Best Dining & Lodging POIs
Garmin Thames DriveSmart
TomTom GO Camper
Best for Europe
Last Updated On September 3rd, 2021
Top 10 Reviews
Best Dining & Lodging POIs
Best for Europe
Having the best sat nav the UK has come up with can make your journey so much easier, especially if you are travelling somewhere new or trying to get your commute time down by avoiding the worst of the traffic.
Not sure which model is right for you? Don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. In this guide, we have reviewed the top sat navs in the UK to help you find your ideal match.
From Garmin sat navs to basic versions and European sat navs, we’ve covered all of the best models.
Make journeys with your motorhome or caravan smoother than ever before with the Go Camper by TomTom. Thanks to its specially customised routes for campers, you can use this caravan sat nav to ensure that your route is suitable for your trailer’s height and width. It also has the added advantage of a camping-specific set of POIs, ideal for finding a nearby campsite on the go.
With its large six-inch touchscreen display, this model is very clear and easy to read. To make long journeys safer and allow you to stay in touch more easily, it also features hands-free calling and smartphone messaging capabilities.
Aside from all of the regular TomTom features, this model also comes with WiFi connectivity built-in, so you can update your maps or the software without the need for a computer. Also, avoid traffic jams with the free lifetime traffic alerts via this unit’s built-in SIM card and reach your destination earlier with less time wasted in tailbacks. What’s more, the kit includes a magnetic mount that can be used for dash cams as well.
Unfortunately, it is fairly slow to start up, so be sure to get it switched on as soon as you get inside your camper van. While it can be used for various different sized vehicles, there is no way of knowing just by glancing if you are in car or camper mode, so be sure to double-check by scrolling through the menu before setting off.
Next in our list is the Garmin Thames Drivesmart. The Garmin Thames is considered the best sat nav with live traffic and other real-time features. You get parking and weather alerts when it is paired with your smartphone. Thanks to its Bluetooth connectivity, you can also use it for hands-free calling as well as to receive driver alerts for better, safer driving.
The 6.95-inch edge-to-edge HD display is bright and clear, complete with built-in WiFi connectivity, so you won’t need a computer for any map or software updates. While the Garmin Thames voice control feature is useful, it doesn’t always work as planned, leaving some room for improvement. The information provided on POIs as well as restaurant and hotel ratings will help you to make the most of any trip, immediately alerting you to what is nearby.
On the downside, the included USB charging cable is very short, although you can easily pick up a longer one. Also, the operating instructions could be a lot more detailed. Hence, a little trial and error may be necessary to get your Garmin Drivesmart set up just how you like it.
However, on the whole, given its ease of use, the array of real-time features and free lifetime map updates, the Garmin Drivesmart is definitely our top-rated choice.
The TomTom GO Basic is our best sat nav for Europe pick. Thanks to its lifetime free European map updates, you can drive around the continent in confidence, knowing that your route will have all new roads and speed restrictions taken into account.
Clear and easy-to-read, the five-inch interactive touch screen also displays real-time traffic information when connected to your smartphone. This can save you hours on your journey times, giving you the option to select alternative traffic-free routes.
While this model does not have hands-free calling capabilities, you can use it to send and receive messages via your smartphone. Unlike some other versions, keeping your software and maps updated is simple, too, thanks to this unit’s built-in WiFi connectivity. Connect your sat nav directly to your WiFi to download, with no need for a computer.
The speed camera alerts work well, however, this particular unit only has a three-month trial period before you have to revert to a paid subscription. Lastly, bear in mind that the charging lead is fairly short, so you may want to source a longer replacement.
With its lifetime free European map updates, this highly practical sat nav is a great model if you frequently drive abroad in Europe.
If you are looking for a sat nav with free, lifetime world map updates, then you may want to take a look at this model by Ohrex. It comes with updated pre-loaded maps for 56 countries.
Thanks to its generous seven-inch HD touchscreen, you’ll have no difficulty visualising your route. Not only is the image perfectly clear, but you can also make use of the FM transmitter to connect the sat nav audio to your vehicle’s stereo.
