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Change Your Garmin Vehicle Icon To Something More Interesting

Fancy Driving A Tank (Or A Pirate Ship) Down The Local High Street? Now You Can With Free Garmin Custom Vehicles For Your GPS Sat Nav!

Garmin custom vehicle icons

Why stick with that boring Blue Arrow or the normal vehicles pre-loaded on to your new Garmin Sat Nav, when you could have a Tank, Pirate Ship, Police Car or any of a dozen different designs?

TomTom may have funny voices, but Garmin have custom 3d vehicle icons, and although they won't get you there any quicker, they are a bit of fun and help to personalise your GPS Sat Nav.

In this little guide we're going to show you how.

(Compatible with Nuvi, Zumo and Streetpilot 500 series).


My Computer

Before we do anything with our GPS it's good practice to back everything up to your hard-drive.

Connect your Sat Nav to your PC and then go to "My Computer" (From Start Button on XP).

You should see the Garmin appear as a removable storage device.

We're going to be copying the entire contents of the Garmin and putting that back-up on our pc hard-drive or usb memory stick.

For a Nuvi 200 you'll need about 250mb free, other devices will need more.

Right-click the Garmin Icon and select copy. Then go to "My Documents" or your USB Flash Drive, create a new folder called "Garmin Back Up" go into the folder, then right-click, paste. Your device is now backed up and we can safely continue.

Garmin Garage

Lets head on over to the Garmin Garage to see what Icons are available.

Make sure you read the instructions on how to install.

Remember, you won't be able to have all the icons on your Garmin GPS, they take up too much memory.

All Garmin custom vehicle icons

We're going to downloading the whole pack of vehicles from this page, then installing the ones we want.

Once at the page click the "Download Now" link., and save the file to your hard drive.

Unzipped icons

Either double click on the file, or right-click "extract here" and you'll end up with a load of ,srf files, which are our custom icons for our Garmin GPS.

You'll notice at this point that the names on Garmins' "All Vehicles" page don't match with the downloads. To find what filename a particular vehicle has, go back to the All Vehicles Page and hold your mouse over the car or name, and if you've got your status bar activated you'll see the file name at the bottom of the screen.

I want to put the "Diablo" on my Nuvi 200, so I right click "carflames1.srf" and press copy.

inside garmin folder

Next make sure your Garmin is connected to your pc. Go back to your "My Computer" Window - Start, My Computer, then double click Garmin, then double click the next Garmin folder.

You should now be at a screen something like this.

Double click the "vehicle" folder.

Garmin vehicle folder

You should now see something like this, but with not as many files.

This is where all the vehicle icons are stored inside your Sat Nav.

Right-click then paste.

Garmin diablo

That's it! Close down the windows and disconnect your Garmin.

Turn your GPS on, or it may be booting up anyway. Press the spanner (or wrench) on the main menu. Press "settings". Press "Map" then "change" next to "vehicle".

If you press the up and down arrows you can see the icons, just select the one you want, then "ok" and go back to the map screen.

You should now have a funky vehicle rather than the boring default ones.

How easy was that! Thanks for reading.

Comments / Questions:

When I connect my Garmin Nuvi 200 to my PC, there is no "Garmin" folder that shows up as a removable disc- I've tried this on 2 computers now, and I'm not able to transfer any vehicles to my device. Chad.

Try a different lead.

So is the bottom line that you can't use Garmin's Vehicle program on a Mac computer? Eileen.

Not sure, give it a go and see what happens.

not at all technical so plain speak pls. :)  Ihave a gps streetpilot 340 all bells and whistles cheaper price .. could not follow your instruction ..there was no garmin icom on my computer page..my garmin is plugged into my computer now but see no icon anywhere..also tried earlier to download and msg came up that all the icons are only a 40 day trial offering a options to pay now--can u help. sick of arrow..:( Sheila.

Sorry, the 340 isn't compatible.

Thank you for your work, I had a quick question, does this work with Garmin XL also (smartphones).

Sorry, no.

Very nice site,helpful,I've just bought Navi 200.will check here often. Robert.


Will we ever be able to create our own? I'd love to make my own icon of my car instead of a generic (thoug very cool) one that you guys have provided. Greg.

People have done it - its just very complicated!

Help! I've downloaded all vehicles from garmin.com BUT I can't open them on my Mac! What am I doing wrong? No matter what I try and open it with I get the 'error this file may contain virus or it is not readable'

Use a friends Windows PC!

I recently upgraded my Garmin 200 with the latest maps. When I turned it on after the update the addresses have english text (which is what I use) with what appears to be chinese characters also. Is there any way to get it back to only english text.

You need to reset the device.Turn it off. Put your thumb in the bottom right of the screen, holding it there. Turn it on. Say "yes". This will delete your favourites, recents, etc, but you can enter the language again.

I should have known HOW to do this, but the instructions on the garmin.com site had me all kinds of confused.  thanks for taking the time to post this. You made me happy as my new cars are loaded! Z.


This is wicked cool! I'm an expat working in Qatar as an EMT and use my Nuvi 200 (I call her "mother") every single day I'm on the road. I couldn't drive without her. And now I got the ambulance icon! Rock & roll!!! Just one problem... today my sucker mount broke. The rubber part ripped off...  :(

Contact the local Garmin rep, if its newish they'll send you one free of charge.

how do i get free icons? Frank.

All the vehicle icons are free in the Garmin Garage.

can i download a car on my street pilot 2720 instead of the arrow, if so how do i go about doing it. Thank you. Miguel.

Sorry, your unit isn't compatible with the new icons.

How can I link my Nuvi 250W into Google Earth Plus so that I get realtime position update in Google Earth :.  I have istalled communicator and latest USB drivers from Garmin site but Google Earth selecting GPS Import apperas to do nothing as NMEA or Garmin PVT - what else do I have to do to create the link ?   Thanks. Geoff.

I've never tried this - but I doubt if the Nuvi supports this type of live output - unlike Garmins hand-held range. I could be wrong. If it does, common problems would be anti-virus and fire-wall programs getting in the way, a duff or loose lead, etc.

is there a way to save the cars to a removeable memory stick so you can put all of them on there? Kaden.

No, you've got to have them in the internal memory.

Can you please help me, I have just bought my garminnuvi 300 not sure how to set up my Points of Interest, in fact have very little knowledge about using it altogether I have just managed to download some vehicles great instructions.
thanking you. Susan

If you mean how to use them, just tap "where to" then choose a category - shopping, parking, etc.

Check out this link if you want more POI's:

I have just bought my Garmin nuvi 200 and it works like a dream . I live in N.Ireland and with in a few min's it had brought up the maps i wanted.

That’s Great, I get lots of questions from people in NI about map accuracy, so thanks for the info!

Great more vehicles the better. Mark.

Check the Garmin Garage regularly - they're always adding more vehicles.

Thanks for bothering to do this - it's added a smile to my driving. Peter.


THANK YOU!!! Beth.

My pleasure!

So I have downloaded all the vehicles and copied the one I want to use into the vehicle folder but now when I try to change the vehicle on the unit I get a pop up that says "to download vehicles go to www.garmin.com/vehicles..." I can not open the vehicles even tho they are in my vehicle folder, as a matter of fact, I can't even open the ones that were there orginally. Any suggestions? Tricia.

Try resetting your device and trying again. You don't say which GPS you have. so I can't tell you where the reset button is. If that doesn't work go back to the instructions and double check everything is right, this should work easily.


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