Does It Cost Money to Update a Garmin?

by Melissa King

Your Garmin GPS device provides you with much more than just turn-by-turn directions. It also offers points of interest, live traffic updates, lane assistance and many other features. To keep your maps accurate and the device's software running smoothly, you'll need to perform an occasional update. Garmin offers several ways to update your device, and some cost money, while others are free.

Software Update

Garmin regularly releases software updates for all current GPS models. These updates are always free. Software updates can fix problems with the system of your GPS, and they also sometimes add new features and functionality to the device. Garmin suggests updating your GPS with the WebUpdater tool. This tool, available from Garmin as a free download, recognizes your GPS when it's connected to the computer. WebUpdater then searches the Garmin website for compatible updates. If the tool finds any updates, it alerts you. You can then choose the updates that you want to install.

One-Time Update

Garmin releases new maps on a yearly basis to accommodate the changing roads. Garmin recommends that you update your maps at least once per year so your device has the newest routes, roads and POIs. You can purchase a one-time update, called the nuMaps Onetime update, each year or several times per year. The maps vary in price depending on your Garmin model. At the time of publication, many maps cost as little as $39.99, while others may cost up to $99.99.

Lifetime Updates

If you plan to keep your Garmin device for several years, consider purchasing a lifetime maps plan. This plan, called nuMaps Lifetime, allows you to download the newest maps up to four times per year for the life of your device. Lifetime maps can save you hundreds of dollars over several years, although the initial cost is higher than a single map update. At the time of publication, a nuMaps Lifetime plan costs $89.99. After you pay this fee, you won't need to buy a map for your device again.

New Map Guarantee

Garmin offers a nuMaps Guarantee for their Nuvi, Zumo and Dezl models. If a new map update is released within 90 days after you purchase your device, the nuMaps Guarantee allows you to install the update for free. To find out if your device is eligible, enter your serial number on the Garmin nuMaps Guarantee Web page. You can also connect your device to the computer and visit the Garmin Map Updates page.

About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.

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