Car insurance companies could axe cover if a sat nav system is placed inside a vehicle meaning road users could be forced to pay for repairs in a car crash. Motorists could also face fines of up to £2,500 in severe cases if a sat nav is believed to have contributed to dangerous driving.
Can sat navs invalidate car insurance policies?
Adding a sat nav device could be considered a vehicle modification, making the car different from its original specification.
Modifications invalidate policies as car insurance providers may argue premium costs would be higher with the upgraded in place.
This means insurers could say road users have not paid their full policy and therefore refuse to cover repairs in a car crash.
The shocking revelation was made by Go Compare Car Insurance expert Matt Oliver.
Speaking to Express.co.uk last year, the car insurance spokesperson said: “Take sat nav equipment for instance, out of 337 comprehensive car insurance policies, 292 provide cover for non-manufacturer fitted sat-nav equipment.
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Matt Oliver said: “The average car buyer could find there are modifications they’re simply not aware of.
“Typically, modifications are anything which isn’t standard on a car, which could include alloy wheels, a satellite navigation system or even tinted windows.
“It’s always worth checking what the factory standard is for your model of car to avoid landing in hot water when it comes to making a claim.”
Motorists who have had their car insurance invalidated may find it difficult to find cover in the short term.
This is because insurance providers will look upon your record unfavourably which may result in heavy premiums.
In some situations, road users may even need to go to specialist car insurance providers which are likely to be more expensive than mainstream offerings.
Can you be fined for using a sat nav?
Motorists could also be fined or issued penalty points for using sat-nav devices in some situations.
Road safety experts GEM Motoring Assist has warned placing a sat nav in the centre of the windscreen could see road users pick up charges as it is could become a safety risk.
Experts say motorists could be hit with a £100 on-the-spot fine and three penalty points on their driving licence if your view of the road is blocked.
However, charges could increase to £1,000 if the charge is challenged in court or may rise even higher in some circumstances.
In severe cases, police occurs could argue staring at a sat-nav has caused dangerous driving which could result in a fine of up to £2,500.
Neil Worth, spokesperson at GEM Motoring Assist, said: “Placing a sat nav right in the centre of the windscreen will block most of your nearside view, and will mean you miss all the hazards that might be there.”
The Highway Code says windscreen must be free from obstructions at all times so road users have a clear view of the road ahead.