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Why's sat-nav so expensive?

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Words ByWill Nightingale

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Why are in-built car sat-nav systems so expensive? I cannot understand why I am being charged nearly 2000 for a system in my new car that is outperformed by a 250 aftermarket unit.
Will Jennings

Many factory-fit options are overpriced. Its the same story with car stereos, alloy wheels and so on.

That said, the unit in your new car will have a bigger screen than the portable devices offered by companies such as TomTom, Garmin and Mio. That will account for some of the extra cost.

The system might also have other functions such as a DVD player, which you wont find in a 250 aftermarket unit.

Speccing sat-nav on prestige cars certainly makes sense, because youll get a lot of your cash back when you come to sell. Buying a BMW X5 without it, for example, would seriously harm its residual value.

On smaller, less desirable, cars you can certainly save a lot of cash by choosing a portable sat-nav over a factory fit unit.

Remember, a fair bit of that 2000 will go straight into the dealers pocket, so haggle hard and youll almost certainly get a discount.