For the modern motorist a sat-nav unit is an essential piece of kit, even if you know where you are going.
Many commuters make use of the devices on routes they use every day, in an attempt to avoid lengthy traffic jams.
But with built-in units from car manufacturers charging three and sometimes four figures for sat nav options, there is still a thriving demand for stand alone units.
We have tested the TomTom VIA 53 which is a mid-range unit costing £179 from Halfords.
One of the main benefits of a stand alone unit is that they often have extra features and more up to date maps that those made by the big car makers. Design and production times are much shorter for the individual sat-navs enabling new technology and usability to be added on.
The VIA 53 comes with Lifetime Full Europe Maps which means they will be updated remotely as long as you keep it.
With a five inch screen it fixes to the windscreen with a twist wheel which activates a suction pad to hold it in place. This may take a touch longer that a magnetic mount, but it does give you the option to removes all signs that you have a unit in the car when left unattended.
It is powered by a cigarette lighter or a USB socket, while the battery will keep it going for an hour by itself.
From Mirror Motoring's car reviews we know that one area where TomTom units excel is live traffic alerts. Their units always seem to be one step ahead as spotting snarl-ups that in-built units miss.
It then offers you an alternative route showing you how much time you will save in minutes. If the situation causing the hold-up clears then it will revert back to the original route.
But rather than having a built-in SIM card like previous TomTom units to get the live traffic updates you need to connect it to a smartphone via Bluetooth, which will use up your phone's data allowance.
Once it is connected though it enables the unit to be used to make hands free calls and it can read out text messages when you are on the move. It also works with Siri and Google Now.
Updates to maps and software can be done wirelessly with its built in WiFi when it is connected to your home or another network.
Be amazed with the bountiful amount of features. Connect your phone to the the sat nav via it's built in Bluetooth feature, this will enable you to make Hands Free calls and it can also read your text messages aloud while your on the move. It has built in WiFi, perfect for keeping your free lifetime maps, traffic and 3 months speed camera all up to date.
As this is a mid range model it comes with three months of speed camera alerts, rather than a lifetime's worth, but if you find it useful you can buy it annualy.