Jun 29, 2023
Best car phone holders in 2023
We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article. For hands-free control while driving If you want to use a smartphone while driving a car in the UK, you’ll need to
We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
For hands-free control while driving
If you want to use a smartphone while driving a car in the UK, you’ll need to install a mount or a holder. The law on this is clear: it’s illegal to hold or use the handset while driving, even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or in a sluggish queue of traffic.
Ignore it and the penalties will be severe – we’re talking points, fines and even losing your licence. Yes, that means you can’t touch it while driving to change your Spotify playlist, take a quick call, snap a photo or answer a text as you wait for the green light. The only way to legally use a phone inside your vehicle is hands-free.
You can use a built-in sat nav, a voice assistant, a Bluetooth headset placed in one ear or a holder that’s on the windscreen or the air vents – as long as the device isn’t blocking your view. Luckily, mounts are easy to install and affordable. So, here are our favourite ones in 2023:
We’ve picked the best car phone holders by comparing their specs, cost and features – including a variety of mounting options and price points. We look at their design, whether they use a MagSafe connection and if they give you a rotating clamp for flexible positioning. This list is compiled and updated based on rigorous research.
This phone holder has a great balance between features and price. It rotates 360 degrees so you can have your handset in either landscape or portrait orientation, each side clamps to phones of up to seven inches (so that’s even the largest iPhone 14) and there’s a quick release button for removing your device, too. It easily pops into all types of vents and has three-point support for stability when driving over bumps.
If you have awkwardly placed air vents or want your handset to be closer to eye level, we recommend a holder that’s installed via a suction mount. This UGREEN model works on your window or your dashboard – with a large cup to keep it in place and an adjustable arm that rotates a full 360 degrees and extends to up to 10cm.
If you have an iPhone 12, 13 or 14, take advantage of the built-in MagSafe technology with this Belkin mount that doubles as a charger, with a cable in the box that connects to your 12V car socket. The holder attaches to your car’s air vent and is held in place with a strong magnetic pull that’s easy to shift about with one hand before or after a journey. You can quickly set the phone in any orientation, plus it’s ideal for long travels as it supports wireless charging of up to 10W for top ups on-the-go.
We’re fans of the sleek design of this car phone holder from UGREEN, with metallic arms and anti-slip silicone pads keeping your phone secure in bumpy conditions. It’s not as chunky as other three-point support mounts, and we like that the side clamps automatically adapt to the size of your phone (up to 7.2 inches) when it’s popped in. There’s a gap on the bottom of the stand to plug in a charging cable, too.
A straightforward clamp design with full 360-degree rotation for under £10 – this Amazon brand phone holder isn’t as flashy as some rivals (there’s no support for the bottom of the handset or MagSafe compatibility) but we like that it uses two vent clips for extra stability the black/silver colour scheme looks great. The downside is that it only supports phones up to 6.5-inches – so your iPhone 14 Max or Pixel 7 Pro won’t fit – however that seems to be standard for this style of holder.
We like the smaller size of this car phone holder – it’s discreet and takes up less room than rivals that connect to vents or the dashboard, and it has the added bonus of letting more airflow come through when it’s in place. The phone snaps on with a magnetic pull so you can set it in any position, and it’s not just compatible with iPhones – in fact, there's no MagSafe: it uses metal plates that stick to any phone.
There are two main types of car phone holder on the market – models will either connect to air vents or stick to your windscreen/dashboard via suction pads, but which one you go for is personal preference. Most have the same basic functions: letting you see the display of the phone at a glance in portrait or landscape orientation.
The models that stick to your window are usually closer to eye level, and sometimes have an extendable arm that you can bring closer to your face – with the downside being that they are physically larger than the air vent models.
In comparison, if you buy a holder for your vents you’ll find yourself looking slightly down to either side of your steering wheel. These models often have two clamps that keep your phone in place, but for the most secure positioning we recommend getting a mount that has a three-point support – so there’s also an arm on the bottom.
Some models of phone holder will take advantage of Apple’s MagSafe technology (or use stick-on metal places for Android phones) to hold the device in place with a magnetic pull. They’ll give you the most flexibility for positioning and are the easiest when it comes to attaching and removing your smartphone in a hurry.
Jason Murdock is our Deputy Technology Ecommerce Editor, writing across multiple titles including Good Housekeeping, Esquire and Digital Spy.
With more than eight years’ experience covering tech at publications including Radio Times, Newsweek and the International Business Times, Jason has extensive knowledge on the latest gear and gadgets – reviewing phones, tablets, laptops, headphones, smart home products and more – and covering the biggest shopping events of the year, including Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day.
For his coverage on cybersecurity in the International Business Times, he won Digital Writer of the Year at The Drum's Online Media Awards in 2017. When not writing and testing the latest gadgets, you’ll find Jason playing the guitar or learning how to parent his new baby.
You can follow Jason on Twitter at @Jason_A_Murdock.
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