PUNCTUALITY, relaxation and being on the best route – sat-nav systems are getting better and better, so maybe it’s time for an upgrade.
Every driver in the UK feels the frustration of traffic congestion, endless roadworks and hidden speed cameras.
Luckily, today’s top car navigation systems come with affordable pricing and fancy extras to make sure you get on your way, relaxed, refreshed and on time.
Choosing a sat-nav for your car depends on the kind of driving you do, but it needn’t depend on how deep your pockets are.
If you drive abroad a lot, pick something with European maps.
These handheld devices are small enough to pop in your suitcase so you can save some cash on holiday rental accessories, too.
What’s more, you can entertain the kids (or yourself), with a selection of cartoon, comedy and celebrity voices.
Don’t listen to the default options – upgrade to Billy Connelly, SpongeBob SquarePants, or (our favourite) Kim Cattrall.
A standalone sat-nav is truly a worthwhile investment.
Though Google Maps and Waze run off your mobile, the processing power drains your battery, so you can lose signal in spotty areas while heavy usage taxes your components over time.
What’s more, if you don’t use a phone holder, you’re not driving with your eyes on the road.
So here’s our guide to keep you safe, en route and on time with the best sat nav systems for 2019.
1. Best sat nav with voice activation
- 5 inch TomTom Car Sat Nav GO Essential, £179.95 from Amazon- buy here
This brand new sat-nav from TomTom features a swanky touchscreen, magnetic mount and ‘Speak and Go’ feature to get you on the road in no time.
Use it all over Europe, update over WiFi and clock speed cameras ahead of you, with six months’ free activation for TomTom’s Speed Camera Detection feature.
What’s more, the TomTom Go Essential has hands-free calling and Siri and Google Now integration – you couldn’t be safer.
2. Best Garmin sat nav
- Garmin Drive 51 LMT-S, £99.99 from Amazon- buy here
The Garmin Drive 51 LMT-S is a decent sat-nav if you’re looking for a 5” screen with UK and Ireland coverage.
This easy-to-use GPS has real-time traffic and parking services, so it’s super convenient.
The screen splits to show the exact lane needed and provides alerts for dangerous curves, speed changes and speed cameras.
TripAdvisor ratings are integrated in the Points of Interest (POI) menu so you can be on the road before you pick where to eat, sleep or visit.
3. Best sat nav with a dash cam
- MiVue Drive 60 LM, £378 from Amazon- buy here
Mio is more of a dash cam manufacturer, but it has combined this nifty two-in-one package to make your dashboard less cluttered.
Featuring lifetime European maps, the high-end sat-nav covers 44 countries and safety cameras.
The dash cam also offers advanced driver assistance systems, alerting you if you’re too close to the car in front, if you drift over the white line on the motorway and helping you park.
What’s more, Mio includes a 16 GB micro SD card for the 1080p HD camera recordings. Great value
4. Best TomTom sat nav
- TomTom Go Professional 6250 GPS Truck Sat Nav, £378 from Amazon- buy here
This TomTom beast is undoubtedly pricey, but the TomTom Go Professional 6250 is an absolute must-have if you’re a van driver, trucker or own a mobile home (RV).
The maps are tailored to create routes based on the size of your vehicle, yet when in a car, you can select all the benefits of a regular GPS.
Real-time traffic updates and speed camera locations for life keep your licence in the clear and you in business.
What’s more, features like smartphone messaging and MyDrive route planning can help, if you have multiple stops to make.
5. Best cheap sat nav
- Garmin Drive 50 LM 5″ Sat Nav, £69 from Halfords- buy here
Driving on a strict budget doesn’t preclude you from getting a sat-nav.
The Garmin Drive 50 LM is your best choice. A Halford’s bestseller, this sat-nav is for use in UK and Ireland with free lifetime map updates.
The 5” screen split to let you know which lane to get in on the motorway and will also feature awareness alerts, such as animals crossing, and suggest break times and rest areas.
‘Garmin Real Directions’ guidance uses landmarks and traffic lights to get you to your destination; more helpful than distance markers, if your maths is anything like ours.
More from Sun Selects motoring
If you’ve found our roundup of the best sat navs useful, check out our best car accessories piece for more motoring essentials.
Looking for more motoring recommendations? Check out our dedicated Sun Selects motoring section.
To browse our full range of Sun Selects recommendations, be sure to head back to the Sun Selects page.