10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever navigation system

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The Independent Online

If you’re looking to make sure you don’t get lost this winter, or after a gift for someone who can never find their way, we looked through the best satellite navigation systems on the market.

From sat nav systems made for caravans and motorbikes, to ones built to project onto the windscreen, we found the easiest and best ways to get from A to B this winter.

Whether you’re after a big shiny dedicated unit, or just a simple app, there’s something for all budgets and dashboards.

1. Garmin HUD, £108.95, amazon.co.uk

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The Garmin HUD syncs with the company’s phone apps to project instructions on to the windscreen — making the kit more easily installed and safer, as well as looking like something from the future.

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2. TomTom Rider, £308.27, amazon.co.uk

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Motorcyclists need their sat navs rugged and portable, but still being clear enough to read while riding. TomTom’s Rider offers just that — a small, waterproof and easily mountable box that has all of the same maps and features as the company’s car sat navs. The software can also favour winding roads and picks points of interest that are most useful to those on bikes.

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3. TomTom GO 6000, £229, amazon.co.uk

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It might be expensive (you could buy a phone and use TomTom’s own app for the same price) but the top of the range TomTom gives you a big, clear screen that is easy to control and to follow. Its huge 6-inch screen lets you make the most of the immersive and helpful TomTom software, helped out by the embedded SIM card.

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4. Mio Combo 5107 LM, £199.99, satnavcompany.com

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Dash cams — video recorders that watch the road in front of you — have surged in popularity in recent years. The Mio Combo is one of a few sat navs that also feature built in cameras — saving space and money.

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5. Garmin nuvi 3597LMT, £265.05, amazon.co.uk

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The big screen allows you to see Garmin’s navigation software in full, which includes plenty of different bits of information, pictures of turnings and guidance using buildings and landmarks. Garmin’s sat navs are among the best-looking on the market, too — featuring metallic edges and industrial-looking metal.

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6. GPS Navigation by Scout, £0.69, Google Play Store and Apple App Store

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This offers many sat nav functions without having to buy one. It comes loaded with global maps and a neat interface — and, unlike Google Maps, it comes packed with information about a range of destinations for travellers.

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7. Binatone R435, £39.99, amazon.co.uk

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If you want a cheap sat nav, but don’t want to get lost, this is the best bet. It’s much cheaper than many of its rivals but still boasts a decent-sized screen and extra features like speed camera alerts.

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8. TomTom GO LIVE Camper & Caravan , £297.92, amazon.co.uk

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If you’re driving a camper or caravan, then many of the routes that normal sat navs might give you could leave you stuck. This one, made especially for those bigger vehicles, gives you the option to choose what you’re driving when you fire it up, and tailors your route around it.

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9. Google Maps, Free, Google Play Store and Apple App Store

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Using a phone as a sat nav can be better than buying a whole box: it’s cheaper, works in sync with your music, and is already connected to the internet. As well as all of the maps known and loved from the web version, including saved places, you get great traffic updates and a clear display.

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10. Garmin nuvi 52LM, £74.99 for 5” with lifetime UK & Ireland maps (comes in other versions), amazon.co.uk

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For those looking for a cheaper sat nav system that doesn’t take you round the scenic route , this offers much of the features of bigger models. The 5-inch screen is smaller than those on some of the other low-price options, and you still get free maps for life as well as updates.

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Verdict:

The Garmin nuvi 3597LMT is among the very best you can buy — with a bright screen and a slick look that would complement any dashboard — but with that quality comes a higher price. 

If you’d prefer a cheaper option then the slightly Garmin nuvi 52LM — or if you don’t mind the slight hassle of using your phone to drive with, Google Maps is worth considering.

But the Garmin offers one of the best possible driving experiences available, if you don’t think the price too much to spend on one unit.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing

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