Sunday, March 18, 2012

Should I buy a refurbished or older GPS?

I'm seeing more refurbished GPS receivers advertised for sale these days. In many consumer electronics categories, such devices can be a good deal. But buying a refurbished GPS carries a special risk. Occasionally, some of these units come with outdated maps. Since there is no way to tell until you fire up the unit and look at the map version, I suggest you check the store's restocking / return policy if you go this route.

A safer way to save, if you don't need the latest and greatest, is to buy an older unit, such as a discontinued nuvi. Here's why…the major manufacturers have adopted policies guaranteeing you the latest maps when you purchase a new device (never used, not refurbished, etc.), as long as you register it and claim the map update within a short period of time after purchase. Here are the details:

  • Garmin nuMaps – If a newer map is available within 60 days of first using your device, you get it for free. Valid only for new nuvi and zumo models.
  • TomTom latest map guarantee – If a newer map is available within 30 days from when you start using your device, you are entitled to one free map download
  • Magellan 30 day map guarantee – Applies to Maestro and RoadMate devices. Follow link for restrictions.

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. TomTom’s latest map guarantee extends to refurbished units…I just purchased a refurbished 720 (for $170 vs. $307 new from Amazon) and had no problem updating it to the latest maps and firmware.

  2. Craig,
    Consider yourself lucky. TomTom just confirmed to me that their free latest map guarantee does not extend to refurbished units. You scored, buddy!

  3. What about a unit that was given as a christmas gift? I was given a TOMTOM XL 330 that had been purchased in september of this year. The purchase date is well out of the 30 day guarantee, but I just got it. is there a policy on this?

  4. It’s not from the date of purchase; it’s from the date of first use.

  5. TomTom offers Map Share, a “community supported” map updating system. True, you won’t have the latest map, and true, you have to have either Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X and run their HOME 2 application, but for many people this will be perfect. (I’m personally disappointed because despite the unit being based on Linux, there is no Linux application support, and have to use my computer at work to do updates.) You *do* get to choose from four levels from “everything contributed” to “verified by TomTom”. They term them “corrections,” and the last time I ran their HOME 2, it said I was using over 15000 Map Share corrections.

  6. That’s a good point, but they will only support MapShare for so long on one version of a map. For one year, I *think*.

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