Best Sat Nav Apps for Apple CarPlay

Photo of Apple Maps displayed on a 2023 BMW X5 screen

We love Apple CarPlay in the Cocoon Vehicles office, we use it more than the built-in satellite navigation systems with the benefit that the user interface would be the same from vehicle-to-vehicle. There are a number of Sat Nav apps available from Apple’s App Store, but which is the best?

In this article, we discuss our top 4 favourite free sat nav apps and why.

What are the best Sat Nav apps for Apple CarPlay?

All of the sat nav apps below are free to download and do not require any “in app purchases” to activate any of the functions at the time of writing.

Apple Maps

Apple Maps Screenshot for Apple CarPlay

Being free to use is a real bonus when it comes to any apps from the Apple App Store, but when it also comes pre-installed on your iPhone another check appears in the tickbox.

Whilst Apple didn’t get off to the best start when they relaunched Apple Maps many moons ago, today it is one of the best. No worries on privacy, no in-app purchases (IAP) it just works.

It easily finds most postcodes and business names, as well as providing points of interest on the way and the ability to easily add a stop for petrol or a coffee.

If you’ve got a pre-planned route entered, the app automatically downloads the maps to your phone so if you do lose signal, you don’t lose the map. You can also report traffic incidents and speed checks on the app.

Google Maps

Google Maps Screenshot for Apple CarPlay

Another free Sat Nav app that is avaiable is Google Maps and whilst it is free, privacy is always a concern when it comes to any of the Google apps and services avaiable. With that being said it does now offer an incognito mode.

Utilising crowd data, Google maps can provide you with real-time traffic information and any incidents along your journey, it allows you to route the fastest or the most economical way, which for some the latter is very important.

Utilisng Google My Business (GMB) businesses show up in the lookup as well as almost all the postcodes available in the UK.

Instructions are always clear and precises, yet we still love Apple Maps that little bit more.


Waze Screenshots

Due to popular demand, we’ve decided to include Waze within this article. The app itself is built for drivers offering more detailed information than Apple Maps and Google Maps. The main goal of this is to get you from A to B with little hassle.

In addition to the usual route guidance, the USP for Waze is that it crowdsourced data driven. What we mean is that other drivers report traffic, incidents, speed traps and more.

Whilst we don’t find the graphics of the maps as pleasing as Apple Maps, overall you will get crisp and clear look offering bird’s-eye views of the traffic situation.

For electric car drivers, you can tell the app what type of charging plug you have and where possible, it will take in charging stops to your routes.

HERE WeGo Maps

HERE Maps Screenshot for Apple CarPlay

HERE WeGo sat nav app has had a recent refresh and an already perfect route guidance system has become even better.

Find petrol stations, cafes, restuarants and the best directions all from the app. Download maps for a region, country or a continent to use offline and even better, it is free.

Easy directions and live traffic updates are all a breeze to use and it looks amazing on the Apple CarPlay display of choice.


One of the best additional apps that you should download to your iPhone is What3Words, you may have also seen that we use these strange little addresses on the footer of our website. This is a What3Words address to locate our actual building in Derby.

What3Words has taken every 3 metre square across the world and given it a unique 3 word tag, with more and more businesses utilising these little addresses we feel that the whole concept will become mainstream very soon.

For more information on What3Words, please use the following link: What3Words Information



Choosing the right sat nav app is always down to personal preference, some features work for one person, may not work for another. But to get to your destination it is best to try a few out.

Apple CarPlay is something out and we have written a guide on how to get started with Apple CarPlay and to help you get the best out of this amazing feature.

Articles on Apple CarPlay

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The Best Radio App’s for Apple CarPlay

Available Cars With Apple CarPlay

Please use the button below to be taken to an archive of vehicles offered by Cocoon Vehicles on our short-term solutions that have Apple CarPlay included:

More Information

If you would like any further information about the products and services that we offer, please do get in touch with the team on 01332 290173 or by using the ENQUIRY FORM at the bottom of this article.

Rebecca joined the Cocoon Vehicles team in 2018 after running and selling a successful financial services business offering pension, investments and mortgages. Today, Rebeccas goal is to provide the best possible customer service along with news that you will want to read.

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