What Car? test: road atlases - 12th Collins Handy Atlas Britain £4.99

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Collins Handy Atlas Britain
RRP £4.99
Best of the web £3.94 at dvd.co.uk

Overall


Performance
This atlas is spiral-bound with laminated cardboard outer pages, but it still feels flimsy. Although the maps are accurate, the 1:625,000 scale and A5-sized pages mean you will be squinting to take advantage of it, especially if you're on the move. Close-up maps of London, Birmingham and Manchester add detail, but not much, and there's no speed camera information at all.

Ease of operation
There's no plan of the UK at the start to help you skip quickly to the right page - this atlas plunges straight into the mapping. The spiral-binder means you can turn the pages quickly if needs be, and the index is comprehensive, too. The mid-page seam occasionally makes things awkward, though.

Buying
Its budget price can be squeezed further with some shopping around on the internet. Buyers can also enter a quiz to win a new Toyota Yaris.

Quality
You get what you pay for, and the spiral binder is about the only highlight here. The paper is extremely thin and prone to ripping and there's a throw-away feel to the whole thing. If you need a map in a hurry, though, it'll get the job done.

Special features
Other than a mileage chart and index, there's nothing in the way of extras - not even overview route-planning maps. With the whole publication crammed into 80 pages, though, that's no surprise.

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