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Route Optimization

Top 7 Free Route Planners in 2024

Whether you're a solo driver or a small business, find efficient navigation solutions like Google Maps, Mapquest, and more tailored to your needs.

Are you in need of route-planning solutions without a significant budget? For small businesses handling service calls or deliveries, finding the right route planning tool is crucial.

This review focuses on the top free route planning applications designed for many stops, covering:

  • The leading free route planners available
  • Constraints associated with free route planners
  • Criteria for considering an upgrade to a paid route planning application

We conducted thorough testing of each route mapping application, employing a consistent set of addresses to create routes across all platforms for fair comparison.

From the 23 route planner apps assessed, the top 7 contenders are:

  1. Google Maps: Ideal for individual drivers
  2. Mapquest: Suitable for small businesses with up to 26 stops, albeit with ads
  3. RAC Route Planner: Geared towards solo drivers in the UK
  4. Maps.me: Optimal for road trips
  5. RouteXL: Suited for small businesses managing up to 20 stops
  6. Speedy Route: Notable for its user-friendly interface
  7. TruckRouter: Tailored for long-haul trucking, exclusive to North America

Top Free Route Planning Applications

1. Google Maps: Ideal for Solo Drivers

Price: Free

Maximum Stops: 10

Optimization Feature: Absent

Capability to Plan Multiple Routes: Unavailable

Available on: Web & Mobile Application

Suited for: Solo drivers and short-distance journeys


Google Maps stands out as an exceptional free route planning tool. It is particularly suited for individual delivery drivers seeking efficient routes from one point to another. Notable features we appreciated include:

  • Real-time traffic updates aid in congestion avoidance.
  • Regular updates on road closures and diversions.
  • Seamless usability across various mobile devices, encompassing both Android and Apple platforms.
  • Consistent provision of accurate turn-by-turn directions.
  • Generally more precise estimated times of arrival (ETAs) compared to Apple Maps.
  • Intuitive mobile application interface.
  • Street View functionality serves as a valuable addition. It facilitates easier identification of destinations by providing visual references.

Street View is an excellent feature, providing a photo of your destination for easier navigation to the building or parking entrance.

However, Google Maps has a significant limitation as a multi-stop route planner. It allows only up to 10 stops, and the process can be cumbersome.

To address this issue, there's a handy tool available that can merge multiple routes, accommodating 20 or more stops.

Google Maps excels at finding the fastest route between two stops and offering driving directions. It lacks route optimization capabilities for multiple stops. While the Google Maps API offers more functionalities, it's not accessible to most users.

For fewer stops, arranging addresses manually can suffice. However, for over 20 stops or multiple vehicles, a dedicated route planner with optimization is necessary.

Recommendation: Google Maps is suitable for single vehicles with up to 10 stops.

What is the method for having unlimited stops on Google Maps?

Unfortunately, there's no way to have unlimited stops on Google Maps. Yet, with extra preparation, you can use Google's My Maps to map routes with up to 100 stops or create routes for multiple vehicles.

2. Mapquest: Ideal for Small Businesses Handling up to 26 Stops

Price: Free

Maximum Stops: 26

Route Optimization: Basic

Capability to Plan Multiple Routes: Absent

Available on: Web & Mobile Application S

Suited for: Small Businesses


When you encounter the limitations of Google Maps for route planning, consider using Mapquest as an alternative. Established in 1996, Mapquest caters more to business needs.

Key features of Mapquest include:

  • Support for up to 26 stops on a single route.
  • Basic route optimization is available by selecting the "let us re-order stops" option.
  • The capability to optimize routes based on either the shortest distance or shortest time.
  • Easy address list upload via copy/paste or spreadsheet.
  • Convenient route sharing via social media, mobile numbers, or links.
  • Display of estimated fuel costs for each trip.
  • Simple map printing functionality.

However, Mapquest has two notable limitations. Firstly, it sustains its free route planning through ads, which may cause distractions. Secondly, it has limited address interpretation capabilities. Incorrectly formatted addresses may be marked as invalid. That could potentially lead to wasted time and money if not thoroughly checked.

Recommendation: Mapquest is the best free business option for up to 26 stops, provided you're confident in your address formatting and are tolerant of ads.

3. RAC Route Planner: Ideal for Independent Drivers in the UK

Price: Free

Maximum Stops: 10

Route Optimization: Not available

Capability to Plan Multiple Routes: Absent

Platform: Web-based

Suited for: Solo drivers residing in the UK.


For drivers operating independently in the UK, the RAC Route Planner app presents a viable choice. It facilitates the mapping of routes with multiple stops. It also offers comprehensive information on traffic and weather conditions.

Moreover, the RAC app can be utilized for planning routes across Europe. However, users will need to manually input the precise addresses of each destination. Unlike some other mapping tools, the RAC app doesn't provide automatic suggestions as you type.

Recommendation: It's a good choice for individuals situated in the UK or Europe, particularly those valuing safety features and insights into driving conditions.

4. Maps.me: Ideal for Road Trips

Price: Free

Maximum Stops: 10

Route Optimization: Not available

Capability to Plan Multiple Routes: Absent

Platform: Available on Android & iOS

Suited for: Road trips, regions with limited mobile service

If you're traveling in remote areas with weak cell phone signals, Maps.me is a top choice. Its standout feature is the ability to download unlimited maps on your iPhone or Android device and create endless routes. You can add up to 5 waypoints, find pit stops along the way, and navigate without using any data.

Maps.me is mainly designed for tourists planning road trips, rather than business users needing to organize delivery or service routes. TruckRouter emerges as the preferred choice for long-haul delivery drivers in need of supplementary features such as fuel and distance monitoring, alongside access to truck stop locations.

Recommendation: Maps.me is great for leisure travel when you expect poor data signal on your route.

