We pick the best car mounts to turn your handset into a fully featured satnav, music centre and hands-free phone
The catch is that it’s illegal to hold a mobile phone while driving a vehicle. This applies even if you’re at a traffic lights or in a traffic jam – and thousands have been caught by the police doing just that.
The solution is simple: get a holder or mount for the phone and go hands-free. A single tap, to accept a call or a route correction, is thought to be acceptable, although anything more would require you to pull over.
But which holder should you buy? You need one that will hold your phone securely, without obstructing your vision. Luckily, there are plenty of options available and almost all of them are under £20.
How to choose the best car phone holder for you
There are two basic things to consider when getting a car phone holder. One, will it fit your phone? And two, will it fit your car? The good news is that the mounts listed below will work with all popular smartphones.
The other side of things is a little more complicated. There are numerous methods for a phone holder to attach to your dashboard or windscreen, and not all of them will suit every car.
A windscreen-mount is one convenient option. While poor-quality rubber suckers may slowly lose their grip and drop off, a good mount can be very convenient. Some designs include supports which rest on the dashboard for extra sturdiness.
You can also get suction grips and cradles that attach directly to your dashboard – although this of course won’t work if it has a textured surface. Another possibility is to connect the holder to your car stereo, as we note below.
One of the most popular options is a clip that attaches to your air-conditioning vent: this is ideal for lighter smartphones, but the grip might not be firm enough to hold heavier devices, plus it obstructs the airflow.
A final option to explore is a bespoke mount. Swedish firm Brodit make custom mounting units for each model of car, creating a permanent mount for your phone.
The best car phone holders to buy
1. Yosh Car Phone Holder: Best air vent-mounted holder
Like many air-vent mounted holders, the Yosh holder comes in two parts. The holder itself slots in between the vent blades; then you attach a magnetic plate to the rear of your phone, which snaps onto the holder like a powerful fridge magnet.
How you attach the plate is up to you: you can use the supplied adhesive pad, or slip it inside your shell or case. It comes with a second plate too, so you and a partner can each easily attach your own phones. It’s a simple and extremely light design but the magnet holds the phone firmly even on bumpy roads.
Car Phone Holder, YOSH Magnetic Car Air Vent Mount for Phones like iPhones X 8 7 6s 6 plus, Samsung Galaxy Note8 S8 plus Moto LG Huawei P10 Asus HTC Nexus and GPS devices (Black)
£5.99 Buy now
Key specs – Weight: 41g; Attachment method: Magnetic; Colours: Black
2. Exshow Car Mount: Best windscreen-mounted holder
This mount affixes to your windscreen with a suction grip. A lever pulls the base down to ensure a strong grip, and a bendy aluminium arm comes down to rest on a sticky base on the dashboard. A spring grip clutches your phone tightly – it’s released by a button behind the holder – while a ball-and-socket joint means you can easily tilt and angle your phone in any direction. You thus get the flexibility and convenient view of a windscreen mount, but with extra stability thanks to the dashboard rest.
EXSHOW Car Mount,Universal Windshield Dashboard 30mm Long Arm Car Phone Mount Holder for iPhone 7/6S/6 Plus/5S/5, Samsung Galaxy S6 S5, Nexus 5X/6P, LG, HTC and All Smartphones 3.5-6 inch(Blue)
Key specs – Weight: 259g; Attachment method: Spring-loaded side grip; Colours: Green, yellow, black, red
3. Mpow CD Slot Mount: Best CD-player mount
If your car stereo has a CD player that you never use any more then, believe it or not, you can turn it into a convenient phone-holder support. After all, it’s in a convenient spot, centrally located and normally quite high up, making it easily visible to the driver. And since it’s attached directly to the chassis, it’s a strong anchor point.
To install the CD-slot holder, you simply insert the plastic half-disc into your player, then tighten a finger screw to clamp it into the CD player. The holder itself sits on a ball hinge for full adjustment, and there’s a quick-release button for when it’s time to take your phone out.
CD Slot Mount, Mpow CD Slot Phone Holder Universal Phone Mount 360° Rotating Car Mount Holder with One-Click Release Button Car Cradle for iPhone 7 7plus 6s 5, Nexus 5X 6 6P, Huawei LG Sony and Others
£7.59 Buy now
Key specs – Weight: 138g; Attachment method: Spring-loaded side grip; Colours: Green, yellow, black, red
4. Arteck Car Mount: Best dashboard/windscreen dual mount
This simple, compact phone holder can be attached via its suction grip to either a windscreen or a dashboard – simply turn it upside-down to switch between the two modes. most suction pads, it has a button to pump the air out and achieve a strong grip, which can then be flipped up to release the holder. The gripper is a simple spring-loaded device, but it works very well. It’s hard to fault this product as it doesn’t try to do anything it doesn’t need to – and what it does do, it does very well.
Car Mount, Arteck Universal Mobile Phone Car Mount Holder 360° Rotation for Auto Windshield and Dash, Universal for Cell Phones Apple iPhone 6s Plus 5s 5c, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, S6 S5 Note 5/4 GPS and All Other Smartphone Black
£6.99 Buy now
Key specs – Weight: 91g; Attachment method: Suction cup; Colours: Black, red
5. Wuketu Car Phone Holder: Best magnetic dashboard holder
This tiny holder is perfect for compact cars. It uses a magnetic pad attached to the inside of your phone case to hold your phone to the base, while a ball joint allows you to tilt the phone at any angle. The base itself fixes to your dashboard using a strong adhesive; if that’s not convenient, the glue is supposedly strong enough to allow you to stick it to vertical surfaces too. If you’re a fan of the design, Wuketu also make similarly minimal desktop smartphone and pad holders.
Best Car Phone Holder 100% Universal Magnetic Dashboard Mount Kit by Wuteku® | For All Vehicles, Phones & Tablets | iPhone 7 6 6S SE 5 5S 5C Galaxy S7 S6 Edge Note 5 4 LG G5 G4 Nexus 5x 6P | 2 UltraSlim Discs and Large Plate Included | Top Rated by Uber
£14.99 Buy now
Key specs – Weight: 141g; Attachment method: Magnetic; Colours: Black, steel