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What are The Fees Associated with GPS Devices?

written by: Caroline Thompson•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 6/10/2010

What are the costs associated with owning and using a GPS device for auto travel? After the initial purchase, there are other costs for accessories and extra usage options. Most devices offer updated maps, receivers and traffic services. Learn more about the fees associated with GPS devices here.

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    GPS Devices

    Depending on the type of GPS device purchased, there are a variety of costs associated with the original purchase.

    1. Cost of the GPS device ($45-$4,000) - The cost of a GPS device varies from $45 for a handheld tracker GPS device to over $4,000 for a Garmin GPSMAP 5212 that not only predicts the tides, but also has a sonar sounder.
    2. Dashboard mount ($16-$30) - GPS devices come with window mounts, but these tend to fall off with temperature changes and are not legal to use in many states. Dashboard mounts cost approximately $16 to $30 for an adhesive dash mount, lighter mount or cup holder mount.
    3. Carrying Case ($5-$65) - Something to put all the extras into so they do not get lost. Anything can be used to store all the accessories. A zipper bag from a local store can run from $5 all the way up to $65 for a leather carrying case. It all depends on how much you want to spend.
    4. Adapter for 110v states ($10-$25) - GPS devices are best for traveling and you want to be able to use your maps in strange locations. GPS adaptors are reasonable, costing from $10 to $25.
    5. Charger ($25) - Chargers cost approximately $25.
    6. USB Cable ($12) - USB cables cost approximately $12.

    These are the basic fees associated with GPS devices. Accessory value packs are available that have all the extra cords, mounts and come with a carrying case. These cost around $20 to $50 and are more reasonable than purchasing the items separately.

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    GPS Services

    Depending on the model of GPS unit, there may be optional features and services available. These extras are usually subscription services, billed monthly or have a one-time lifetime charge.

    Traffic Information

    Traffic services are offered with different carriers such as MSN Direct, FM Traffic and XM Nav Traffic. Many traffic subscriptions include automatic re-routing. Traffic services monitor the traffic in your area and announce live updates for accidents, traffic delays and heavy commuter traffic.

    The FM Traffic service provides road condition updates, satellite radio and weather updates. XM Nav Traffic service has more options with satellite radio (over 150 channels), weather conditions along your route and local traffic conditions with estimated travel times. MSN Direct offers the widest list of options, but is only available till January 2012. MSN Direct includes smart traffic reports, weather reports, Doppler weather maps, gas prices, news headlines, movie information, stock quotes, local events and flight status.

    1. MSN Direct - $29.95 monthly
    2. XM Nav Traffic - $9.94 to $16.94 monthly
    3. FM Traffic - $49.99 monthly
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    Other Charges

    Other charges that are optional services and accessories.

    1. Traffic Receiver - Approximately $120
    2. USB Receiver for PC Antenna - $79.95 (This is for connecting your GPS to your computer or laptop.)
    3. Vehicle Power Cable - $28

    These are optional accessories for GPS navigation for cars. Each type of GPS system will offer a variety of extras suited to the particular type of GPS unit.

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    Maps

    Maps should be updated every year. Other maps are available for other countries. These are available for download or can be purchased as a CD, loaded onto your computer and downloaded from the computer.

    1. Annual Updates - $99
    2. European Maps - $130
    3. Worldmap - $100
    4. Inland Lakes - $130
    5. Marine Maps - $120

    These are approximate costs. Each manufacturer prices according to package contents. Most GPS services have similar pricing on extras and maps.