Home / Product Round-ups / GPS & Sat Nav / Best Sat Nav 2016 Round-up

Best Sat Nav 2016 Round-up


Looking for a new sat-nav to make your journeys as pain-free as possible? Look no further. We've rounded up the top sat-navs available right now. Whether you're trying to decide between TomTom or Garmin or considering whether it's worth shelling out for a top-end device, you're bound to find something here.

Although most people will use their smartphone for navigation these days, the standalone sat nav is still one of the most reliable ways of getting from A to B. Many still prefer having maps pre-installed on their sat-navs, rather than relying on their smartphone's data connection to ensure map data can be downloaded on the fly. What's more, dedicated sat-navs will usually feature shine-free screens and you don't have to worry about interruptions such as phone calls or notifications.

When it comes to buying a standalone sat-nav then, options range from around £50 to around £300. These days, the industry is dominated by TomTom and Garmin, so there's not as much choice as there once was. But there's still some great devices available, all of which you can find in our round-up.

Before buying a new sat-nav, however, there are several factors to consider. You'll want to look for something that's going to get you to your destination as easily as possible, updating you on traffic changes and alternative routes.

This week's best sat-nav deals

TomTom Go 40 at Amazon.co.uk | Was £139.99 | Now £104.99

TomTom Go Start 50 at Amazon.co.uk | Was £139 | Now £109


Firstly you have to determine whether you'll be using the device abroad or just in your own country. Most sat-navs will come with European maps, but only some will include world maps, and not all will provide you with lifetime updates, meaning you'll have to pay for map pack updates in the future.

Most models will come with free updates, but be careful when buying older models, as you may find yourself having to shell out in the future.


Secondly, you should consider whether you want your sat-nav to come with traffic updates. These days, most sat-navs will feature some sort of traffic service, alerting you to delays and traffic jams. But it's still worth checking, if you want to ensure you don't get caught out, that the model you're thinking of buying comes with a traffic service and whether that service requires you to pay after a certain time.

Some devices will come with built-in traffic updates while others will require you to pair your smartphone in order to use its data connection for traffic information.

Many sat-navs will also feature speed camera warnings. Again, it's worth checking whether this feature comes as standard or whether it's a paid extra.


You should also consider how big a screen you will need. If you want to limit how much the device obstructs your view, there's a range of sat-navs with 4-inch screens available. If you don't mind something a little bigger, you can pick up devices featuring screens of up to 7 inches. Bearing in mind, you average smartphone will measure anywhere from 4 to 6-inches, it's worth considering how big you want your dedicated device to be.

There's also the resolution. Many entry-level sat-navs will feature a 480 x 272 display, which is adequate for displaying navigation directions and maps, but if you want to use the device to get information on local areas of interest and so on, you may want to consider a model with a slightly higher resolution screen.

Aside from these main considerations, there are other extras to look out for such as voice control and Bluetooth connectivity which will allow you to use the sat nav for hands-free calling. With all this in mind, take a look at our sat-nav round-up and see which model is right for you.


September 20, 2013, 1:39 pm

So where does it tell me which is the best to buy?


September 23, 2013, 9:36 am

Hello there, i am struggling to buy a good sat nav and after a loong reasearch i ended up to this one. I went to the store to buy it and i tried there to put in some postcodes. I put in my home postcode but it came up different address and my address was also there with wrong postcode. When i tried to put in house number it wouldn't accept it and was telling me that there is no such a hous number on thar road!! Anyone has any idea what is this about? Thanks


September 23, 2013, 11:30 am

Hi Elena
I have a similar issue with my house and it has to do with roads changing without central maps being updated. It will take a while but maps should catch up with the new postcode. In the meantime I have found an address and postcode that actually shows my house's location and I provide that to cab drivers or people coming to visit so they don;t get lost.


October 27, 2013, 1:18 am

I ordered the garmin hud unit from Amazon. I got it last Thursday. I've been testing it for the last few days. I like it. I am not as distracted as in the past, when I had to look down at my phone while driving. I had this thought of me maybe running into the back of a stopped 18 wheeler, perish the idea. If this unit can prevent something like that from happening it is a good investment.

Freddie Headey

December 5, 2013, 8:48 pm

It would be good if you had a link to a chart showing features/price/need for smartphone.
Also some reviews of the £60 -£120 one I think I've seen from Halfords/Currys & info on what is missing on them.


