What to look for when buying a sat nav

So what was the tipping point when you decided to finally relent and buy a sat nav?

Choosing a sat nav is no laughing matter, Brian…

Perhaps you missed your junction on the motorway and kept driving for an extra 30 minutes as a result, or maybe you just wound up lost somewhere in suburbia and felt too embarrassed to ask for directions.

No matter, you've made it back home and now you're ready to ensure that you (hopefully) will never get lost again thanks to your new sat nav. So now what? They all know where they are going, surely, so how can you tell which sat nav is the right one for you?

Well, it depends on who you are and what you're looking to do with it really. Here's a brief guide on what to look out for:

Screen size
OK, this one might seem a little obvious, but there's more to consider than just how much you have to look at. If you're content with a smaller screen, say 3.5", then you can probably get a cheaper model. But if you're not blessed with the most nimble fingers then you should perhaps consider the touchscreen element and go for something larger.

Before you purchase a sat nav, have a think about where you want it to take you. Many devices come with a set of maps included, which could be just for the UK and Ireland, but can also include Western and Eastern Europe, or even the US and Canada. Cheaper models may require you to download your own map set, possibly for a fee. Unless you're planning to drive across the continent, then UK and Ireland maps should meet your needs.

Getting sound directions to your destination is the bare minimum you can expect from your sat nav. More expensive models come with features to keep you away from traffic and on the smoothest running roads, so you can cut journey times. But if you're interested in stopping for petrol or building in a coffee break to a long trip, then some sat navs carry a list of points of interest. Perhaps most useful of all on a sat nav is built-in Bluetooth, so you can use your sat nav as a handsfree kit for your mobile phone.

What do you look for in a sat nav? Are there some features you just couldn't live without? Comment below or tweet @DixonsinTheKnow