Avoid sat nav rental – it’s a rip off
Most rental companies make a killing on the options list. Wary, sleep deprived travelers are easy pickings – we just want to get through the rental kiosk in the quickest way possible, and sat nav rental seems like an easy decision. Until you realise the cost of 80 USD or more, if you bother to check at all. In most cases it’s cheaper to buy a sat nav than rent it, and in extreme cases you find the car has it built in, but locked out. So you’ve already paid for it by renting the more expensive car… So let’s look into how to avoid sat nav rental in Florida.
How do I avoid the con then?
If you have a smart phone, then there are several ways to avoid ever needing a sat nav. Almost all smart phones have GPS built in. This allows your phone to receive a GPS signal, and locate itself on a map. So the next question is “what map – my built in navigation needs wireless data to work?”. This is solved by downloading an offline map navigation app. We recommend Here WeGo:
This allows you to navigate using offline maps, and the phone’s GPS signal only – no roaming data needed. To set up Here WeGo, download the app from Apple’s app store or Google Play, install, then fire it up and select “use app offline” from the menu option. This takes you to the “Download maps” menu – simply navigate to the region you want (Florida!) and download. When we did this in 2017 the Florida map was about 350MB in size.
When you are in Florida, simply use the app offline and navigate to where you need to go – just the same as using the app at home with data. Your phone’s GPS signal tells the app where it is, and it does all the hard work for you.
This will save you endless hassle, money, and if you are anything like us it’ll save you throttling each other before you’ve even got to your destination…
But do I really need sat nav in Orlando?
There are only really two situations where we’ve needed the sat nav – to find our villa, and to get back to the airport with a full tank of fuel. We managed though, and didn’t end up lost or missing a flight. We did end up spending a fortune on overpriced fuel though – so we got caught in another rip-off.
Navigation to our villa is very simple from Tampa or Orlando (I4, US-27, Tuscan Ridge are all you need to know – here’s the drive in to our home), and it is the same case for Walt Disney World, Universal, Seaworld, Nasa, and all big attractions. Just prepare in advance, and have some dollars handy if you end up on a toll road.
So it’s easy to avoid sat nav rental with just a little prep in advance.