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Not normally unless it's named in the agreement, or is part of your car hire package. Although many cars come with a built-in satnav they are normally deactivated so don't presume it will be working in your vehicle. Most larger car hire firms will offer them as an added extra - but be careful with them - they are frequently omitted from the insurance agreements - just because you are on holiday doesn't mean car thieves are as well!
If you need to hire a car with a sat nav it is a good idea to compare car hire prices including the sat nav as an extra. This will give you a truer comparison for your car hire costs.
You increase your chances of getting one included if you book a car towards the top of the range, mainly as most cars bought to supply this market now have them built in automatically. However sometimes they are turned off until you have paid the sat nav charge! Always check this with your car hire company.
Also be aware that sat navs which detect radar speed traps are illegal in many European countries, and even those which use a map based system to remind you of upcoming speed cameras are illegal in some - so don't expect that functionality everywhere. Check the situation with the car hire firm.
As well as hiring a sat nav with your car or taking your own with you, there are specialist firms who offer sat nav hire at a fraction of the cost of units rented from car hire firms. Some smartphones can also do the job of a satnav.
Sat navs can be very useful when travelling on unknown roads. As well as route guidance they can sometimes also show upcoming service stations and indicate toll roads. Do bear in mind that satnavs are not always up to date so a smartphone can be a handy back-up and even work better.
There are many apps that provide route guidance such as:
With all these options you can save routes or maps. So if you find yourself with no internet connection you can still get to your destination by using the maps offline.
You can take your own satnav but always make sure that it abides by the laws of the country you are driving in - for example with regards to identifying the location of speed cameras.
If you have any queries do call a member of the MoneyMaxim car hire insurance team.
This content was last reviewed on 09/10/2023