Best Car GPS Under $100 2019 – Buyers Guide

Best GPS for Your Car Under 100

In the past, buying a car GPS unit was an expensive purchase. Today this is simply not the case. Not only do both TomTom and Garmin produce brand new “basic” car gps units that can often run for less that $100, but there is a wide range of slightly older models that have either been updated with a newer model or changed completely.  This allows both choice and a decision to be made on what GPS unit you want. In this review, we’re looking at the best car gps under $100, while reviewing the gps options, we plan to make a decision on what you should be buying. 

Ten years ago, if you bought a GPS for your Car, the basic model was $200 and the top of the range was often over $500. Today, if you don't want to spend these sums on a GPS device then you don't need to. There are plenty of good models to choose from and you can either have a basic new version or even buy a slightly older Car GPS system, but one that has all the bells and whistles.

Too Cheap

One point that we need make early on, while you can find many imported cheap gps units on Amazon, you need to stay clear they will cause you more problems than they are worth.

You can easily pop across to eBay or Amazon and pick yourself up a GPS unit for $25, however the problems will arise the minute you open the box. In the past we have seen units that are so difficult to use we could not enter out destination, maps that are so out of date that they don't make sense and worse still units that don't work and with no return address, the whole three-year guarantee is practically worthless.

It's our advice that you stick with the tried and tested method of buying a brand name gps units and either buy a cheaper model or buy one of the older models that has come down in price over the years. Below we have reviewed every model that we could possibly find on the market right now to give you the greatest level of choice when it comes to helping you decide which is the best Car GPS System Under $100.

Best Car GPS Under $100

The Best Car GPS Under $100? This is a really difficult question, because realistically you have three key options.

  • Older Model - You could go for an older model that has been replaced with a newer more expensive model.  An example could the Garmin Nuvi 55LM which we thought was a great GPS unit in the past, but has recently been replaced with the Garmin Drive/Garmin DriveSmart range of GPS units.  Still a great GPS and at less than $100, a bargain.

  • Cheap Basic GPS - You could go for a  unit that will have all the newest technology, but without any of the features that most likely you will not use anyway, to help you along your route. An example of this could be buying a TomTom VIA 1425/1525 that comes with a four or a five inch screen, lance guidance and free TomTom map updates, but little else.

  • Refurbished GPS - You could go down the refurbished route where you buy a GPS that has been refurbished and is looking to be re-sold. An example could be a Garmin Drive 50/60LM that comes with free lifetime map updates, but is a late 2017 model that has been replaced by the 61LMT (The 61LMT is over $250).  The Drive 50/60 comes in two models, the 50 with a 5-Inch split screen and the 60 with a 6-Inch split screen.  This would be the LM version which includes Lifetime map updates, however

The Range

Pre-Loaded Maps

USA & Canada

USA, Canada, Mexico

USA & Canada

USA & Canada

USA & Canada

Display Size

4.3-Inch

4.3-Inch

5-Inch

5-Inch / 6-Inch

5-Inch / 6-Inch

Dual Orientation

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Live Traffic

Yes, with mobile connection

No

Yes, with mobile connection

Yes

Yes

Map Updates

Yes, with computer connection

Yes, with computer connection

Yes, with computer connection

Free Lifetime Map Updates

Free Lifetime Map Updates

Lane Guidance

Active Lane Guidance

Active Lane Guidance

Active Lane Guidance

Active Lane Guidance

Active Lane Guidance

Bluetooth

No

No

No

No

No

Driver Aids

Basic driver alerts, small Points of Interest Database

Basic driver alerts, small Points of Interest Database

Basic driver alerts, small Points of Interest Database

Basic driver alerts, small Points of Interest Database

Basic driver alerts, small Points of Interest Database

Voice Navigation

No

No

No

No

No

Wi-Fi

No

No

No

No

No

Rating

Buy Now


Whats The Best GPS For Under $100

Now this is a great question, and one that needs to be answered in two parts.  Firstly, if you really have to stick with the $100 budget, then I would highly recommend that you pick up the Garmin Drive 50LM (Refurbished) with its 5-Inch screen, or the Garmin Drive 60LM (Refurbished) with it's 6-inch screen.  Both are fantastic modes and are priced competitively.  

Why are they so cheap for 2018 GPS units?  Simply because they are not new models, but ones that have been returned, re-packed, and are being re-sold.  Over the years we have bought a few refurbished gps units and have never had a problem.  Your basically getting a 2018 gps with the latest range of features for a rock bottom price.  Check out the full review here.



