GPS navigation apps have been a godsend for courier drivers in helping them plan the quickest and most efficient way to make their deliveries.
While most courier drivers rely on their own knowledge of the area in which they work to plan their route, good navigation apps come in very handy if there are unexpected traffic problems or road works in areas that you are less familiar with.
GPS navigation apps are reactive to current road conditions and it’s so much quicker punching in destinations on a keypad than it is working out a route in a road atlas, which is probably out of date having been rattling around in a glove box for umpteen years.
The top five navigation apps to use on the go
Here the courier van insurance experts at Adrian Flux root out some of the best GPS navigation apps to download onto your phone. We’ve even found some that don’t need constant internet access, which is handy if your 4G breaks down or reception is a little iffy.
1. Google Maps
We start with Google Maps, the most well known of the navigation apps. It offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360° interactive panoramic views of streets, real-time traffic conditions, and simple and very reactive route planning. As of 2020, Google Maps was being used by more than 1 billion people every month around the world. They can’t all be wrong!
Navmii is free to install, with maps being available for just a few pounds and, as you would expect, it is compatible with iPhone, Android and Windows. Simple and fast, Navmii delivers everything you need from offline route planning. The pop-up ads may frustrate, but you can block these for a small charge.
3. TomTom GO
You have to pay for this app, which rather sticks in one’s craw, but it’s only £13 a year to sign up. However, TomTom GO offers a great navigation experience. You download maps before you start, meaning it works well even in areas of low reception. Mapping is crystal clear and there is a brilliant speed camera locator function.
4. CoPilot Premium
CoPilotPremium’s latest update offers a fast and reliable mapping system. Maps cost between £5 and £30, and voice navigation can be added for £10. It maps well and provides good alerts about problems on your route and handles detours very well. You can select 2D or 3D maps.
5. HERE WeGo
With its very detailed mapping, HERE WeGois brilliant for navigating large towns and cities offline. It boasts easy-to-follow route details, is very simple to use and – bonus – it’s free!
A route-planning app for multi-drop van drivers
The biggest drawback with most apps is they work brilliantly if you need directions from A-B, but if you have multiple drops to factor into your day’s work, they begin to struggle. You will probably have to work out where you want to go first and then when you arrive at each destination you will need to input a new search for the next drop. That’s where specialist multi-drop satnav apps come in handy.
The RouteXL algorithm sorts addresses to minimise the overall duration of the route, saving time and fuel and, at the same time, lowering costs and emissions. You just add your departure location and all destinations to the map, press enter and the app calculates your route. Addresses can be imported from spreadsheets or e-mail, with simple copy and paste.
The route will be shown on the map and the directions can be printed to take with you. It can also be exported to satnav devices and navigation apps, emailed to friends or colleagues, or shared on social media.
Insurance for courier van drivers (and their gadgets)
Adrian Flux has launched new courier van insurance policies, allowing couriers to get extensive and comprehensive cover at a great price. Call 0800 640 5852 for a fast and simple quote — 81.5% of all customers receiving an online quote in August 2022 could have obtained a cheaper quote over the phone.
We also have information on a wide range of topics that might be of interest to you, including:
- What insurance do I need to be a courier van driver?
- 15 ways to save on your van insurance
- What are the cheapest vans to insure?
- 7 ways to prepare your courier van for winter weather
- Van security: How to prevent break-ins and tool theft
And if you use a satnav or mobile phone to help plan your routes, it’ll be reassuring to know that Adrian Flux can also offer highly competitive insurance for all your portable electronic gadgets from as little as £44.99 a year.