Drivers have warned of a sat nav error that could cost them up to £200

SAT navs can be a must-have to keep you from getting lost, but they can cost you a lot of money if you’re not careful.

Plugging in a postcode or searching for the nearest service station can drown you in hot water if you break the law while operating your appliance.

Using navigation while driving can earn you a hefty fine


Using navigation while driving can earn you a hefty fineCredit: Getty

Using a seat rail while behind the wheel can result in penalties for careless driving, using a mobile device while driving, or failing to obey traffic signs.

Two-thirds of motorists surveyed by insurance experts Caravan Guard, use the sat nav for long journeys, and 83% of drivers admit their sat nav has steered wrong at some point.

A common mistake car drivers make is messing around with the sat nav mid-ride to reroute themselves or check if their device is working properly.

But doing so could be considered driving without proper care and attention and could result in a £100 fine.

That number could be even higher if you’re using your phone for navigation.

Use one mobile device while behind the wheel can now land you a £200 fine and up to six points on your licence.

And under strict law, there’s very little chance of you getting an appeal.

In fact, appealing may just cost you more as it means paying court fees.

As well as giving wrong directions, drivers often accuse seated drivers of leading them into a pedestrian zone or taking them in the wrong direction on a one-way street.

These common mistakes can also cost you money, as they fall under the category of non-observance of traffic signs.

Council of London told the Sun that driving into London’s pedestrian zone could land you a £130 fine – this is halved to £65 if you pay within 14 days .

Even if you’re just following directions, that’s not an excuse – sat nav companies are not responsible for misdirecting or not updating to reflect new signs.

Of course, you can report the inaccuracy to the sat nav manufacturer and try to get them to pay you the fine, but they are not obligated to do so.

It is also not uncommon for drivers to realize they are being misdirected and attempt to back out of the restricted area.

Don’t do this.

Reversing a one-way street or pedestrian zones are also grounds for careless driving charges.

How to avoid being penalized sat nav

Driving around a new area where you’re unsure of directions can be difficult, but AA president Edmund King says motorists shouldn’t be so dependent on the sat nav.

“They can be a blessing and a curse,” he said.

“It’s important to pay attention to street signs and road markings as many motorists are found following bus lanes and new pedestrian zones and face fines. severely punished for their fault.

“Having an up-to-date atlas can be a lifesaver and stabilize you when your sat navigation gets caught in a round of redirects and re-routing.”

If you find you’re taking the wrong way down a one-way street, the AA says the safest thing to do is pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights, then wait for a clearing in traffic so you can turn around.

However, that still doesn’t guarantee you’ll get rid of a fine.

The best thing a driver can do is plan a route before departure and pay attention to all road signs.

If you get lost – stay calm, stop and ask for directions in a shop or call someone for assistance with the engine off.

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Caroline Bleakley

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