Is a windscreen mounted sat-nav illegal?

Can I position my sat nav on the centre bottom of my windscreen?

These are the questions that a sat nav owner has when they are in the process of mounting their new device in their vehicles.
The purpose of this article is to decipher whether you can mount a sat nav on a windscreen and other laws through the United Kingdom about sat nav mounting.

Sat Nav Mounting Laws

Driving in the U.K. is regulated by The Highway Code. The Highway Code states that there is a danger of driver distraction being caused by satellite navigation systems. You are as a driver are responsible for proper control of your car or truck at all times. You cannot use the sat nav while driving, its specified that you find a safe place to stop before entering information into the sat nav.

Regulation 30 of the Road Vehicles Regulations 1986 requires that:

“ (1) Every motor vehicle shall be so designed and constructed that the driver thereof while
controlling the vehicle can at all times have a full view of the road and traffic ahead of
the motor vehicle.”

As a result, you cannot legally place on your windscreen, anything that would obstruct your view of the road or traffic ahead.

It’s not illegal to have a windscreen mounted sat nav but it is illegal if it obstructs your view of the road and traffic ahead.

There have been drivers that have been ticketed for having a windscreen mounted satellite navigation system and other drivers have been let go. It is all up to the fact if the sat nav is considered as an obstruction or not. This may be the case with smaller cars or sat navs that are mounted towards the center of the windscreen.

The best solution is to choose a mount that can be attached to the air vent inside the cabin of your vehicle. Otherwise, there is a risk of placing the sat nav directly onto the windscreen. For instance, in the unfortunate event you are involved in an accident, then the insurance agency can claim that your view was obstructed due to the windscreen mounted sat-nav and liability do fall upon you.

Penalties

You are liable for up to 3 penalty points if your windscreen is obstructed and you don’t have a full view of the road and traffic ahead or proper control of the car/truck. There is a possibility you can be taken to court where you may be banned from driving or get a maximum fine of £1,000.

Best Mount for Sat Nav UK

Here is a list of the best mounts for sat nav in the UK. Keep in mind we have recommended mounts that use support from the air vent only because we want you to take the safe route and mount the sat nav in an area that does not obstruct your driving view.

Garmin Air Vent Mount for Garmin nuvi Sat Navs

This Garmin air vent mount is compatible with Garmin Nuvi Sat Navs. It easily affixes to the sat nav bracket and securely holds the device by relying on support from the vehicle’s air vent. It is an excellent alternative to mounting the sat nav on your windshield or dashboard and does pose the risk of obstructing your view. The only downside is that you cannot use if for Garmin drive luxe, drive-assist, and 6- or 7-inch models.

TomTom Universal Air Vent Mount

The TomTom universal air vent mount is as its name implies – universal. It securely attaches to your car or truck’s air vent whether that be on the left or right-hand side of the steering wheel. It is compatible with the following sat navs:

  • TomTom Go Basic 5 or 6 inch
  • Tom Tom Start
  • TomTom Go and VIA Series such as 20/25/60 etc.

This air vent mount makes it easy to release the device with one hand but can still stay secure with the locking mechanism.

eTEKNIC Car Phone Holder Magnetic Air Vent Mount

If you also mount your phone on your windscreen or use your phone as your main sat nav, then this is an excellent option for you to consider. It has a special neodymium magnet which is very powerful and holds your phone up against the air vent with maximum security. It does not damage your phone as it does not rely on the magnet inside your phone, but instead, you need to apply a sticker-based magnet to the back of your device. It has been very popular among UK customers and has a discrete design which enables it to blend in with your car’s interior while giving off a sleek and modern look.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is at your discretion whether you believe that your windscreen mounted sat-nav obstructs your view or not. If it does, switch to an air vent mount, if not you can continue driving with it, but police may give you a hard time (depending on the officer). Use our suggestions and information above to make the best decision for yourself.

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