This sat nav also features speed camera detection alongside a speed limit warning system. Lane assist guidance makes city and motorway driving much easier. However, searching for your address can be a little tricky to start with as the system is fairly difficult to set up. What’s more, the sat nav holder is not the best and you may need to purchase a different version.
While this sat nav comes complete with free lifetime maps, note that if you are using a Mac rather than a Windows operating system, you will need to use a memory card in order to transfer your updates to the unit.
Highly functional, the TomTom Start 52 Lite is possibly the best basic sat nav, offering simple but accurate navigational instructions.
This model is ideal for anyone who is looking for an easy-to-use device that works well, without any complex extras. Finding your destination is quite simple, just touch a point on the map or type in the dedicated search menu.
The five-inch touchscreen has a clear layout with enhanced lane guidance, especially useful when you’re travelling around Europe by motorway. To help ensure you remain safe and within the law even when switching between countries, this sat nav features a speed limit display, as well as speed limit warnings.
While it does come complete with European maps, bear in mind that map updates are a paid-for service, as are the speed camera detection services. Also, the included mount could be improved upon and may not stick correctly to your vehicle’s interior.
However, if you are looking for the best European sat nav that features basic and reliable functions, then this TomTom Start 52 Lite model won’t disappoint.
The Garmin Drive 51LMT-S is our best value sat nav choice, thanks to its high functionality. This model comes complete with lifetime United Kingdom and Ireland map updates for a long product lifespan. However, unlike more expensive WiFi versions, you will need a computer in order to update the maps.
With its dual-orientation, five-inch touch screen display, this sat nav is clearly visible and also provides you with driver alerts, such as sharp bends, level crossings and school zones. Not only does this make it the best sat nav for older drivers, but it also provides you with fatigue warnings and potential rest area suggestions for long-distance drives, and speed camera alerts.
View POI ratings for local hotels or restaurants with the built-in Trip Planner tool. Connect this model to your smartphone via the app for live traffic alerts, parking and weather updates to get you to your destination quicker and make things easier on arrival.
On the downside, this sat nav’s pronunciation of even well-known places can be very poor. Also, note that you cannot display the distance remaining and your ETA simultaneously.
Our best sat nav with BlueTooth pick, the NavPal Slimline sat nav has a handy FM function to play your travel guidance directly through your vehicle’s stereo.
Its large seven-inch HD touchscreen is clear and easy-to-read, complete with day and night automatic brightness adjustment levels. It provides you with clear and simple lane guidance in 40 languages, as well as traffic camera detection services.
The free lifetime updates are an excellent addition to this model, however, bear in mind that getting them set up is pretty complicated. Plus, they are only released on a yearly basis.
What’s more, if you’re already used to one of the big brands, you may find this unit a little difficult to get used to with its fairly unintuitive setup. Also, take care when driving trucks or vans as the height restriction option does not always work correctly.
This kit comes with a lifetime replacement warranty and a 90-day money-back guarantee for peace of mind.
If you are looking for the best car sat nav and don’t mind paying a premium, then our luxury choice – the TomTom GO 6200 is definitely the one to go for.
Thanks to its built-in SIM card complete with data services, you can benefit from live traffic updates without using up your smartphone data. These updates instantly inform you of delays to your route, coupled with alternative re-routes that could save you a lot of time.
No computer is needed to update this sat nav, simply connect this TomTom via WiFi to update your lifetime world maps. For in-car calls and messages, the GO 6200 connects directly to your smartphone and it is also Google Now and Siri compatible. Also, this model accesses a huge, continuously updated speed camera database, in addition to other highly useful information including speed limits, POIs and parking.
There are some minor inconveniences, mainly the time that this model takes to start up. Moreover, the large black border is less aesthetic than some of the edge-to-edge screen models. Also, TomTom does not include a case, so you’ll have to purchase one separately.
For saving time on your commute, driving abroad or at home, there simply isn’t a more comprehensive or more effective model than the GO 6200 by TomTom.
The Aonerex Sat Nav is a good option with its pre-installed UK and EU maps complete with free lifetime updates, speed camera alerts, and large seven-inch touchscreen display.
