* Best car-related gifts * We've tested them, too * Ten categories of presents...

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What Car? Staff
2 Dec 2009 16:40

We've picked the best car gadgets and goodies so you don't have to Picking the best sat-nav, Bluetooth or even alloy wheel cleaner can be almost as tricky as choosing the right car.

With so many similar products around, how can you be sure you're getting the best?

Read our 2010 Product Awards and you won't go far wrong. You'll find more detailed reviews of more than 100 products online at

If you're looking for less-conventional inspiration for gifts this Christmas, we've also added a page packed full of lucky dips.

TomTom XL IQ Routes (UK & ROI)
Best buy

Best price 149.99
For Simple to set up and use; quick to respond to commands; clever IQ routes; smartly designed; good value; integrated windscreen sucker
Against Not much
Verdict Very capable sat-nav that's brilliantly simple to use and looks great on any windscreen.

It's easy to see why TomTom is the UK's most popular sat-nav brand. It makes top-notch navigation devices that are simple to use and great value for money. We reckon this XL IQ is the best of a very good range. It has a bright 4.3-inch screen and a clever integrated screen sucker that folds away neatly against the back of the unit, so you can slip it in your pocket. It also has TomTom IQ Routes, which works out the quickest way to get where you're going depending on the time of day.

Garmin Nvi 255
Best buy under 100

Best price 82.49
For Easy to use; best cradle design; includes European maps
Against Graphics can get messy in built-up areas
Verdict A great unit at an almost unbelievable price.

There's little point in shelling out hundreds of pounds for the latest sat-nav if you only need directions now and then. The Nvi 255 is perfect for occasional users, because it's cheap to buy and a doddle to operate. European maps come as standard, so it's great for holidays, and the cleverly designed cradle suckers easily to any windscreen.

TomTom Go 750 LIVE
Best buy money no object

Best price 249.99
For Simple and effective maps; loads of handy live' features; easy to use
Against Plastic case isn't as classy as other TomToms'; monthly subscription
Verdict Awesome, but you'll have to do a lot of driving to justify the cost.

This feature-packed sat-nav has just hit the shops, and we're hugely impressed. It has a constant link with TomTom HQ to give you up-to-the-minute info on traffic, safety cameras and fuel prices. The downside is that all these useful live' services are available only for a monthly subscription (7.99). You'll need to be on the road an awful lot to justify that cost.

CoPilot Live 8
Best iPhone buy

Best price 25.99
(iTunes App Store)
For Simple to use; less than half the price of TomTom & Navigon applications; clear maps
Against TomTom & Navigon sat-nav applications are more polished
Verdict Without doubt, this is the best-value turn-by-turn sat-nav app for the iPhone.

CoPilot Live 8
Best smartphone buy

Best price 25.99
For Easy to use; clear mapping; less than half the price of TomTom and Navigon software
Against TomTom and Navigon for Smartphone are more polished
Verdict We've yet to test smartphone sat-nav software that's better value for money.