There’s an app for that! These FREE apps help your drive smarter and save time and money. There’s even an app to help you find your car in a parking lot, and avoid police speed traps.
Some driving apps behave like high-tech navigation systems, so they are ideal for use in older vehicles without a nav system. Others integrate with and enhance a current model’s nav system.
Trapster is an app version of a radar detector, telling you where the police speed traps are. This may sound counter-intuitive, but Trapster actually is supported by many police departments who want you to know where the speed traps are, so you’ll slow down and drive more safely. It’s one of the most popular downloads, with more than six million users.
Skobbler offers the same kind of voice-assisted turn-by-turn navigation found in new vehicles, so it’s a great tool for older cars with no navigation system, or older systems that aren’t able to talk to you. Usually, aftermarket devices with such detailed mapping are $149 or more, but Skobbler uses free open-source mapping, and the download is free.
Poynt helps drivers find people, movies, businesses, restaurant and gas stations. It searches for service stations by price or location. Click on the one you want and Poynt gives you directions.
Cheap Gas lists stations in order of price, not by distance, so it takes a bit of scrolling to find the one closest to you, although everything it brings up is within 10 miles. Tap on an entry to bring up the prices for regular, unleaded, premium unleaded and diesel.
Gas Buddy also lets you set your zipcode so you can always find the cheapest gas close to home.
Gas Cubby tracks gas mileage, gas costs and vehicle maintenance, including sending you a reminder when it’s time for an oil change or tire rotation. The app can support multiple vehicles if you are a two-car family, and also converts to international miles per gallon units for Canada and Europe. It costs $4.99, but there’s a free version if you’re willing to put up with advertisements.
If you want to refuel with bio-diesel, E85, hydrogen, natural gas, propane, or electricity for your plug-in electric, the U.S. Department of Energy has a free app listing the nearest refueling stations and their business hours. Find it at http://apps.usa.gov/alternative-fuel-locator
Weatherbug isn’t exactly a driving app, but it’s an ideal tool for long-range trips, such as to Grandma’s house for the holidays. Weatherbug gives you the local weather and road conditions for where you are headed, which can help you prepare for icy road conditions.
We’ve all forgotten at one time or another where we parked the car This app will help you find it.
Find My Car does just what it’s name says – help you find your car in a parking lot. Plus it does a lot more. It also will give you a map to get you there, especially helpful if you are hiking or bicycling and don’t want to backtrack. Plus, there’s an emergency button to contact family or first responders.
And remember, for safety’s sake while driving, keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, not on your smartphone’s keypad or screen.