The Garmin Nuvi GPS device is the World’s best selling personal navigation device and helps with millions of car journeys every day. Despite this being such a common gadget in modern day life though, there’s very little known about the customization options available – for example with additional content and software. What follows is a low-down on the top 5 ways that you can give your Garmin a bit of extra appeal and make your car journeys a lot more interesting.
Free Garmin Vehicle Icons
You know that standard blue car that you see on the GPS screen? Well you can change that to something completely different, and the best thing of all is that new vehicle icons are free from Garmin. The range can be seen on the Garmin Garage website and include new downloads such as Wallace and Gromit, the Star Wars’ TIE fighter or X-Wing, or even Monster Trucks and Speed Boats.
New Custom Dashboard Displays
Of the the newer customization options is the ability to change the theme of your GPS display. New themes are being added frequently to the Garmin website but include styles from Stars Wars (the Death Star and Yoda), SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. In order to update you will need a Garmin online customer account – which is free again – and then just sync your Nuvi GPS using USB to your PC and the Internet.
Additional Voice Command Files
“Turn Right”, “Turn Left” – these voices that come bundled with your Nuvi might get a bit boring over time – but that’s ok, because you can actually update them with new and more amusing ones. Whether you want a scary Yeti telling you which junction to take next, Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street, or want some of the Garmin Tour De France cycling team bellowing instructions at you, it’s simple to change. Again you will just need to sign-up online at and download the ones that you want on your GPS.
Add Your Own Voice Commands
Downloading famous voice files is hilarious and will definitely keep the kids entertained on long car journeys, but you can actually upload your own voices which might be even better. This is achieved using the free Garmin Voice Studio software package. The only other thing you will need is a microphone compatible with your PC and Mac and the rest is pretty easy. If buying a Nuvi GPS for a friend or relation, then it can be a really nice touch to add your children’s voices to the unit in advance of giving them the gift.
Upgrading with Garmin Map Updates
One of the more essential upgrade options will be a new map. It’s wise that your maps are updated at least once a year, because over the course of 12 months many changes will occur on the nation’s road networks. In order to keep your Nuvi GPS completely current then register the device on and see which new maps are available for the country or regions that you live in.
More Information on Garmin Updates
There’s an independent website called which includes information on all types of GPS updates including how to download free Garmin map updates. This free online resource also contains information on all the other manufacturers that produce GPS navigation devices including TomTom, Navigon, Magellan, and Becker.