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Google maps - good enough to navigate UK?

Singapore
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108 posts
29 reviews
17 helpful votes
Google maps - good enough to navigate UK?
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Hi

Is using Google maps sufficient to drive around UK or is it better to pay for gps rental?

United Kingdom
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4,258 posts
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1. Re: Google maps - good enough to navigate UK?
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Google maps gps navigates quite nicely on my phone when I've used it from time to time.

I'd highly recommend getting a paper map. UK Road atlases are cheap to buy, and nothing gives a bit of perspective over where you are than a proper map. Plus you can navigate when your Google maps isn't working for some reason.

England, United...
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2. Re: Google maps - good enough to navigate UK?
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there is another possibility - buy a gps here. If hiring for a long time that can be cheaper - and you may be able to advertise it for sale when you return home or pay a little extra for lifetime map updates and use on another trip. This (cheapish) store has branches in most cities and sometimes more than one. http://www.argos.co.uk/v1/static/Product/partNumber/1087637.htm

Garmin and Tomtom are well known brands.

If buying a map look in places like W H Smiths, petrol stations on motorways usually have them too.

Edited: 4 years ago
Royal Tunbridge...
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3. Re: Google maps - good enough to navigate UK?
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No need to hire a gps these days. Install Co Pilot app on your phone/tablet. It uses gps not your data allowance and I have found this to be accurate when using in the UK and Europe.

United Kingdom
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4. Re: Google maps - good enough to navigate UK?
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At the risk of sounding like a techno-dinosaur I manage perfectly well with a cheap road atlas - I get a new one every couple of years to cope with the odd new road or change of numbers. Cheap ones that cover Great Britain are widely available - as Buzzard2000 says - and at discount outlets such as The Works for under £10. Those that also cover Northern Ireland seem less widely available & more expensive.

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5. Re: Google maps - good enough to navigate UK?
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Unless you download the maps from Google of everywhere you will be driving then you cannot rely on a mobile signal to use Google maps for navigation.

There are many GPS/SatNav apps available nowadays, some free, which are more than adequate. They install the maps on your phone which means you need no mobile phone signal to navigate. You can install one, or more, at home and use it to see which works best and which one you are most comfortable with.

The free app I use is as accurate and reliable as any I have paid for.

If you want a dedicate GPS/SatNav then it will probably be cheaper to buy a unit rather than hire one.

And cheap paper map is a great thing to have as well.

Edited: 4 years ago
England, United...
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for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
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6. Re: Google maps - good enough to navigate UK?
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In towns or cities I've not found them good.

I choose and print a street map off Google Images that suits and mark the spots I want to visit and write opening times and bus numbers on the back. It's a lot quicker and if you get off your route it's easier to see where you are and where to go. So much quicker and lack of signal doesn't affect me.

Three times I've helped others in strange towns to find their way when they've had GPS or Google maps but using my paper one.

On the road the GPS or similar. Sometimes in heavy traffic road signs are partly obscured or directions are marked in the road which is covered by parked cars.

Singapore
Level Contributor
108 posts
29 reviews
17 helpful votes
7. Re: Google maps - good enough to navigate UK?
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thanks. am downloading now to see if its good.

i read that there are several in-app purchases though

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8. Re: Google maps - good enough to navigate UK?
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As I pointed out there are many free GPS apps, just pick one you like the look of or try them all. I use Navmii (and a couple of others) Never bought anything additional for it so totally free.

Edited: 4 years ago
Los Alamos, New...
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9. Re: Google maps - good enough to navigate UK?
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Clarification for a non-tech-savy traveler: Are you all saying that there is a free app I can put on my smart phone that will help me get around Scotland during an upcoming trip (coming from the US) that will not require me to have an international data plan? Usually when I am overseas, I switch my phone to "airplane mode" and just use wifi whenever I can get it. Would this described navigation technique work in my situation?

Singapore
Level Contributor
108 posts
29 reviews
17 helpful votes
10. Re: Google maps - good enough to navigate UK?
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I am just curious.

As Google maps can be downloaded for offline use, what's the advantage of using apps like Co Pilot? Are there more features as opposed to the free Google downloaded maps?

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