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TomTom GO 540 LIVE Sat-Nav - TomTom GO 540 LIVE

By James Morris


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Review Price free/subscription

Another LIVE service is the real-time fuel pricing. Not only do you get to see which petrol stations are nearby, but you can also find out which ones currently have the cheapest prices. Updates aren't automatic - these must be initiated manually, downloaded over the built-in mobile data link. But we found the prices accurate for the areas we tried. You can check the cheapest petrol on your current navigated route, too, making it easier to plan the most cost effective stop. Why have your wallet raided by a motorway service station when there's a cheaper alternative just round the corner when you turn off?

Speed camera data is kept up-to-date automatically over LIVE. Alerts come via Road Angel, and include regularly updated mobile safety camera information, plus potential accident blackspots. Google Local Search also operates via the LIVE connection. Where most sat-nav POI databases can be patchy, Google Local Search will even include the local village pub or a nearby dogs' home, although it isn't infallible. You can also get a five-day weather forecast for your current area, or any other destination or POI, again downloaded over GPRS.

The IQ Routes system introduced with the last generation has been improved still further using LIVE, too, with more timely updates on historic traffic density. This means the TomTom calculates routes based on a more realistic estimate of road speed, rather than simply using the speed limit. The final LIVE feature is a Buddy system, which finds and tracks friends. But they also have to be TomTom users with an account, and be willing to be tracked.

The LIVE system sounds like a revolution in sat-nav functionality, and it adds some genuinely useful capabilities. But there's a catch. You only get the services free for three months. After that they are £7.99 a month, which means that to get most of the GO 540 LIVE's new features you will be spending close to £100 a year. LIVE is also only available in the UK at the moment, as international roaming agreements aren't yet in place.

As with the last TomTom we looked at, the 540's other big downside is that all these myriad features make the menu system overly complicated, and you will probably only use a small subset of this device's abilities. So it's easy to forget where a feature is and find yourself wading around the menus to locate it. That's only a minor criticism, however, and you can choose to limit the menu choices.

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john kennedy

December 6, 2008, 2:59 am

Just got my go 540 live from Dixons on-line for 𧶮.76 including vat and delivery. I used a promotional code (vat3) and got 3% discount first road test was very good.


December 19, 2008, 11:40 pm

What is the difference between the 540 740 and 940, I cannot find a single website that gives a comparison on features? Looking at the 740 at the moment but not sure how often I would use the Europe maps with the Euro as it is at the moment.

James Morris

December 22, 2008, 3:00 am

The only real difference between the 540 and 740 is the latter has European maps. The 940 has North American (inclucing Canadian) maps too, plus a remote control. That is pretty much it.


January 22, 2009, 7:31 pm

Can I ask where is it stated that this can also receive RDS TMC traffic - I can't find this mentioned in any of the official specs?

james easdon

April 7, 2009, 4:00 pm

i have just got the 540 go live i must say not impressed with it its hard to use takes me a long way round to find addresses i had a cheap sat nav before and i must say it was better than this as for the blue tooth it wont stay connected my opinion its a load of junk so get a cheap sat nav not a tom tom unless you are a layer to try and understand how to work it i asked tom tom for support about 11 days as yet not heard a thing back from them

James Morris

April 17, 2009, 5:27 pm

@phil5743 The LIVE system doesn't receive RDS-TMC traffic directly - there is no FM receiver. The information is collated with the HD Traffic mobile phone data and delivered over the mobile data link.

@james easdon Each to their own. TomTom's interface is not the absolute best. IMHO Garmin is the easiest to use. But I'd hardly call it junk. Address entry has never given me any problems.

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