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Garmin vs. TomTom: The Ultimate GPS Showdown!

You’re lost, your phone has no signal, and you see a road splitting into two ahead.

Which road do you pick?

Right then, you would pick a GPS tracker in your car to reach your destination.

But when it comes to accuracy, which one is reliable? To find that out, I’ll compare two big names – Garmin and TomTom.

Let’s dive in to find out!

Garmin vs TomTom: Overview


Founded in 1989 by Gary Burrell and Min Kao, Garmin has become a household name in GPS technology. With its vast range of products, Garmin caters to individuals and corporations alike. Let’s highlight some noteworthy Garmin models and features:

  • Garmin Drivesmart: A GPS tool with Wi-Fi! Eases updates and shows phone messages.
  • Garmin DriveAssist: Comes with a camera that records your drive. It’s like having an extra pair of eyes on the road.
  • Garmin Overlander: Great for people who love to drive on all kinds of roads.


Founded in the Netherlands in 1991, TomTom started as a software company for personal digital assistants (PDAs). Slowly, it expanded its reach into the GPS technology sphere. Here’s a lineup of standout TomTom models and features:

  • TomTom GO Discover: Fast tool with roadside help and many road maps.
  • TomTom VIA: Cheaper, simple GPS with easy-to-follow directions.
  • TomTom Rider: Made for bikers, it works well even in bad weather.

Now, let’s compare the main features.

Garmin vs. TomTom: Features

Extra features can make or break a deal for customers. Here’s a comparison between some additional features of Garmin and TomTom GPS devices:

  • Live updates: Garmin uses its Garmin Traffic technology, while TomTom uses its data. Both provide accurate live traffic updates and speedy route recalculations.
  • Points of Interest (POIs): Both brands offer an extensive list of POIs. Garmin provides more preloaded POIs, whereas TomTom allows users to add their custom POIs easily.
  • Smartphone integration: Garmin’s devices integrate with various smartphone apps for notifications, while TomTom’s devices utilize their app, MyDrive, to sync routes and destinations from your phone to the GPS.

Garmin vs. TomTom: Navigation

Garmin vs TomTom
Garmin vs TomTom

When it comes to the primary function of these devices, both Garmin and TomTom excel in different navigation aspects:

  • Accuracy: Garmin tends to beat TomTom in accuracy by a small margin in suburban environments, whereas TomTom excels in urban areas.
  • Traffic updates: TomTom is known for its adept traffic management system, providing faster route recalculations and more accurate data than Garmin’s.

Guess what else they offer?

  • Mapping: Both brands provide high-quality, constantly updating maps, but Garmin may have a slight edge with its proprietary mapping technology.

Garmin vs. TomTom: Interface and Usability

The GPS systems of both Garmin and TomTom offer user-friendly experiences:

  • Screen quality: Garmin boasts clear, high-definition screens with excellent readability on all its devices, whereas some TomTom models may not offer the same level of brightness and detail.
  • Voice instructions: Both brands provide clear and easy-to-follow voice instructions. However, TomTom may take the cake with an edge in natural-sounding voices and better pronunciation.

But there’s more to consider.

  • Customizability: Garmin offers more options for data customization, enabling users to create a more personalized navigation system. TomTom has a simpler interface, making it easier for less tech-savvy users to navigate without worry.

Curious about the price?

Garmin vs. TomTom: Price and Value

  • Garmin: Their GPS systems, like the DriveSmart series, range in price. The DriveSmart 55, for example, is priced at $159.99.
  • TomTom: Offers GPS systems ranging from $100 to $300, with options across basic, mid-range, and high-end models.

So, who’s the winner?

Garmin vs. TomTom: Final Verdict


While Garmin has a slight advantage in accuracy, mapping, and device features, TomTom excels in traffic management capabilities, voice instructions, and simplicity.

As far as the winner between the two is concerned, TomTom is the best choice for those living in Europe, and Garmin is most suitable for people living in the Choice.

Besides, you can try both of them out yourself to see which one is suitable for you.

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