my needs really well. I’m sure there are other feature’s on more expensive sat navs, but all I really need is something that will get me from A to B, and from my son’s point of view, something that will help mum get him to the parties on time!
Review by Jill Boyes, morethanmummies.com
Disclosure: This post was in collaboration with Tesco Compare but all views are that of the reviewer.
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