Should You Be Buying a Refurbished Garmin or TomTom Satnav Unit?

A GPS Satellite Navigation (Satnav) device has become one of the most popular automotive accessories; saving drivers hours of frustration navigating the countryside or crowded cities. As time and technology have advanced, so too have the range of models available.

As is the case with most tech-based hardware, consumers often want the latest and best Sat Nav Unit on the market – resulting in a huge volume of apparently redundant; though in actual fact, perfectly serviceable, Satnav’s searching for a new place to call home. This turnover, along with the prevailing trend of green-consciousness; not to mention the increasing prices and cost of living – has created a space in the market for factory refurbished Satnav devices.

Nowadays, numerous online stores offer buyers dramatically reduced prices on these items. A quick web search reveals that there are multiple vendors offering a range of popular TomTom and Garmin models at price-points to meet most pockets. Nevertheless, some folks remain skeptical about buying refurbished electronics; so, we decided to do a deep dive into the topic to put those doubts to bed, and offer some guidance in what you should look out for when looking to buy a refurbished Satnav.

What is a Factory Refurbished Satnav?

Satnav owners may decide to replace their old model for numerous reasons; it may be slightly damaged, a part might be missing, or they just want the latest model for bragging rights. Some of these unwanted units then make their way back to the factory, where the issue is fixed, they are cleaned up and, most importantly, subjected to a range of tests that ensure it is back up to the manufacturers’ specifications.

Any reputable company is going to insist that all refurbished products meet their quality control standards to protect their reputation, before releasing the items for sale. The net result is, so long as you purchase from a reputable dealer, there should be no performance issues from the get-go.

Reasons to Buy a Refurbished TomTom Satnav

Without a doubt, the most attractive reason to get yourself a refurbished Satnav, is the price they go for. You would be hard pressed to find a new one for cheaper – with prices often approaching 50% of that of a brand-new model.

Almost all out-the-box Satnav products will come with a warranty. With TomTom products, this extends for two years, covering workmanship and materials. Few people realize that refurbished Satnav’s are also often sold with a warranty. It may not be for two years, but it’s sure to offer some peace of mind to the hesitant buyer. Be sure to ask in-store whether they offer a warranty, and find out what it covers.

To sum up, we’ve listed a bunch of advantages and disadvantages of choosing to purchase a refurbished Satnav; and, to wrap things up, we’ve added some top tips to help you navigate your way to a great purchase.


  • Price – Up to 50% cheaper than new
  • Plug and Play – Just open it and set your destination
  • Quality control checks have been done on all fully-refurbished models
  • Limited Warranty


  • Not the latest model
  • Parts may be missing
  • Shady sellers – Use your judgment when deciding where you purchase Physical imperfections on the body of the item


If you’ve decided a refurbished Satnav is an option you want to explore, then use this checklist before making your purchase.

  • Check that it comes with all the required cables, adaptors, mounting brackets, and the manual
  • If the manual is not available, you can find manuals for popular models online
  • Avoid buying a Satnav that was ‘re-conditioned’ by the store, and get yourself one that clearly states that it was ‘FACTORY REFURBISHED’. These are complex devices, and will have undergone the same rigorous level of testing undergone by new products prior to shipping from the factory. These will be clearly labeled and the packaging will be sealed.
  • Use only respected dealers and familiarize yourself with their terms of sale in case you decide to return the item.
  • With some older models, you might not be able to update the maps. Find out about this, and if you can update them, ask how this happens. Modern units may use Garmin Express or the TomTom MyDrive online function.
  • Only buy recognized brands. They are more durable and offer excellent map support.
  • Feel free to go to Amazon, and begin your journey to discounts of up to 50% on leading brands, such as TomTom, Garmin and Magellan.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.