The Best GPS Sat Nav in Australia for 2024

Sat Navs can be the best way to get from A to B, and everywhere in between. However, with so many options on the market, it can be hard to find the product that is right for you.

In this article, we break down everything from the best Sat Nav for that commute route to help you get to work faster, to which one provides the quickest trip cross-country. Our guide will help you find the Sat Nav that best meets your specific needs.

Garmin DriveSmart 55 & Traffic

The DriveSmart 55 & Traffic portable navigator by Garmin provides reliable directions and the peace of mind of knowing where you’re going. The device comes with a 14cm bezel-free design and a host of other features; it’s definitely more than just a well-built gadget. 

The Garmin keeps you away from congestion while still maintaining your course. You can stay in contact with family and friends, it provides alerts about hazards up ahead, and sounds an alarm for approaching cameras.

It even helps you find parking spots. Add in regular traffic reports and free map updates, and you’ve got a sat nav that’ll be helping you out for a long time to come.

Looking for a satnav that guides you away from traffic jams and gets you to work on time? This is the model for you.

  • Reliable and high-quality, feature packed GPS device
  • Larger font size/screen size for older drivers
  • Points of interest indicated en route
  • Accepts voice address entries and spoken commands
  • Expensive

Garmin Drive 51

Garmin 010-01678-41 Drive 51 LM, Australia and New Zealand

If you are in the market for a sat nav with easy to use GPS navigator that won’t have you reading a manual for hours before you can use it, the Garmin Drive 51 could be your best option. It comes standard with many of the best features on the market: advanced driver alerts including: forward-collision warning; 13cm capacitive touchscreen; pinch in-and-out zoom display. 

The Garmin Drive 51 comes with maps of Canada and the U.S. preloaded, which would come in handy for anyone planning to travel there. The driver alerts send out your chosen ringtone when it detects speed changes, dangerous curves, railroad and animal crossings, and speed cameras up ahead. 

Note there is also a Garmin Drive Assist version of this product that comes with a built in Dash Cam and a range of other upgraded features.

  • User friendly interface
  • Voice-activated navigation features
  • Easy-to-read display
  • Real-time display                                           
  • Short battery life
  • Slower notifications
  • No HD screen                                                                                                                       

TomTom GO 520 Sat Nav

TomTom has been able to lower the price of the GO 520, because it uses your smartphone device for its Live Services, and doesn’t have a mobile, built-in data connection like their previous (more expensive) models. Its price, plus the features on offer, make the GO 520 a really good mid-range sat nav for cars. 

There might be a few commuters who will find the lack of mobile data a chore to deal with, and opt for a more expensive sat nav instead.

However, the GO 520 is a premium device with outstanding features: World maps with lifetime updates; 13cm capacitive widescreen; lifetime speed cameras; lifetime traffic updates (when linked to smartphone data); software and map updates built-in. 

The high-functionality, premium features, and cheaper outlay are sure to get the TomTom GO 520 flying off the shelves.

  • More Affordable than other options
  • Lifetime TomTom Traffic
  • Built-in WiFi for updates
  • Lifetime safety cameras and world maps 
  • Requires a smartphone to use TomTom Traffic                                                             

Navman MY690LMMT GPS Sat Nav

The Navman GPS Sat Nav is a functional GPS if you are after a model that gets the job done with minimal bells and whistles. These are often good buys for satnav-newbies and folks who don’t want complicated instruction manuals. The Navman includes a 13cm LCD touchscreen, clamp-style mounting bracket, mini-USB connector, and external plug. 

Map upgrades are provided for the unit’s lifetime and are updated monthly. You will need the dedicated Navman sat nav app or software on your PC or Mac for the updates. It includes handy features such as Bluetooth hands-free speaker mode to connect to your smartphone and fast POI-specific destination searches, that makes it very convenient for locating petrol stations.

  • Landmark guidance
  • Quick re-routing capabilities
  • Monthly map updates
  • Zomato POI                                              
  • Voice guidance can be erratic                            

Tomtom Start 52 GPS System

Finally, a satnav dedicated to Australian and Kiwi buyers. The TomTom Start offers essential navigation features and map updates. It’s also easy to find destinations from the search menu simply by touching a point on the map displayed on the 13cm screen.

Features include: Advanced lane guidance to help you prepare for intersections and exits; lifetime maps for Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and Australia (re-issued seasonally); Advanced warnings to notify about speed limits and speed/safety cameras. 

At no extra cost, you can download the updated speed camera locations for the next 3 months. You will need to connect to your computer via subscription for these free software updates. 

This satnav is ideal for getting you from Perth to Sydney, while giving you a heads-up about hazards along the way.

  • Dedicated Australian and New Zealand device
  • 8GB internal memory
  • SD slot
  • Reversible mount
  • USB cable and charger                         
  • Battery lifetime only 1 hour 

Sat Nav Buyer’s Guide

A Sat Nav is an essential accessory if your car is an older model without this useful device built-in. You can buy new models that adhere to the dashboard or windscreen for around two hundred dollars or less.

How Does A GPS Satellite Navigation Work?

Sat navs use GPS to calculate your location in relation to satellites positioned around the earth. This is also known as triangulation. It can pinpoint your speed and direction to analyse the best routes and ETA.

RELATED: The Best Dash Cam

GPS Features To Look For:

  • Live traffic updates
  • Voice prompts 
  • Lane guidance
  • Safety camera warnings
  • Voice control 

GPS & Dash Cameras

There are hybrid GPS/Dash camera devices available that come in really handy if you need evidence of a crash. They relay what’s happening at the front and back of the vehicle. They do add to the price tag though. Our recommended Dash Cam Sat Nav is the Garmin DriveAssist 51.

Best Offline Navigation Apps

What happens if you need to know where to go when you don’t have data or WIFI? An offline navigation app is the best solution. It is possible to save and download regional maps for use offline – you need to do this before you leave home using the most recommended app advised by your system provider. 

Other factors you may want to take into consideration include screen size and battery life.

RELATED: The Best Car Phone Holders In Australia

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The Adventure Lab

At The Adventure Lab, our goal is to provide high-quality, actionable information and advice to help you plan for your next adventure. Our team of writers consists of professional mountain guides, personal trainers, exercise physiologists and more.