The map displays relevant POIs around your location, while the alert functions help you to stay safe on the road with warnings of upcoming bends, traffic lights and school zones. It is also capable of offline navigation, thanks to its built-in GPS system that enables the device to operate without network connectivity.
Unfortunately, while this sat nav is branded as being suitable for use with trucks, it is not always accurate with height restrictions. Also, the mounting bracket is not of the best quality and is fairly flimsy. Lastly, this unit can be prone to losing its GPS signal, after which it is fairly slow to get back to your route.
However, if you are looking for a sat nav with European maps, driving alerts and a large display, this multi-lingual navigation tool is worth checking out.
This model by Awesafe features a large screen complete with a high-brightness setting for extra-clear visibility. Thanks to its lane assistance, travelling down unfamiliar motorways and dual carriageways are less daunting. Plus, the ETA and remaining distance counters let you know when you should be arriving at your destination.
This sat nav also features speed camera alerts. One of the main highlights of this particular model is that it provides free lifetime map upgrades for European countries including the United Kindom and Ireland. It does not feature any real-time traffic alerts, something that you may want to look into if you are looking for a sat nav for regular or daily use.
The main disadvantage to this model, however, is it has problems correctly recognising postcodes. This can make inputting your destination much more time consuming than necessary. Also, you may notice a considerable drop in performance when used in hot weather, which can result in you having to reboot the device.
If you really need a large screen sat nav, then this could be a decent enough choice provided you are only looking for a sat nav for occasional use.
Whether you’re shopping for your first sat nav or are upgrading an older model, there are plenty of features worth bearing in mind to make sure that you get the best sat nav the UK has to offer.
Do you need a sat nav for travelling around Europe or even world maps? Most sat navs in the United Kingdom cover Great Britain and Ireland. But if you are thinking of driving abroad, sat navs can make your transition to driving elsewhere much easier. These gadgets inform you of the speed limit and help you to get by without understanding foreign language road signs.
If you don’t have a computer to upgrade your sat nav software or maps, then you should look for a model with WiFi capability. Even if you do have a computer, WiFi models can make the updating process much faster and easier.
If speed camera alerts are important to you, we recommend looking for a sat nav with free alerts from one of the big brands. Their extensive databases are even effective at informing you of the location of temporary as well as new fixed speed cameras.
Sharp bends, pedestrian crossings and traffic lights ahead, these are just a few of what we should always be on a lookout for. With driver alerts, you can confidently drive in areas where you have never driven before. Driver alerts let you know of any potential hazards ahead so you are prepared and can adapt your speed accordingly.
If you travel a lot – for business or leisure, it can be helpful to have a selection of POIs on screen. Whether you want to stop off for a quick meal or fancy visiting a local landmark, sat nav POIs can really make your trip unforgettable and help you to discover places around you.
Save time on your journey by avoiding busy routes, thanks to real-time traffic alerts. Used on a regular basis, you could cut down your commuting time, as well as avoiding getting stuck in long bank holiday tailbacks.
Generally speaking, sat navs from one of the big brands are easiest to use as a lot of effort has gone into their user interface that has been finely tuned over time.
Another aspect to consider is the display size. If you struggle to type on a small display, then maybe you should consider the best 7-inch sat nav which could make it much easier to use. Also, you may prefer to choose a sat nav that connects to your smartphone via an app.
This can allow you to transfer your addresses and coordinates directly from the web to your sat nav rather than having to search manually.
All of our top 10 sat navs make great choices. However, if you are still struggling to make up your mind which sat nav to go for, we recommend the TomTom GO Camper – our editor’s choice. Thanks to its built-in SIM card and WiFi, you can benefit from live traffic updates and latest maps. What’s more, you can also enjoy customised routes if you’ll go camping via its detailed POIs designed specially for campers or caravans.
We also really liked that the GO Camper includes alerts for when you’re nearing a speed camera and reroutes you around busy and traffic-heavy streets. For in-car calls and messages, the sat nav also connects directly to your smartphone.
So, which is the best sat nav in the UK for you? Please share your comments below.