Sat navs and car accessories How to choose a sat nav
Which? video guide to choosing a sat nav
Want to buy a sat nav system, but not sure where to start? The Which? video guide to choosing a sat nav helps you decide between integrated and hand-held sat navs.
Plus we give you tips for what features to look for when buying a sat nav.
Read our sat nav reviews to see test results of all the latest models and find the Best Buys we recommend.
The Which? video guide to choosing a sat nav will help you buy the best sat nav for your needs.
Buying a sat nav online
Buying a sat nav online may well give you a better price, but you won't be able to try it first. And if you have problems, sorting them out is usually easier face-to-face with someone in a shop.
Try sat navs before you buy
We recommend you look at our list of Best Buy sat navs before you hand over your cash.
It’s also worth asking shops whether they will let you try sat navs in your car to make sure they work properly.
This is especially important if you have a car with a heated front windscreen, or one with heat-reflecting glass fitted - we've heard of very occasional instances of sat navs not working properly.
If this is the case, you might want to ask if they offer an optional hard-wired sat nav antenna to boost the signal.
Question sat nav retailers
You should ask how up-to-date the mapping is on the sat nav system you’re buying. We found mapping was usually six to 12 months out of date at the time of purchase.
However, many manufacturers now offer a free update service, which allows you a free map update within a limited period of time after you buy the sat nav. This can ensure you have the latest map installed after you buy the device.
Also, check how much future mapping updates for your sat nav are likely to cost, and how often they’re issued. Information is usually given on manufacturers' websites.
If you find 3D maps hard to read, opt for a sat nav with a 2D option too
Choose your sat nav carefully
For safety’s sake, you’ll need to be able to get directions from your sat nav as quickly as possible. It’s therefore important to check which sat navs you find easiest to read from.
Some drivers, for example, prefer their sat nav to show a 2D plan view of their route, rather than an angled, three-dimensional version.
You can see which sat navs we thought were easiest to drive with in our sat navs review.