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Technology.

1 September 2021

Top five sat navs for 2021

We round up the year’s best sat navs, from free sat nav apps to the most advanced big-screen standalone models.
FW
Felix Wilson
Best Sat Navs 2015

The best sat navs will get you from A to B, trouble-free, every time. So there’s no need to argue with a loved one over directions and you can drive stress-free when faced with even the most perplexing one-way systems.

We test and review the latest sat navs, including new models from Garmin and TomTom, plus the latest and most innovative sat nav apps.

Each one is tested rigorously to ensure it’s easy to use, comes up with sensible routes and gives you clear directions you can follow when you’re out on the road.

Whether you want a dedicated sat nav with all the latest features, or a sat nav app that works brilliantly even when you can’t get a 3G or 4G signal, you’ll find what you’re looking for below. We also reveal three sat nav apps you should avoid.

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 to our sat nav results plus all of our online reviews.

Best sat navs

  • 79%
    £300.00

    This premium sat nav aced our tests thanks to its premium feel, ease of use and range of features. It gets live traffic data via a built-in sim card and features European mapping.

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  • 79%
    £340.00

    This high-end sat nav is pricey, but it's chocked full of features. Does the navigation also impress?

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    First month only £5, then £9.99 per month, cancel any time

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  • 78%
    £119.99

    This mid-range sat nav offers a wealth of features, including lifetime map updates and the ability to handle phone calls. It's a deserved Which? Best Buy.

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  • 78%
    £164.50

    This five-inch model is one of the highest scoring we've tested. This is down to its high quality construction, excellent route guidance and additional features such as speed camera information and traffic monitoring.

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  • 71%
    £399.99

    This sat nav is designed with caravans and motor homes in mind. Its price is high, even for a camper sat nav, but if you're looking for the best camper sat nav model we've tested, this is it.

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

Not found what you're looking for? Take a look at all of our sat nav reviews.

Best cheap sat navs

Price is no guarantee of quality for finding a good sat nav. Our extensive research has uncovered a handful of great cheap sat navs that feature excellent maps, instructions and extra features.

  • 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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    First month only £5, then £9.99 per month, cancel any time

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  • 73%
    £109.00

    This entry-level sat nav has plenty going for it. It's easy to use, the screen looks great, and it has a good range of features. It can't plan routes far in advance as some models can, but if that's not an issue for you, this model is a worthy pick.

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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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  • 71%
    £169.99

    This entry-level sat nav just misses out on being a Best Buy, but at this price it’s still a compelling option. This model comes with options for traffic data – but how good is it at getting you from A to B? Read our full review to find out.

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

And here are three sat nav apps to avoid

The worst sat navs and sat nav apps from our testing have messy maps, vague vocal guidance and confusing visual cues. They are often tricky to use, too, with illogical layouts and unclear menus. 

Here, we take a look at the very worst sat nav apps from our testing, which are all bad enough to be Don’t Buys.

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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  • 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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  • 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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Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of September 2021.

Should I buy a sat nav or use my phone?

We put every sat nav and sat nav app through the same series of tough tests using a GPS simulator. And we’ve found some great sat nav apps in our tests, including apps that are good enough to be Best Buys. 

A sat nav app is installed on your smartphone. They tend to be cheaper than dedicated devices but might not offer quite the same quality of user experience. Handily, it’s easy to download an app, try it and then delete it if you're not satisfied. Many will include or have the option to add useful features. 

We have tested sat nav apps that offer good-quality navigation to rival a dedicated device, but we’ve also found others that have such poor guidance we simply wouldn’t recommend them. If you’re unsure whether you need a standalone sat nav or a sat nav app, try our interactive tool and find out how to buy the best sat nav for you.