December 7, 2013, 8:27 pm

I am looking at both TomTom via 130 and Garmin Nuvi 52LM as both on special at Argos for 99.99 at the mo. Use in Europe aswell as Uk but not sure which one is best...please can anyone advise? cheers


December 7, 2013, 8:29 pm

have the same problem...which is best for general use? Argos specials for UK and Europe at 99.99...Garmin or TomTom???? can anyone help?? cheers

Garmin by all measures

December 21, 2013, 4:45 am

I compared a newly bought Tom Tom device to a Garmin that is at least 6 years old and although the Garmin had some missing roads, the Garmin was better in every fashion without a doubt. The Tom-Tom had poor instructions and confusing directions during driving which many times giving incorrect locations and changing directions during a drive without notification.


December 29, 2013, 11:48 am

Hi, Can anyone help My wife and I are setting of to drive to Thailand from the UK in March 2014 and I am looking for a sat nav to use on the way as anybody got any ideas


February 28, 2014, 10:03 am

I bought my garmin also about 6 years ago, and had the same problems you are attributing to tomtom!


July 9, 2014, 9:08 am

Driving from the UK to Thailand ?! O.o
Is it worth of being visited ?


August 25, 2014, 5:58 pm

Whatever you do, be sure to update the maps database just before you leave.
These devices are always 2 years behind in road changes.
Joe F

Terry Pearce

September 24, 2014, 3:28 pm

I just want a satnav that turns down my stereo so that I can hear the spoken instructions.
I have a Tomtom Start 25 but I would be happy to trade up.


November 15, 2014, 12:39 am

I've just returned my via 130 to Argos as it said it had no maps and would'nt update after 10 months. Days scanning tomtom website and as a former computer lecturer I was stumped!?! 4 year old battery and tech!


November 17, 2014, 7:17 pm

Looking for a sat nav with low bridges, narrow roads, weight restrictions etc. Been looking at NozaTec 7 inch truck. Anyone know anything about this make as I have not heard of them before and they seem to be so much cheaper


December 10, 2014, 12:05 pm

I looked at Noza Tec 7inch I would like to hear from anyone with knowledge of them


February 26, 2015, 8:05 am

hi how did it go driving to thailand would love to do it myself


October 12, 2015, 10:08 am

Received an offer from TOMTOM in email. 18 months LIVE SERVICES for the price of 12 months. Purchased on 30 September, 2015. Downloaded and ended up washing up my device. Lost all the data. Contacted customer services on 01 October and today it is 12 October. Still waiting for any solution or refund. My advice to people, TOMTOM has VERY POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE, NO PRODUCT SUPPORT, BEST AVOID AND STAY AWAY. THEY ARE QUICK TO TAKE MONEY BUT TOO LAZY TO DELIVER.


December 15, 2015, 11:54 am

AVOID TOMTOM. All the physical bits feel robust and well made. The first time I tried to update my map the device erased the existing map and spent many hours trying to download the updated map. In the end I called tomtom support, who talked me through the basics and made me spend many more hours trying to download the map. I have spent a week now with a useless tomtom. I have spent hours on the phone to their support jumping through their hoops, and days and nights trying to download the map. I have repeatedly asked where I can send it to have it replaced but support always insist "don't worry, by the end of today it will be working fine". On day 8, I have been told that the current issue is that the newer map is slightly bigger than the old erased map and will not fit on the device any more. I need to add a memory card. I have a spare card to hand so, I am now waiting for my latest download attempt. 24% downloaded, 2hr 33mins to go....


May 7, 2016, 9:28 pm

I have both units. The downfall of Tomtom is their safety camera database and the My Drive connection for upgrades. Their safety camera database only seems to carry fixed cameras in the UK, no mobile unit locations.The Garmin Nuvi allows me to download third party databases, which Tomtom will not, and also gives loud spoken camera zone warnings.

Tomtom customer service is awful. The latest upgrades have nasty habit of destroying your units abilities and Tomtom just don't give a damn.
I am now after 10 years with various Tomtom units a Garmin fan.

Mark Packham

May 16, 2016, 10:19 am

I have a 2 year old TomTom XXL classic with 2Gb of memory. It will not hold all of Western Europe so I have to use MapZones. Beware, with difficulty you may be able to load 2 zones into your satnav memory, but you are not allowed to plan a route that crosses over from one zone to another, this has to be done on a computer. Do you want to carry around a laptop on holiday?
For instance you cannot plan a route from the UK to anywhere in Germany, the UK is in the Western Zone, Germany in the Northern Zone.
I am about to go on a touring holiday based in southern Germany in the foothills of The Alps, sadly Switzerland, Austria and Italy are in the southern zone so full route planning will not be possible while I'm there.

comments powered by Disqus