TomTom vs Garmin sat navs
By Tom Morgan
Should you buy a TomTom or Garmin sat nav in 2019? Our expert tests help you uncover the perfect sat nav for you, whatever your budget.
If you're shopping for a sat nav for your car, caravan or motorhome, you'll see there's no shortage of TomTom or Garmin models. Both brands are well established, but not all the sat navs we've tested are good enough to be Which? Best Buys.
To earn the title of Which? Best Buy, the latest sat navs need to impress in our test lab with top marks for navigation quality and ease of use. After all, you want a sat nav that gets you from A to B without any hassle.
Find out which sat navs impressed in the Which? test lab - see our best sat navs.
We've tested sat navs of all shapes and sizes in our lab. While the highest-rated models impressed us with clear and concise instructions, our selection of dreaded Don't Buy sat navs are let down by cramped, overly busy maps and slow route recalculation.
At the top of the table is a Best Buy that makes for a fantastic companion on the road, although the price may put you off if you want to keep costs low. If so, you'll be pleased to hear we've also uncovered a Best Buy sat nav for £100.
Cheap and cheerful this model may be - with a lack of advanced features such as live traffic data - but it impressed in our test thanks to its excellent route guidance and ease of use. It's proof that you needn't spend a fortune to get a decent sat nav.
Here's a top-of-the-range sat nav that impressed us enough to be a Best Buy. It's packed full of features, including European maps as standard, and a digital traffic receiver for live traffic services. The 5-inch screen is particularly bright, and visual guidance is good, both on motorways and in cities.
The meteoric rise of sat nav apps has spurred on both TomTom and Garmin to create their own. Unlike rivals such as Google Maps, their offerings are paid-for downloads, rather than free. But both are fairly good at recreating the sat nav experience.
If you're happy to stick with a map app that comes pre-installed on iPhone or Android, see our guide to Apple Maps vs Google Maps for key features.
The best sat nav app for iPhone
The best sat nav app for Android
If you're using an Android smartphone, we recommend this sat nav app. It's free to download, and you get 50 miles' worth of navigation free each month. Instructions are detailed, maps are clutter-free and vocal guidance is great, particularly on motorways.
Unlike other websites, Which? tests sat navs and sat nav apps independently, paying for every product reviewed.
Our testing proves that spending over the odds on a sat nav doesn't always guarantee you a Best Buy. In fact, we've uncovered plenty of affordable models that soared through our tests, with clear maps and detailed vocal instructions. For each sat nav that passes through our test lab, we pay close attention to:
- Sound - how clear are the audio instructions?
- Video - how easy is it make sense sense of the on-screen icons and maps?
- Speed - can the sat nav handle unexpected changes in direction with ease?
- Ease of use - how simple is the process of fitting the sat nav in your car or motorhome?
For more details, head over to our how we test sat navs.
Alternatively, see our full range of dedicated sat nav and sat nav app reviews.