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Best car phone holder 2024: The easiest to use and most secure windscreen, vent and dashboard mounts

A trio of car phone holders with iPhones

Keep your phone safe and visible for hands-free satnav, calls and music

A car phone holder is a must-have. Today’s smartphones can give you easy access to satnav features with up-to-date maps and traffic info, while also allowing you to play music and podcasts as you travel. With voice assistants, you can even use them to make calls or receive and send texts hands-free.

The only problem? Operating a phone while driving a vehicle is illegal, and you could get whacked with a six-point penalty and a £200 fine if you’re caught. This applies even when you’re waiting at the lights or stuck in traffic, and thousands have been caught by the police.

With voice commands and your phone in a suitable holder or mount, some of these problems disappear. You can accept calls or accept a route correction on your satnav without breaking the law. Just be aware, though, that the law is expected to change later this year, and that a wider range of interactions with your phone will be made illegal. You should stay out of trouble as long as you remain hands-free, but if you appear to be distracted by calls or by the phone screen, then you can still end up in an uncomfortable conversation at the roadside. Set your satnav route before leaving home, and steer clear of the TikToks, WhatsApp messages and in-car selfies.

Our favourite Magsafe car charger for iPhones is now cheaper than ever

The ESR HaloLock Magnetic Wireless Car Charger is a handy 2-in-1 phone mount and Magsafe iPhone charger, and right now it’s the cheapest it’s ever been. Previously averaging £25 in price, the HaloLock is now just £19.

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Best car phone holders: At a glance

How to choose the best car phone holder for you

There are two things to consider when buying 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 half of the equation, though, is a little more complicated. There are numerous methods for attaching a phone holder 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 that rest on the dashboard.

You can also get suction grips and cradles that attach directly to your dashboard, although this won’t work if it has a textured surface. Another possibility is to connect the holder to your car stereo.

One of the most popular options is a clip that attaches to your air-conditioning vent. These are ideal for lighter smartphones, but the grip might not be firm enough to hold heavier devices and it also obstructs the airflow.

A final option to explore is a bespoke mount. Swedish firm Brodit make custom mounting units for each model of car to create a permanent mount for your phone.

Attaching your phone to the mount

Certain phone mounts have clips or arms that hold the phone securely: you simply slide the device into place when you get into the car and remove it when you leave.

Other mounts have a magnetic connection. These usually require you to attach a metal strip to the back of your phone, either by sticking it on the back or sliding it into a case – the latter is obviously better, as you don’t want to dent your phone’s aesthetic appeal. Apple’s MagSafe tech, as found across the iPhone 12 range, opens up another, even better option, where the mount simply holds your iPhone via its built-in MagSafe charging pad.

Even clunkier are mounts that have a ball and socket attachment: you’ll need to stick a metal socket to the back of your phone case, which clips into a ball on the in-car mount.

READ NEXT: The best dashcams

Other features to look out for

There’s not an awful lot to in-car phone mounts: they either hold your phone securely or they don’t. However, you might want to check whether the holder allows you to access the phone’s USB or lightning port so you can charge your phone while in transit – particularly if your phone often doubles as a satnav. Certain mounts even integrate their own QI wireless charger, meaning you can charge your phone without plugging it in. There will, of course, have to be a cable between your car’s USB port or 12V socket and the charger, so make sure it doesn’t dangle anywhere it might obstruct your driving.

Using a mobile phone holder legally

There’s every chance you’ve been in at least one minicab where part of the windscreen is covered by a wall of phones. That’s not an example to follow.

If you’re using a hands-free phone in the car, it’s essential it doesn’t illegally block your view in any direction.

How we test car phone holders

We fit each car phone holder to the windscreen, dashboard or vent of a small SUV, then use it for a period of three days to a week with an iPhone and/or a Samsung Android smartphone, depending on the design and features of the mount.

