Watchdog: Shock £200 bill to keep SEAT sat nav up to date

Reader gobsmacked at annual cost of £200-plus to update Leon ST's mapping

Car owners are now faced with more choices of navigation systems than ever before with a wide range of mobile apps and portable devices on offer.

Yet many drivers still opt for the car manufacturer’s own integrated set-up, which means fewer wires. However, many of these systems come with hidden costs, as John Tellick, from Surbiton, Surrey, found.

The long-time SEAT customer was taking his Leon ST for a service when he found the sat nav – a £945 option – would cost £102 to update, with an added £25 charge for the SD card. The system requires an update twice a year, meaning John would need to spend over £200 annually to keep up with the latest mapping. John expressed his confusion to Carbuyer’s sister magazine, Auto Express: “There was no information on SEAT’s website informing me of the costs or frequency of the updates. It seems to me that a six-monthly update is too infrequent.”

John cited a case where he was lost in Belgium due to the system failing to recognise road changes. In comparison, a portable Garmin nüLink! 2340 can be acquired for less than £200, with a Europe-wide Garmin Lifetime update for £75. Garmin systems update more frequently, too, as John told us: “Going by Garmin’s past map update frequency it would cost a minimum of £612 to update my SEAT’s sat nav to a similar level.”

John did find a way to install the SEAT update himself, but it requires a third party website, the download of 12 separate files, and “a lot of computer literacy”. John was also left unsure whether this would invalidate his warranty on the vehicle.

Auto Express contacted SEAT to find out why the cost was so high and whether the manufacturer’s warranty is invalidated if owners manually update the system.

A SEAT spokesman said other makers charge similar fees for an update, and added: “The costs come from the fact the system is integrated to the vehicle and we have to purchase the software externally.” SEAT couldn’t confirm if the download would invalidate John’s warranty. But it’s unlikely SEAT would pay for repairs if John’s attempt to manually update the system went wrong.

Recommended

Top 3 used petrol estate cars for under £15,000
Top 3 used petrol estate
Tips and advice
24 Nov 2021

Top 3 used petrol estate cars for under £15,000

Top 10 best Motability cars 2022
Renault Clio hatchback
Best cars
29 Sep 2021

Top 10 best Motability cars 2022

SEAT Ibiza hatchback review
SEAT Ibiza hatchback
SEAT Ibiza
29 Sep 2021

SEAT Ibiza hatchback review

SEAT Ateca and Tarraco SUVs updated for 2021
SEAT Ateca SE
SEAT
4 Aug 2021

SEAT Ateca and Tarraco SUVs updated for 2021

Most Popular

UK road tax costs 2021/2022 explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Tips and advice
7 Jan 2022

UK road tax costs 2021/2022 explained

Best 0% APR car deals
Hyundai Bayon deals
Deals
5 Jan 2022

Best 0% APR car deals

2022 Citroen C5 Aircross facelift gets bold styling makeover
Citroen C5 Aircross facelift
Citroen C5 Aircross
12 Jan 2022

2022 Citroen C5 Aircross facelift gets bold styling makeover

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
29 Sep 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
1 Dec 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
15 Dec 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
27 Oct 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022