I’ve been thinking for a while about getting a sat nav unit in my car, but really haven’t wanted to spend the money – they always seem so expensive for what they are.
This was reinforced for me when I visited my local ICE centre (usually pretty good) and asked for info about the Alpine INA-N333RRS unit.
Apparently, they could sell it to me for ï¿½ï¿½1500.00 but I would also need a CAN-BUS, and would probably also want a fascia adapter. Naturally, since these Alpine units can do it, I would also want an iPod adapter (I’m really happy with my Dension, but the Alpine unit is far better). All of this, plus fitting and calibration, would total about ï¿½ï¿½2000.
So I did some searching around the Internet and found that in Germany the exact same unit is sold for ï¿½Ç¨975 – or approximately ï¿½ï¿½677. Even if there is sales tax to add on, it would have to go some to even come close to the price I was quoted.
The German site is http://www.caraudio-versand.de/shop.pl?action=art&id=111185 and they seem pretty clued up about this stuff. You’ll note that the ‘RRS’ model has red illumination and this would match the colour of all the other dials, etc in my car. The German site also sells CAN-BUS adapters and fascia plates for well below the UK prices. I also found that they were cheaper in France and Spain, too.
So what gives?
Ultimately, the shop in Germany is to the west of Munich, and I can see myself driving over to there to get this fitted. A journey of less than 600 miles one way (about the same as from here to Glasgow) and through some pretty stunning countryside too – Black Forest, near the northern Alps… it could make an excellent three day break!
The best bit would be that with the sat nav fitted I would be able to get back without being lost!
In all I would save nearly ï¿½ï¿½1000 which would more than cover fuel, accommodation and food for such a trip.
So why are we made to pay such inflated prices in the UK?