One of the best ways to get experience of using a sat-nav is to buy one, second-hand, here on Ebay!
That way you can try it out without splashing-out too much cash...
Garmin and TomTom are the best known and most popular makes - Tom Tom make great sat-navs - but Garmin have been doing it longer than anyone else and, in my opinion, it shows!
You won't regret it if you but something like a Garmin Street Pilot i3. At time of writing, they go from around £30-£50 - not a huge sum of money and you get a pretty good device for the price. Simple and easy to use, you won't be confused by the many menu's and choices offered by some of the more expensive units.
If you'd like something with a slightly bigger screen, then the Garmin Nuvi 200 series are a very good buy.
My first Nuvi was a 250 with UK and European mapping - what a super gadget! I loved it right from the start!
It has a quality feel - both looking and feeling good in the hand. It is small enough to fit in a shirt pocket - but the screen-size is really quite adequate. The user interface is simple and intuitive - with not too many confusing features. It does the basic job of getting you from A to B with the minimum of fuss.
Nuvi 200 (UK Mapping) or Nuvi 250 (UK and Europe) cost about £50-£60 and offer very good value at that sort of price.
For a slightly bigger screen try the Nuvi 200W (or one of its newer variants) - it may be a bit wide to fit in your shirt pocket, but its bright and crystal clear screen are superb and hard to beat at any price!
In my opinion - the above are perfectly adequte for most purposes.
More complex and expensive units can be bought which have features built-in such as:
- Blue-tooth speaker phone
- mp3 / audio book player
- Speach entry for addresses
- Live traffic updates
So before shelling out too much of your hard-earned money, think long and hard about which features you really need.
Tom Tom lovers will tell you that their sat-navs have more features, and some of the add-ons are cheaper than those from Garmin. I've used both, and presently have a Tom Tom because it offers a particular feature I like - but I still hanker for my old Nuvi 250 which is now in the hands of my wife!