You spend a small fortune on your smartphone only to chuck it on the passenger seat or in a storage tray when you’re driving a car. Doesn’t it deserve something better? Investing in a quality car phone holder not only gives your smartphone a decent home, it will also ensure you stay on the right side of the law.
But which car phone holder should you buy?
There are so many car phone holders to choose from, you could be wondering where to start. Which is why we’ve scoured the market to select the best phone mounts – each one keeping your smartphone locked in place while you’re on the move. Don’t be tempted by the really cheap phone holders – they’re cheap for a reason.
So why do you need a car phone holder?
It’s illegal to hold a mobile phone while driving or riding a motorcycle. If you’re caught breaking the law you face receiving six penalty points on your driving licence and a fine of £200. In extreme cases, you could be banned from driving and given a maximum fine of £1,000.
Note the word ‘hold’. It’s actually legal to use a phone or sat nav while driving if it’s placed in a dashboard holder or a windscreen mount. This leaves you free to use a voice control system such as Siri or Google Assistant, along with the phone’s built-in sat nav.
Parkers - The best car phone holders
1. Arteck Phone Car Mount
A simple but brilliant car phone holder. The best thing about the Arteck car phone mount is its simplicity. Not only does it suit a wide range of smartphones, it also features a sticky gel pad that is stronger than standard suction cups. The rotation ball provides 360 degrees of flexibility for vertical and horizontal viewing angles, while the frame itself feels robust and built to last. Put simply, it's the only car phone holder you'll ever need.
2. EXSHOW Car Phone Holder
The Exshow car mount is further proof that, when it comes to phone holders, simple is best. The magnetic mount holds your smartphone in place without the need for an unsightly cradle, while the magnet is strong enough to secure a phone, even in a thick case. The clever design features a suction mount for the windscreen and a sticky support pad for securing it to the dashboard.
3. YOSH Car Phone Mount Holder
This mount is so discreet, you'll forget it's there. If your car has traditional air vents, the Yosh car phone mount is a discreet and cost-effective solution. The single-piece circular unit attaches to an air vent and uses a strong magnet to hold the phone in place. That's it. The soft rubber material means the Yosh won't damage your phone or the air vent.
4. Belkin Car Cup Mount
How about this for something a little different? The Belkin car cup mount is designed for, you guessed it… a cupholder. The base expands to fit most cupholders, while the mount provides a wide variety of viewing positions. Because there are no suction pads involved, it's easy to transport the Belkin from one car to another, but we're not so keen on positioning the smartphone between the seats or at the base of the cupholder. Taking your eyes off the road is never a good thing.
5. FLOVEME Magnetic Car Phone Holder
A stylish take on the car phone holder; the Floveme car phone holder looks so stylish, you won't want to hide it away behind your smartphone. You get two in the pack – each one suitable for horizontal air vents. Five powerful magnets keep the phone securely in place, while the unit is designed to maintain the usefulness of the air vent.
6. Mpow Phone Holder Car Mount
Built to withstand off-road punishment; there's nothing complicated about the Mpow air vent car phone mount – it just works. We like the fact that it offers 360 degrees of rotation and one-hand operation, along with the way it leaves the phone's charging port free for plugging in. The wobble-free grip is perfect for when you venture off the beaten track.
7. Olixar Phone Holder for Car Windscreen
The Olixar car phone holder has a robust and premium feel, along with a 120mm adjustable 'gooseneck' stand for maximum versatility. It can be mounted on the windscreen or atop the dashboard, with portrait and landscape views available. The mount extends from 33mm to 90mm, so the Olixar phone holder is suitable for a wide range of smartphones.
How to buy the right car phone holder, and how to use it
There’s nothing complicated about a car phone holder – you just have to decide which one is right for you. Some are mounted to the windscreen, others to the dashboard, some are designed for air vents, while a small number sit in a cupholder.
In the case of a windscreen mount, you simply attach the suction cup to the glass, adjust the holder to the desired position, then place the phone in the cradle. Other mounts feature a magnetic holder at the end, so there’s no need to worry about adjusting the cradle. The good thing about a windscreen mount is that it can be easily removed when not in use, but it will leave a circular mark on the glass.
If this is a concern, you should consider a mount that attaches to an air vent. Some of the products look really neat and many of them are less prone to wobbling when driving over rough surfaces. You simply attach them to the vent and let the magnets do their work.
What to consider when choosing a car phone holder
Are the cheapest products worthwhile?
While it’s possible to spend a few pounds on a cheap mount, we’d advise against it. More expensive products are subjected to tougher quality control checks and come with a decent guarantee. Lower quality mounts are also liable to vibrate and shake.
Take care when ordering an air vent mount
Car phones designed for air vents are only suitable for traditional vents. If your car has a circular air vent, you should look at a windscreen- or dashboard-mounted phone holder.
Make sure the phone can be recharged
If the car phone holder comes with a cradle, make sure that it leaves the charging port free. Running the sat nav will eat away at the battery life, so you’ll be left high and dry if you’re unable to charge on the go.