5. RouteXL: Ideal for Small Businesses with up to 20 Stops

Price: Free with an option for a paid subscription

Maximum Stops: 20

Route Optimization: Basic

Capability to Plan Multiple Routes: Not available

Platform: Available on Web only

Suited for: Small businesses


RouteXL presents a viable alternative to Google Maps for free route planning, offering route optimization for up to 20 stops. However, it's important to note some limitations.

During testing, we found that RouteXL may not accurately recognize all addresses and occasionally place stops incorrectly. Additionally, it only supports routing for one vehicle at a time. This could be inconvenient for businesses with multiple drivers. The interface is somewhat dated and sluggish, potentially impacting the user experience.

Nonetheless, for small businesses with a single driver who can dedicate time to verifying addresses, RouteXL can be a cost-effective solution.

Keep in mind that while the free version allows 20 stops, signing up for a paid package unlocks higher stop limits, reaching up to 100 or 200 stops per day.

Recommendation: This platform is well-suited for small businesses operating with a single driver, provided they have the flexibility to verify addresses thoroughly.

6. Speedy Route: Ideal for user-friendliness

Cost: Free, with an option for a paid subscription

Stop limit: 10 (additional stops with paid plans)

Route optimization: Professional-grade

Plan multiple routes: Accessible with paid plans

Platform: Exclusively on the web

Best suited for: Small businesses


Speedy Route serves as an additional free route planning and optimization tool. The free version facilitates routing for up to 10 stops, while paid subscriptions cater to up to 10 drivers and 9,999 stops.

The web application boasts an appealing and user-friendly interface. Stops can be incorporated via copy and paste or spreadsheet upload, with an option to append notes for each stop. Upon optimizing your route, exporting it to a spreadsheet or printing it out is viable. Although direct routing to a navigation app is unavailable, transferring the spreadsheet to another app for navigation is a potential workaround.

Recommendation: Speedy Route proves beneficial for small businesses requiring optimized routes for multiple vehicles, provided they are willing to undertake additional steps to route to a navigation app.

7. TruckRouter: the best choice for long-haul trucking, only available in North America

Cost: Free of charge

Stop limit: 5 stops

Route optimization: Professional-grade

Plan multiple routes: Not available

Platform: Exclusive to web

Best suited for: Long-distance trucking operations


If you're seeking free route planning software tailored to the specific needs of long-distance truck drivers, TruckRouter could be the ideal solution. This web-based route planning tool offers a range of features designed for truck-specific routes:

TruckRouter optimizes routes by considering factors such as height and weight restrictions, avoiding routes with low bridges. It provides a comprehensive list of truck stops and facilities along each route.

The platform offers effective tools for calculating estimated trip costs, including fuel expenses and toll roads. Users can easily print out itineraries and detailed directions. Given that long-haul trucks typically make only 1-2 stops for deliveries or pickups, TruckRouter's limited number of stops is enough. TruckRouter is only available in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. As a web-only platform, it's not accessible through Apple's App Store or the Google Play Store.

Recommendation: For planning long-distance trucking routes efficiently on a computer and printing out routes, TruckRouter stands as the top choice, with coverage limited to North America.

Limitations of Free Route Planning Tools

No route planning application combines both free usage and unlimited stops. Some applications offer free services for a limited number of stops, typically around 10–20. Accessing genuinely efficient route planners for more than 25 stops or many vehicles requires payment.

For solo delivery drivers, there are commendable mobile apps tailored for delivery routes. However, these applications also need payment and are not available for free.

When to Transition to a Paid Route Planning App

Consider upgrading to route optimization software if:

  • You seek more efficient routes.
  • You manage two or more vehicles.
  • Your daily stops exceed 20.
  • Route planning consumes excessive time.
  • You aim to reduce fuel expenses.
  • Route planning causes stress.
  • You wish to avoid hiring extra drivers or purchasing more vehicles.

Well-designed software can significantly diminish weekly route planning hours. Evaluate when the cost of using a free app outweighs potential expenses and compare it to the pricing of a paid subscription for a clearer understanding of the return on investment.

Pro tip: Experience eLogii with a personalized demo or get your customized pricing proposal! It's the most efficient method to explore user-friendly route planning software. Or, for more options check out our review of the top delivery route planning software.

Advantages of Advanced Route Planning Software

1. Enhanced Route Optimization

As the number of deliveries or service stops increases, route complexity escalates. Many of our clients find themselves investing much time into weekly route planning. By leveraging route planning software equipped with sophisticated route optimization algorithms, you can drastically reduce planning time from hours to mere minutes. At eLogii, route optimization lies at the heart of our product, and we allocate significant resources to continually enhance its effectiveness. We've crafted the Route Optimization Software: Complete Guide to delve into this extensive subject matter.

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2. Enhanced Delivery Satisfaction

Long gone are the days of customers waiting endlessly for deliveries! Despite this, many companies still struggle to provide more precise delivery estimates beyond vague promises like "arriving on Tuesday." With effective route planning software, you can elevate the delivery experience by offering specific delivery time windows. That automatically keeps customers informed about their delivery status.

3. Mobile driver apps

Route planning lays the groundwork, but completing the delivery requires equipping your drivers with the necessary tools to provide top-notch service to your customers.

With eLogii's mobile app, your delivery drivers receive efficient routes featuring precise Estimated Time of Arrivals (ETAs), compatibility with popular navigation apps like Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze, along with comprehensive driving directions and delivery instructions. Moreover, it empowers drivers to gather proof of delivery, a feature not available with free software options.

Free Route Planning Tools: Beneficial for Startups

Free route planning tools can be a boon for startups venturing into the delivery business. If you're launching a delivery service with just one driver and a small number of stops, utilizing one of these free route planner apps will suffice to kickstart your operations.

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