Testing a car phone holder

During that period, we consider how easy it is to fit, remove and reposition the phone, and we drive on urban streets and country roads to see how difficult it is to dislodge it from the grip or magnetic mount. We test phones with and without a silicon case, and do at least one test over bumpy or uneven ground to see how well the mount works in more extreme conditions. Finally, we check any additional features, including wireless charging, to see how well these work in everyday use.

The best in-car phone holders you can buy in 2024

1. Halfords Magnetic Windscreen Mount: Best windscreen mount

Price when reviewed: £15 | Check price at Halfords This magnetic mount keeps things nice and simple, with a bracket that attaches through a heavy-duty suction cup to your windscreen and a magnetic mount on a ball and socket joint. You then slip the 50 x 35mm metal plate into a phone case or stick it to your phone, before locking the plate onto the mount.

Once it’s there, it’s going to stay there, no matter how bumpy the road gets – something that can’t always be said of some of the clamp-style holders. There’s also no maximum phone size to worry about – it will handle devices of up to 650g – and the joint means it works at a decent range of angles. As long as you’re happy with the metal plate on your phone or in its case, this is the best windscreen mount to go for.

Key specs – Weight: 46g; Mounting: Suction cup on windscreen; Max phone width: N/A; Colours: Black

Check price at Halfords

2. Syncwire Gravity Car Phone Holder: Best vent phone holder for security

Price when reviewed: £15 | Check price at Amazon Vent mounts have a lot of advantages in that they’re easy to fit and remove, don’t block the windscreen and don’t take up much cockpit space, but they’re not always as stable or secure as some windscreen and dashboard holders. That’s not the case with this Syncwire model. Its chunky silicon claws get an iron grip on your vent, and the clever spring-loaded mechanism holds your phone just as securely; it will even cope with super-sized phones like the Samsung Galaxy A71 or iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The ball joint on the vent mount gives you a wider range of tilt and swivel, so you can keep the phone in view, and – with a little practice – you can insert and remove it single-handed, with the arms releasing as you pull the phone vertically out of its cradle. It can only hold the phone in portrait mode, but it’s one affordable, sturdy mount.

Key specs – Weight: 130g; Mounting: Grip on air vent; Max phone width: 88mm; Colours: Black

3. Belkin In-Car Vent Mount: Best vent mount for landscape viewing

Price when reviewed: £15 | Check price at Amazon If some vent mounts have a problem, it’s that they don’t hold your phone reliably in landscape mode. This isn’t a massive issue if you’re happy with your phone in the conventional portrait mode, but if you’re using your smartphone as a satnav, having more horizontal screen space to work with makes more sense. Here, the Belkin In Car Vent Mount comes into its own, with two spring-mounted, rubber-gripped, aluminium arms to hold your phone securely, along with one of the strongest vent mountings we’ve seen to keep the whole shebang in place. It will cope with cases up to 3mm thick and even has useful routing for a charging cable. It will happily take phones of up to 93mm in width, which will cover even big-screen monsters like the iPhone 12 Max or Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and it had no problems holding our test Samsung Galaxy A71. If your vents can take the strain, it’s a great option.

Key specs – Weight: 37g; Mounting: Grip on air vent; Max phone width: 93mm; Colours: Black and Aluminium

4. Otterbox Performance Car Vent Mount for Magsafe: Best phone holder for newer iPhones

Price when reviewed: £25 | Check price at Amazon Got a new iPhone? No need to worry about gripping mechanisms or metal plates just to hold your phone securely; this Otterbox vent mount will hold it by its built-in MagSafe charging pad. Unlike some MagSafe holders this one doesn’t charge your iPhone while you’re travelling, but it does maintain a strong hold on your device, and you can still charge using a cable. The mount itself keeps a sure grip on your vent, rotating into horizontal and vertical positions, and there’s a little play in the ball joint to get a decent viewing angle for the screen. Once you’ve snapped your iPhone in and out of this holder, you’ll wish everything could be this simple.

