Apps might seem cheap, with a majority pricing in at $0.99, but over time that money adds up. Next thing you know you’ve emptied your coffers and littered your screen with icons you barely use. In an effort to help you save some coin — and sift through the overflowing amount of digital junk on iTunes — we present to you this list of car apps for the iPhone that won’t waste your time or money.
Gas Buddy (Free)
They say two heads are better than one, but how about 23 million? According to GasBuddy,’s developers, that’s the amount of people using this crowd-sourced gas app. Simply put, GasBuddy helps you find the cheapest gas prices in your area, for free! Users are encouraged to submit prices routinely, with prize points offered for each accurate submission. Simply load the app and enter in your zip-code, or use the iPhone’s GPS, and GasBuddy will then supply a list of prices in your surrounding area as well as how recently those prices were updated. It’s a fast and easy way to ensure you’re getting the best price possible. Who doesn’t love saving money on gas?
RepairPal is a quick and easy way to keep your vehicle’s repair history accurate and up-to-date. But the app’s best feature by far is its ability to cross reference repair costs. Need to know how much that new transmission is going to set you back? RepairPal will search your area and give you an honest estimate. It’s a handy way to ensure you never pay out the nose again and an essential app for any car owner.
Another community-sourced app, Waze works much like GasBuddy, providing up to date gas prices, but also alerts drivers of approaching traffic jams, road hazards, police traps, and accidents. Boasting a user base of 30 million strong, Waze gives up-to-date turn-by-turn voice navigation and even incorporates a social element, allowing users to share their destination on a live map. The whole app can be operated hands-free so you can keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.
A very simple and handy app, GasHog lets you track your fuel consumption by entering in your odometer reading and the amount of fuel added when you fill your tank. For those seeking long term fuel frugality, GasHog tracks your fuel consumption averages, so you can see if you’re fuel economy has dipped throughout the year.
As busy as you are these days, you can’t possibly be expected to remember mundane details like how much time is left in the parking meter. Thankfully, Honk is here to help avoid those pesky parking tickets from piling up in the glove box.
Honk’s interface is both simple and easy to use. With a swipe of a finger, user’s can set an alarm based on the amount of time they’ve paid to park. A countdown timer is then displayed on the app’s icon badge, so you don’t even have to launch the app to see how much time is left. Once your meter begins to run down, Honk will notify you that it’s time to head back to your car.
iFind My Car ($0.99)
We’re not going to blame old age, but there are times we simply forget where we parked. Luckily iFind My Car (formerly the equally obnoxious, Walk Me To My Car) is here to help. Simply launch the app and tap the “Pin Car” button to record your current location. Using the iPhone’s built-in GPS, iFind My Car stores your location. When you’re ready to return to your four-wheeled chariot launch the app again and hit the “Walk Me” button. The app will vibrate once your car is in sight. It’s as easy as that.
Looking for parking sucks, especially in busy cities where finding an empty spot is as rare as a Nicolas Cage film that isn’t dreadful (please stop making movies … please). Parkopedia aims to solve the former by helping you find a parking space when you need it. You can use your current location, or enter in an address before you head out the door. Using its crowd-sourced database, Parkopedia will then list and direct you to all available parking spots in your area, including information regarding rates, availability, and hours of operation. The app currently boasts over 25 million logged parking spots in 40 countries.
Not every car is equipped with the latest, most advanced safety tech. But instead of plunking down the cash for a new and expensive ride, iOnRoad provides users a number of safety tech features found in many of today’s premium vehicles. By utilizing the iPhone’s native camera, GPS, and sensors, iOnRoad can detect forward collisions, provide tailgating alerts, warn of unintended lane changes, and features a built-in car locator. iOndRoad offers real-time protection for drivers, relaying both audio and visual messages so drivers can take evasive action and avoid accidents. For best results, be sure to mount your iPhone to your windshield or dash.
Sometimes saving money on gas is as simple as altering our driving habits. Using the iPhone’s accelerometer, greenMeter measures your braking and acceleration techniques by taking into account aerodynamic drag, acceleration and mechanical rolling resistance. The app gathers information in real time and computes fuel usage/cost, oil consumption, and carbon emissions, with data able to be shown in both U.S. and metric units. Because greenMeter gathers its information from the iPhone’s accelerometer, it’s recommended users mount it to the windshield or dash while driving.
Don’t have access to your own dynamometer but want to know what performance numbers your car is spittin’ out? That’s alright, most of people don’t, which is why Dynolicious serves as the ultimate app for the digital greasemonkey in all of us. Using the iPhone’s accelerometer, Dynalicious measures horsepower at the wheels, 0-60, quarter mile drag times, and lateral Gs. Simply enter your car’s curb weight, drivetrain loss, and go. Planning on adding some aftermarket modifications to your car? Dynolicious is a great way to measure your performance numbers before and after. The app even has a built in social function, allowing you to upload your performance times to Facebook and Twitter, so you can boast about how cherry your ride truly is.