Garmin Nuvi 2455LMT

Cheapest Car GPS

The Garmin Nuvi 2455LMT is a few years old now and part of the previous range of Garmin GPS units, but is still a cracking unit that comes with all the features you need to get yourself from point A to Point B.  Obviously it's not being developed further today given the introduction of the DriveSmart range of units, but a couple of years ago, it was a top of the range model.  

The 2455LMT comes with a high-resolution, 4.3-Inch touch screen to give you a great view of your route. The unit comes with a super fast processor for route calculations, Bluetooth connectivity to connect to your mobile telephone, an in-built speaker to provide you with good directions and support for a external rearview mirror.

The GPS unit is very easy to use given its simple interface and predictive text menu allowing you to quickly enter your destination and the Unit to find the quickest route based on your trucks size. The unit will quickly calculate the best route that is suitable for a truck of your size whilst taking into account commercial truck restrictions such as bridge heights and clearances and load limits.

The device does lack some features which can be useful such as traffic alerts for any oncoming traffic jams that could slow you down, active lane guidance to help with difficult exits or interchanges and a massive point of interest database, however at less than $100 and with free with Lifetime Maps & Traffic Updates, it needs to be on your radar.

Check it out in action here,

TomTo​m​ ​Start 45M

TomTom​ Start 45M

The TomTom Start 45M is the cheapest, smallest model in this range, however if you need a small cheap GPS unit with no added features that can help you get to your destination then this is a great model for you. The TomTom 45M has a small 4.3-Inch screen, a fast processor which allows for a good interface, high definition maps and advanced lane guidance to help with those difficult interchanges and junctions.

Whilst this is a cheaper GPS Unit, it does come with both some good features, however they are pretty basic and quite frankly you will not be using them. The GPS unit comes with road side assistance and fuel prices however both of these are not free after the first year and whilst the GPS unit does come with an in-built speaker to give you directions, you will have use it with the windows closed as the speakers deteriorate badly at higher volume.

Whilst the maps are actually very good and will easily direct you to your destination, you cannot use the TomTom software with an Apple Mac to update the device and its does not come with any case or storage unit.

Check it out here

Garmin Nuvi 55 LMT

Car GPS Units and Navigation Systems

The Garmin Nuvi 55LMT is a fantastic example of a GPS that in the passed was brilliant, however has been overtaken by newer models on the market.  In this case the 55LM has been replaced by the DriveSmart range of GPS units, however this does mean it fits into our under $100 review.  A 5-Inch DriveSmart retails at over $250, so you're getting a lot of device, for little money.

The Garmin Nuvi 55TLMT which has a 5-Inch screen, fast processor and voice prompted turn-by-turn directions with Lane assist and coloured arrows to help with those difficult junctions and interchanges.

The Garmin 52LM comes with a very easy to use interface allowing you to quickly find your destination and any points of interest that you want to visit along your route. The menu features Garmin's very own predictive text which helps you to quickly input you destination in to the machine.
 
Whilst the GPS Device does not come with added features such a Bluetooth and Voice Command, it does come with Garmin Express which helps to easily update maps and software to the GPS unit whilst allowing favourite locations to be added or saved elsewhere.

Check it out here

Garmin Drive 50LM (Certified Refurbished)

Garmin Nuvi 66LMT Review

The Garmin Drive 50LM is a 2018 GPS unit that has been designed using the latest technology to get you from point A to point B.  This range comes in two models, the 50 with a 5-Inch screen and the 60 with a 6-inch screen, however its really on the 50LMT that comes in under the $100 target.  Remember, this is a 2018 GPS unit, for the less that $100, however it's this cheap, because it's been refurbished.

Buying a refurbished GPS unit should not scare you as it simple mean that unit has been used a couple of times, and sent back to the manufacture for an unknown reason.  In many cases, it's simply returned as the buyer did not like it.  In our case, we're getting a bargain.

The Garmin Drive 50's come with a high resolution 5-inch, dual orientation screen that allows you to further customize the screen display to your convenience and include all the preferred information tabs such as the current time, expected time of arrival, direction and elevation on this massive screen.

As soon as you've entered your destination, the super fast processor allows you to choose an alternate route based on your preferences and if you make a mistake during your route, the GPS Unit almost instantly recalculates a new route for you. Gone are the days when you take a wrong turn and the GPS spends the next few minutes telling you its recalculating over and over again. This has been removed and replaced with a screen banner.

The Navigation Unit comes preloaded with Maps of the USA, and free lifetime map updates mean that you will never face the problem of out-of-date maps. As part of the free lifetime updates, the Points of interest database which is already huge will also be updated. This can be used by using he “Up Ahead" tab on the screen meaning that you can easily find places such as restaurants, food joints and gas stations, without leaving the map. The easy-to-use menu makes this all possible and allows even first time users to use the GPS system straight out of the box.


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