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9 March 2021

Top five best free sat nav apps for 2021

Get from A to B without spending a penny – these top-performing free sat nav apps will keep you on the right road.
Sat-Nav-app
HW
Hannah Walsh


We put free sat nav apps through the same tough tests as paid-for apps or standalone sat nav devices. We’ve even tested the latest apps from sat nav giants Garmin and TomTom. 

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 – even though they’re free.

But free sat nav apps have improved in the past few years, and the best will now get 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. Whatever you’re looking for from a free sat nav app, you’ll find the best option for you below.

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

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75%
Best Buy
£0.00
Reviewed

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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70%
Best Buy
£0.00
Reviewed

This big-name sat nav app is great at finding addresses, and has plenty of features. You'll find detailed maps for practically anywhere on earth, but it’s missing some more advanced route-customisation options, and it can be a drain on your data.

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69%
£0.00
Reviewed

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

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68%
£0.00
Reviewed

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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64%
£0.00
Reviewed

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 March 2021.

Not found the product for you? Browse all of our sat nav and sat nav app 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

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41%
Don't buy
£0.00
Reviewed

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

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38%
Don't buy
£0.00
Reviewed

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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32%
Don't buy
£0.00
Reviewed

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

Is it worth paying for a dedicated sat nav?

We’ve found some great free sat nav apps that are easy to download and try, but in our experience even the very best won’t provide you with quite the same experience as a dedicated sat nav. The quality of the guidance may depend on the smartphone you have too.

Traditional sat navs are built with navigation in mind and this means they usually have good speakers so audio guidance can be easily heard, and matte 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.

Many paid-for sat nav apps include decent features, but with others you may have to pay a subscription fee to unlock them. If you’re 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.


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