Sunday, March 18, 2012

How to get ad-free traffic on your Garmin nuvi

Most people seem to tolerate Garmin’s ad-supported traffic pretty well, and consider it a fair trade in exchange for free lifetime traffic. While it’s true that the ads aren’t very intrusive, some folks are really bugged by them, so let’s look at ways to avoid the ads:

Turn it off

This probably won’t appeal to many of you, since it will disable traffic too, but you can turn it off. Here are the instructions for various nuvi series. The following choices may interest you more:

UPDATE: Here’s a fourth way — buy a 2013 nuvi with traffic.

Three ways to get ad-free traffic on your nuvi

1. Go premium

Purchase a Premium NAVTEQ traffic subscription for $49.99 and it will permanently disable the ads. Be sure to check the compatible devices tab at the above link to ensure that it works with your traffic receiver. Also note that this doesn’t work on cellular connected models like the nuvi 1690, LIVE 1695, and LIVE 2300 series.

2. Buy a GTM 60 receiver or a model that comes with one

This is Garmin’s ad-free HD-traffic receiver (also available at Amazon), although they are calling it Digital 3D Traffic. It comes on the nuvi 3490LMT and 3590LMT, and for $69.99 can be added to any model in the 2xx5, 34×0 or 35×0 series.

3. Smartphopne link traffic subscription

If you have a recent nuvi with Bluetooth (2475LT, 2495LMT, 2595LMT, 3490LMT or 3590LMT) and an Android phone, you can get the Smartphone Link app and buy an ad-free live traffic subscription for $19.99.

Those are the only ways I know of to get ad-free traffic on your nuvi. If I’ve missed other options, please chime in below.

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Anthony N. says:

    You pretty much nailed it, sir.

    I so want to get the Smartphone Link traffic service, but Jeff Carp’s blog a month ago is giving me pause (incompatibility issues with the GTM 60’s HD Traffic broadcast).

    Until it’s resolved, I will just deal with the HD traffic for the time being…unless someone knows something…

    • How is HD traffic working for you?

      • Anthony N. says:

        I love it, actually. Where I live, I have to drape it over my rear-view to get a signal, but it works effectively and does keep up with anything developing. However, when I get closer to the major coverage cities (ie. Grand Rapids and Chicago), I find it’s no longer necessary to drape my cord over the rear view mirror.

        I just wanted the additional Smartphone Link Traffic so I can get info for areas the HD signal may be unable to reach. The wife and I go to Cleveland in May, and I thought this would be the perfect scenario to test it out…but not if it renders my GTM 60 incompatible.

        • You can just disable Bluetooth on your phone or nuvi, but you may have other reasons for not doing that.

          I asked about HD traffic because I’m testing the GTM 60 again, this time with the 3590LMT. Coverage range seems to have definitely improved since the 3490LMT first came out.

    • Maria Santos says:

      Can I install the Smartphone Link traffic service on the Nuvi 2460?

  2. Sorry for the off-topic post,but I can’t seem to find where on your sight I can post a new topic.

    I have a few observations I’d like your opinion on.

    In my opinion,Magellan has by far the best route avoidance feature.From the turn by turn menu, an icon next to each maneuver allows you to delete a maneuver.Simple and logical.

    Most Garmins don’t offer street avoidance, and the few that do, require the use of a map to mark off the area you want to avoid. C’mon Garmin, you can do better than that.

    And Tomtom requires you to go to a separate route avoidance list that’s completely different from its route list! That makes no sense at all.

    Tomtom still has the same U-turn bug they’ve had for years. Their GPS systems treat U-turns as a 5 minute delay. This causes the GPS to avoid U-turns in most cases,even when they’re legal and necessary.

    I haven’t seen you address the above points in your reviews and I’d like your opinion.


  3. EarlGrayHot says:

    Wow. It sucks that you can’t use this accessory with any other Garmin after the one you got it for dies. Too expensive to be so restrictive.

  4. !st off, you have a great site here. True resource for someone researching GPS’s.
    My question is concerning this ad-supported traffic. I have read so much today I’m getting dizzy; but it seems I saw somewhere that Garmin may have acquired some company and by doing so that ads might be a thing of the past on any model GPS. Or is that wrong?
    I am looking at models 2595LMT which seems to have everything I need, and model 2597LMT (which I believe is a 2013 model). $30 difference between the two. I do not want any advertising, I just find that offensive.
    So can you clarify for me if I would have the traffic ads with model 2595LMT or not?

    BTW, of what use is the “picture viewer” function on the 2595LMT? I’m trying to think of some use for it but have come up empty.

    Thanks again and congrats on a great site.

    • AFAIK, the 2013 nuvis and the HD traffic models are the only ones that are ad-free. The 2595LMT should still have ads.

      Garmin used to let you navigate to geotagged photos, but I think that functionality has been removed. Don’t know why they still have the picture viewer. Pretty useless.

  5. Dang! Too many models, features coming and going, this year it is new, next it is discontinued. How the heck do you tell if it is 2013 or 14 model, especialy buying on line? (I still need to replace the 50LM that the Mark VIII ate.) Since most of my vehicles do not have bluetooth, I think I need an upgraded model, but which? Glad to see your charts. They will be helpful.

    I actually liked the DeLome Street Atlas GPS that had a satelite sensor that plugged into your laptop, and made that into a GPS. Good updated maps, lots of POIs, could use sat photos and USGS quad maps and contour maps on all at the same time. DeLorme is a map maker, that developed a way to sell their maps for use in your computer. (That oversize green cover road atlas book of US road maps is published by Delorme.) If you wanted to plan a trip over the Rockies in the motorhome, you could say “plot me a route from A to B with grades no more than x %., and fuel stops no more than Z miles apart.” Trouble is the laptop is too big to be comfortable in my cars.

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