What sat nav should I buy?
Getting to your destination is so much easier with a sat nav - but which one is right for you?
You may use your smartphone and Google Maps to get around these days but a proper sat nav from TomTom or Garmin still has plenty to offer.
Sat nav vs sat nav app
Both sat navs and sat nav apps use satellite navigation to get you to your destination. But there are some key differences. A sat nav app uses your phone’s GPS to replicate a sat nav. They can lack many of features of dedicated sat navs. On long journeys they’ll eat into your mobile data, and some can drain your phone’s battery life, but which dedicated sat nav should you buy?
For European summer road trips
In a nutshell: Sat nav that’s calm in a crisis with the key to Europe’s roads
Planning a European road trip this summer? Whether you’re a family heading to Paris or a group of uni friends with wanderlust, the right sat nav can keep you on the right track.
Look out for…
- Full European maps to cover you from Normandy to Nice
- Traffic updates to keep you in the know about route disruptions
- Touchscreen controls and clear screen when driving in an unfamiliar country
- Lane guidance to talk you through complex junctions on the Autobahn
- Voice-recognition for quick fixes when you take a wrong turn
Why not try… Garmin DriveSmart 50LM
This sat nav is good to go straight from the box. It’s easy to set up in your car, while operation is simple. It has full Europe maps that are updated for free – and the maps look clear on the 5 inch screen.
Working with your smartphone, it flags up congestion and roadworks in advance. And if you take a wrong turn, it’ll quickly reroute. You can even ask for directions with your voice – perfect if you get lost.
Get the Garmin DriveSmart 50LM
Nervy new drivers on a budget
In a nutshell: Easy to understand sat nav with basic features
A self-confessed nervy driver, you’re looking for something that’ll tell you where to go and when without overwhelming you with bells and whistles features. You’re on a strict budget too.
Look out for…
- Simple screen layout for searching for destinations
- Full UK road maps for getting from A to B
- Clear audio instructions with spoken street and road names
- Lane guidance for help on motorway junctions
Why not try… TomTom Start 20
This slightly older TomTom gives you brilliant basic features at a budget friendly price.
The bright, colourful screen is easy to read – when following your route map or searching for destinations. Audio instructions are clear, while lane guidance will guide you through tricky motorways.
Suited and booted business traveller
In a nutshell: Beat rush-hour traffic and stay connected wherever business takes you
You rack up serious mileage in your company car every day. You need something that gets you where you need to be and on time while keeping you connected and looking sharp.
Look out for…
- Built-in Wi-Fi for live traffic updates without needing your phone
- Bright and responsive screen for easy map reading
- Text messages and hands-free calls from your smartphone
- Worldwide maps for wherever your business takes you
- Premium design for easy set up and attachment
Why not try… TomTom GO 6200
The Savile Row suit of sat navs. This TomTom has built-in Wi-Fi so you get live traffic updates directly to the sat nav rather than through your phone’s Bluetooth. Fitting is super easy with its clever magnetic attachment.
Maps always look clear on the larger 6-inch screen. Read your text messages on the sat nav screen or have the voice assistant read them out. This is high-end sat nav for high flyers.
Get the TomTom GO 6200