Key specs – Weight: 90g; Mounting: Grip on air vent; Max phone width: iPhone 12 series and upwards only; Colours: Black

5. Arteck Car Mount: Best dashboard/windscreen dual mount

Price when reviewed: £8.99 | Check price at Amazon 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). 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 itself is a simple, spring-loaded device, but it works very well and can hold smartphones up to 89mm across. 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.

Key specs – Weight: 91g; Mounting: Suction cup to windscreen or dashboard; Max phone width: 89mm; Colours: Black, red

6. Olixar Magnetic Windscreen Dash Mount: Best mount for stability

Price when reviewed: £20 | Check price at Amazon Objectively, this is the best smartphone mount available: it’s small, avoids blocking your view, can be attached to the windscreen or dashboard and is easily moved to between vehicles. It’s also extremely stable, keeping your phone steady as you crash over Britain’s potholed streets, and has a ball and socket joint for easy adjustment.

Your phone is secured in the mount with a magnet, meaning there’s no width restriction and it’s easy to put it in place and remove it at either end of your journey. However, this does mean you’ll need to attach the supplied metal plate to your phone or case, which not everyone will be enthusiastic about.

Key specs – Weight: 118g; Mounting: Suction cup to windscreen or dashboard; Max phone width: N/A; Colours: Black

7. Yosh Car Phone Holder: Best budget air vent-mounted holder

Price when reviewed: £9.59 | Check price at Amazon Like many air-vent mounted holders, the Yosh holder comes in two parts. The holder itself slots between the vent blades and you attach a 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 both of your phones. It’s a simple and extremely light design but the magnet holds the phone firmly even on bumpy roads.

Key specs – Weight: 59g; Mounting: Clip to air vent; Max phone width: N/A; Colours: Black, grey

8. iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless 2: Best in-car wireless charger

Price when reviewed: £25 | Check price at Amazon Looking to keep your smartphone charging while you’re out on the road? This windscreen or dashboard holder incorporates a 10W QI wireless charger (with 7.5W support for iOS devices) into a mount with an ingenious one-touch mechanism that allows you to insert and remove your device, one-handed. The spring-loaded arms and adjustable foot hold it firmly in place, and it will cope with devices up to 93mm in width, aligning the phone dead-centre to give you the best wireless charging connection. The mount fits onto the windscreen or dashboard using an ultra-strong suction cup, while the telescopic arm pivots and extends in a wide range of positions, so you can keep your phone out of the way but in view. iOttie includes a dual USB 12V charger for your car, though the 1.1m power cable is a little on the short side. There are cheaper in-car charging cradles out there, but not many so convenient or well-designed.

Key specs – Weight: 430g; Mounting: Suction cup to windscreen or dashboard; Max phone width: 93mm; Colours: Black

9. ESR HaloLock Magnetic Wireless Car Charger: Best Magsafe car charger for iPhones

Price when reviewed: £29 | Check price at Amazon

ESR’s lightweight mount and charger is a top option for recent iPhones, giving you a Magsafe mount that fits with ease into a vent, then provides secure 18W wireless QI charging via a USB-C cable connected to your car’s USB outlet. The ball joint on the vent mount means it works with both horizontal and vertical vents, while a support arm holds the central square pad steady no matter how rough the road. ESR also sells a dashboard version, if you’d rather have it fitted there.

While there’s no additional support beyond the glossy Magsafe plate, it keeps a tenacious grip on compatible iPhones, and we couldn’t fault it during testing – provided the phone wasn’t in a silicon case. Our test phone’s case weakened the grip somewhat; but ESR sells its own Magsafe cases, which won’t suffer the same problem. This is a smart compact holder and charger that will do your iPhone proud.

Key specsWeight: 156g; Mounting: Vent clip grip; Max phone width: N/A, Fits iPhone 12 to 14; Colours: Black

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