Question of the week: What is the best maps app for Apple CarPlay?

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Sat Nav Display in a Mercedes Car

Josh from Salisbury sent in a question, that we feel will benefit not just readers of the Car Subscription blog, but also those who use Apple CarPlay as their Sat Nav guidance.

What are the best map apps for Apple CarPlay?

There are a number of ‘Sat Nav’ apps on Apple’s App Store, and it can be quite confusing which one works best for you. Some are free, some require payment and others may share your information. We are today going to look at our top 3 personal choices.

Apple Maps

  • Price: Free
  • Download Link: None Required

No app to download, no worries on privacy, no in-app payments, it just works and it works very well. Apple originally received some flack for their unusable maps apps, but they have invested heavily and it really is paying off.

It works very well finding postcodes, business names of points of interest with ease, and even EV charging points show up which is very handy.

Caching works once a route is programmed in, so if you should lose your signal the maps will still show. Route and directions are clearly labeled and the instructions are concise and clear. Traffic and incident reporting is also available.

Google Maps

Another freebie app is Google Maps, although many may be worried about Privacy concerns, incognito mode is available. At the moment according to unverified sources, Google Maps is the most-used Sat Nav app in the United Kingdom.

Utilising data from other Google Maps uses, the app is able to quickly report traffic speeds, traffic and incidents on your journey, routing you the quickest way.

Points of interest is excellent, utilising Google’s database of businesses you are easily able to locate any destination with a few presses of the keyboard (or via voice search).

Instructions are nice and clear and where available, it can also display speed limits. Our only criticism is that the app does have a wobble when you lose internet connection.


Waze is a fantastic crowd-sourced information provider. Utilising thousands of other Waze users it can monitor and report traffic flow, incidents and speed checks.

You can report incidents yourself in seconds using your in-dash touchscreen and the route planning is super good.

Even petrol pump prices are displayed on the maps to help you decide where you want to spend your hard-earned money.

Instructions are extremely clear but beware of the size of the road you may end up on. When we tested the app, it took us down some very thin country roads.

Personal Preferences

Whatever Sat Nav app you decide on is your choice, personal preferences have a huge impact on which one works best for you. Some like the integration into their Google accounts. especially so that timelines of journeys can be kept for business or personal reasons.

Apple Maps whilst integrated into iOS on your iPhone doesn’t always delivery, but more of the car manufacturers are allowing instructions from this app to be displayed on Virtual Cockpits or even head-up displays.


Another app that should be downloaded onto your Smartphone, we feel, is What3Words. A genius idea where every 3 metre square across the globe has been given a unique 3 word tag.

It is great for taxi drivers, delivery drivers or those attending meetings. Simply head to the app, find the square you want to direct to and then load in your favourite mapping app.

More Information Here: What3Words

Have you got a better suggestion?

We’re always open to suggestions and quite happy to update this article at a later date. We tried a number of apps to write this blog piece, these include TomTom, Here Maps, Sygic, Navmii and MapFactor, have you tried these apps and what are your thoughts?

Wireless AppleCar Play Adapters

We weren’t a fan of the early Wireless Apple CarPlay adapters that were released into the market, but the manufacturers have worked and improved on them over the last 12 to 18 months. So, don’t forget to see our article on the best Wireless Apple CarPlay adapters available.

Patty Atindehou

Patty is the content writer for and loves her cars and the automotive industry in general. She worked for large dealer groups in the United Kingdom and the USA specialising in high-end and premium vehicles. Her goal is to provide the most interesting information on the vehicle subscription industry.

Article Details

Post Published: September 5, 2022
Post Last Updated: November 15, 2023
Article Categories: , ,
Read Time: 4 minute(s)