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Technology.

1 November 2021

Best free sat nav apps

Be guided from A to B without spending a penny – these top-performing free sat nav apps will keep you on the right road.
FW
Felix Wilson
Sat-Nav-app

We put free sat nav apps through the same tough tests as paid-for apps or standalone sat nav devices. So if we recommend a free sat nav app, you can be confident it's a really good one. 

In the past, apps struggled to keep up – small phone screens made maps difficult to read, and smartphones simply weren’t fast enough to make the instructions useful. There are still some apps that aren’t up to scratch, with such poor audio and visual guidance that they’re useless.

But sat nav apps have improved in the past few years, and the best free sat nav apps will now guide you from A to B with brilliantly clear vocal and visual guidance, as well as advanced features that used to be reserved for pricey devices. 

Below, we reveal some of the best free sat nav apps available, and what they have to offer. We'll also take a look at how sat navs apps with subscriptions and paid-for features match up against free ones. So whatever you’re looking for from a sat nav app, we will help you find the best one for you. 

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Best free sat nav apps

  • 75%
    £0.00

    This Best Buy sat nav app is free to download, and you get 50 miles of free navigation each month. Menus are easy to make sense of and audio guidance is good. You can also download it to an Android smartphone or tablet.

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    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

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  • 70%
    £0.00

    Google Maps has a lot going for it – especially for a free product. It's among the best we've tested at finding locations, and you'll find detailed maps for practically anywhere on earth. But it's missing key features when it comes to custom-route planning. It can also use a lot of data, which might make you consider another option.

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    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

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  • 69%
    £0.00

    Logged out description With its clear mapping and accurate traffic, this app is great for commuters and occasional users alike

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    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

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  • 68%
    £0.00

    This lesser-known app outperforms some tough contenders. It’s not quite a Best Buy, but if you’re looking for a free sat nav app for Android, this could be the right choice for you.

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    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

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  • 64%
    £0.00

    This big-name sat nav app is among the popular free choices out there. But while it has been steadily improving since it launched, it still doesn’t quite match the competition.

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Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of November 2021.

Not found the right one for you? Browse all of our sat nav app reviews. Think you might prefer a standalone device? See our sat nav reviews.

And here are three free sat nav apps to avoid

We’ve found some sat nav apps just aren’t worth downloading, despite being free. Cluttered mapping, confusing audio and visual guidance, and difficult-to-use menus make some free sat nav apps a nightmare to use. These Don’t Buys are sure to lead you up the garden path.

Don’t Buy sat nav apps

  • 41%
    £0.00

    This app promises free offline navigation, but struggles to find even well-known addresses. Definitely one to avoid.

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    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

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  • 38%
    £0.00

    It may be free, and can calculate routes reasonably quickly, but this app for Apple devices has little going for it other than that. The map and audio instructions can sometimes be difficult to follow, and you'll have to pay extra for speed camera and live traffic information.

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    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

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  • 32%
    £0.00

    It may be free to download, but this sat nav app will drive you round the bend before getting you to your destination.

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    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

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Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of November 2021.

Which is the best sat nav app?

We’ve found some great free sat nav apps that are easy to download and try, but in our experience even the very best will struggle to provide you with quite the same experience as a really good dedicated sat nav app. The quality of the guidance might depend on the smartphone you have too.

Some sat nav apps require an initial purchase, have ongoing subscriptions, or include pay-to-unlock features. Some of these apps offer a happy medium between free apps and an expensive, bulky dedicated sat nav. 

Here's a round-up of our top paid-for sat nav apps.

Top five sat nav apps

  • 78%
    £0.00

    If you're using an Android smartphone, we recommend this 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.

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    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

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  • 73%
    £13.99

    This app has been continually improved and is now a thoroughly dependable sat nav app. It's easy to use and features downloadable maps for use offline. There's even a fourteen-day trial period, so you can try before you buy.

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    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

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  • 72%
    £0.00

    This is one of our top-performing sat nav apps. The map is clear and easy to read, and it’s great at getting you smoothly through towns. It’s free to download, but you’ll need to buy maps after the seven-day trial to use it.

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    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

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  • 71%
    £13.99

    This app for iOS devices has been continually improved and is now a thoroughly dependable sat nav app. It's easy to use and features downloadable maps for use offline. There's even a fourteen-day trial period, so you can try before you buy.

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    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

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  • 71%
    £0.00

    This is one of our top-performing sat nav apps. The map is clear and easy to read, and it’s great at getting you smoothly through towns. It’s free to download, but you’ll need to buy maps after the seven-day trial to use it.

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    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

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Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of November 2021.

Unsure whether a sat nav app or dedicated sat nav is for you? Use our interactive tool on our how to buy the best sat nav page.

Is it worth paying for a dedicated sat nav?

Traditional sat navs are built with navigation in mind. This means they usually have good speakers so audio guidance can be easily heard, and have matt screens to avoid car windscreen reflections and ensure visual cues are readable. 

Paying for a dedicated device often means you’ll get a few more features thrown in too, including live traffic updates and speed camera warnings. Some newer models have built-in dashboard cameras too.

To find out which standalone sat navs are worth your money, see which models make our expert pick of the best sat navs.