You probably already know about the GasBuddy app to help you find the best gas prices near you. A few years back, I was driving from D. C. to Orlando with two of our kids. It was dark when we followed GasBuddy to the cheapest gas off the Interstate and found ourselves pulling up to the guarded gate of an Army base before we could go any further! I don’t know about the soldier, but it was hilarious to us! We turned around and looked for the second-best price in town.
Your car and your smartphone are two of your most-used MPD tools. Let’s check out these free apps for your car to make the most of your car and smartphone.
Can’t afford to replace “Old Reliable”? Still working on your Christmas list? It’s still possible to update your wheels…
The following are free apps with either a Red I (for iPhone) or Blue A (for Android) after each one.
Best Free Apps for Your Car
GasBuddy (A I) for the best gasoline prices.
RepairPal (A I) to determine what you may need for a car repair and receive an estimate. Get guaranteed repair prices in 12 major cities (sorry, not Orlando).
Waze (A I) offers community-driven information about gas prices, accidents, police traps, and traffic jams. If you’re new to an area, you’ll also appreciate recommended businesses and sights to see. Coordinate with your friends to meet up or tell them of your ETA. (NOTE: Waze is a good app for Southern California drivers during the current fires to keep you from hazardous areas.)
TomTom (A I) is free for the first 50 miles of use each month; you’ll need a subscription for unlimited use.
Honk (A I) gets you in touch for help if you’re locked out of your car, have a dead battery or flat tire, ran out of gas, or need a tow. Honk also pinpoints your car’s location if you’d like to use it to help you return to your parked car.
Like the great dashboard screens on newer cars, Dashdroid (A) offers customizable buttons and voice commands so you can check weather, make a call or text, and more.
AutoMate (A) makes your Android device a dashboard for Google Maps, messaging, phone calls, music and more with voice controls. Premium gives you hands-free gesture control.
If You Have a Screen on Your Dashboard
You might want to check out Android Auto (A) or Apple CarPlay (I) to use many of your phone’s apps on your car’s screen and use voice recognition to send texts. This video reviews both. These cars support Android Auto; these, Apple CarPlay.
Also, see the not-free list at the end of this post for an iPhone app, iCarMode.
Check These Other Apps for Your Car
I’m ending my post, but thought I’d add a few links if you’re willing to pay for an app. Here’s a few in alphabetical order:
Augmented Driving (I) monitors speed, location and the distance to the leading vehicle. (I’d be concerned about looking at the phone instead of at the leading vehicle!)
Carcorder (I) also purchase a dashboard mount to transform your phone into a dash cam.
Car Minder Plus (I) allows you to keep tabs on maintenance schedules for more than one car.
Dynolicious (I) check your car’s performance with iPhone’s built-in accelerometers.
iCarMode (I) gives you a large buttoned display to listen to your music, call your friends, and more.
iOnRoad (A I) is another early warning app to prevent collisions.
You might find it helpful to also purchase an adapter that plugs into your car’s electrical outlet. You’ll find adapters with Bluetooth capabilities, FM transmitters, USB ports, and more. I’m skipping over that information leaving that to you to research for what you might need. This page from Amazon is very helpful to understand what accessories you might need to buy.
If you want to go further with your upgrades, you could install a backup camera for your car and connect it to your phone, too.
Give “Old Reliable” an update for Christmas.
- I appreciate the research done by TechRadar so I could present this Christmas list for you.
- You might also be interested in my post, How to Play Music, Audio Books, and Podcasts over Your Car Radio.
- The photo of the old and new Volkswagens is by alan madrid and available on Flickr under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic creative commons license.