Don’t hit the brakes on your summer road trip plans just because of sticker shock at the pump. Use these gasoline pricing apps to help you find the cheapest nearby options, keeping your budget on full all summer long!
1.) GasBuddy This highly rated app is a favorite among 70 million users for good reason. GasBuddy allows you to search for gas stations near any ZIP code or city and then finds you the station with the cheapest gasoline. You can filter the options the app brings up by brand, price or location. You can also search for gas stations that have additional features, like restrooms, eateries and car washes.
Best features GasBuddy takes its mission of saving you money very seriously. Sign up for the app’s loyalty program and you can save $0.15/gallon for your first pump and $0.05/gallon on every subsequent refuel. Enjoy additional perks by reporting price changes to help the app keep its information current. You can also sign up for daily alerts about price drops–and hikes–in your area.
The cost-free app also allows you to search according to very specific criteria, including the type of gas you need, such as diesel or premium unleaded. This can save you a frustrating trip to a gas station that can’t actually help you fill ‘er up.
Glaring glitches GasBuddy depends on user input to maintain its accuracy, but correcting price listings on the app can be tedious. Of course, you can ignore all the app’s mistakes, but then you’ll only be contributing to its inaccuracy.
GasGuru offers users a more streamlined interface than similar apps. Data is plucked off the Oil Price Information Service instead of being shared by users, so you don’t have to bother with updating gas prices after you pull into a station. The free app offers a super-comprehensive list of gas stations near your current location and places you often visit so you can determine whether it’s cheaper to fill up near your home or your workplace. Filter your search by fuel type and look up eateries, repair shops and more on the app.
Best Features Say you’re out of town on a business trip and you need to refuel. You find the best-priced gas station in the area that meets your needs, but you have no idea how to get there! GasGuru makes it simple with an automatic navigation option. Just hit the “Get Directions” icon near a listed gas station and the app instantly launches Google Maps to show the way. Also, GasGuru uses just 3MB while still offering a fantastic interface. Contrast this with other gas apps’ 20-30MB and you’ve got one small, but super-powerful app.
Glaring Glitches Despite its more professional approach toward obtaining gas prices, users complain that GasGuru’s listed prices are more often inaccurate than accurate. Another annoying aspect of the app is the fact that you can only view one category of locations at a time. Also, some users dislike the fact that GasGuru will not specify if the listed prices refer to cash or credit payments at the pump.
3.) Waze Yes, the app that has helped you get from point A to point B without getting lost more times than you can count is also a great resource for finding the cheapest gas. Just hit the Settings icon on the app, and then tap the Gas Stations option. You can now select a gas station brand or a type of gas you’d like to search for, and then sort your search by price, distance or brand. Of course, once you’ve found the station you want to use, Waze will show you how to get there as quickly as possible. Prices are updated constantly and are consistently accurate. Some stations even offer a “Waze-only” deal on their prices for users of the popular navigation app.
Best Features Waze makes it super-easy to find the gas station with the best price at the best location. As soon as you hit the search button, it’ll show you a list of nearby gas stations with the exact amount of minutes each choice is off your route. Pricing is also easy to see at a glance; Waze color-codes its list of stations so you can easily compare prices.
Waze keeps itself going with ads for eateries, coffee shops and all kinds of attractions you happen to be passing on your way to your destination. Some users find these ads to be incredibly intrusive.
How they stack up
Your Turn: What’s your favorite gasoline price finder app? Tell us about it in the comments!
Q: I’m in the market for a new set of wheels, and the choices are making me dizzy. How do I decide which features to look for in a new car and which to skip?
A: Shopping for a new car can be complicated—but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a bit of research and some time spent determining what’s important to you, you can make a choice you’ll be happy with for years to come. To help you out, we’ve created a list of key features you might want to consider in your new car, as well as a list of features you can skip.
Must-have safety features
360-degree camera: This camera takes the risk factor out of backing up by giving drivers a bird’s-eye view of the car. This way, drivers can see the entire area surrounding their vehicle and check for children and objects in their way.
Evasive steering: Keep yourself safe even in the event of surprises on the road with this handy new feature. Evasive steering will provide you with additional steering support when you’re in danger of colliding with another vehicle and your own steering efforts are not sufficient.
Blind spot alert: This feature alerts the driver when there is an object or pedestrian in direct line of their blind spot.
Forward collision warning: If you’re prone to distraction while behind the wheel, you might want this feature. It provides a visual and/or audible alert when your vehicle is heading toward a forward collision.
Automatic emergency braking: Stay safe with this feature, which automatically applies the brakes when it senses a vehicle in your car’s way. Some systems include pedestrian detection as well.
Automatic keyless entry: This feature was created for those moments when you’re staggering toward your car with armfuls of grocery bags: it automatically unlocks a car’s doors when it senses a nearby fob.
Head-up display: You don’t have to risk swerving every time you want to check out your car’s display. With a head-up display, you can see important information, like your fuel level and speed, right on your windshield. Displays are dim enough so they don’t block your visibility, but clear enough to easily read.
Power tailgate: If you plan on hitching a boat, ATV, or another large vehicle to the back of your new pickup truck or SUV, you might want to shop for this feature, because it lets you lower and raise your tailgate with the push of a button.
Multi-zone climate system: Family road trips are peaceful again with this feature, which allows for different climate controls throughout the car.
Speedy USB-charging outlets: No more unbearable waits for your gadgets to power up! You can now buy a car that charges your device super-quickly.
WiFi hotspot: Stop eating up your phone’s data—just plug into your car’s WiFi instead. Some in-car hotspot services charge a monthly fee after a complementary introductory period, but these tend to be cheaper for unlimited data than a similar data plan through a mobile phone carrier.
Heated steering wheel and driver’s seat: This one is for those frosty mornings when your car can’t get warm quite fast enough.
Wireless charging pad: Leave the wires at home! Just place your phone on one of these pads and it will start powering up. These super-techy gadgets use induction to charge your device and work with most new smartphones. If your phone is aging and won’t charge on an induction pad, you can buy a special case to bring it up to speed.
Home assist device connectivity: Telling your phone to crank up your AC or to shut off your oven is old news. But, did you know you can now do the same for your car’s controls? Some new cars allow you to use remote voice control with home assist technologies, like Alexa, for your car. You can tell the assistant to set the temperature in your car, unlock doors and even get your favorite playlist going while your hands are busy making lunch.
Rear entertainment systems: No more backseat fighting! This feature gives the rear seat of your car a completely separate entertainment system.
Sound enhancement: If you’re an incurable gearhead who needs to actually hear your car revving up, you’ll love this feature. It simulates the performance experience of your vehicle, even in a car that is built to be quiet, so you can listen to your engine roar itself to life.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay: Leave your phone in the cup holder and avoid dangerous distraction with these features. Both will sync your smartphone’s interface with your car’s infotainment system so you can use the car’s screen for controlling your phone and keep your eyes on the road.
Features you can skip
Bigger wheels and thinner tires: The look might appeal, but the ride will be less comfortable. Plus, your wheels will be more prone to damage from potholes and other obstructions on the road.
Built-in navigation systems: Please don’t pay extra for a navigation system when you know you’re going to use Waze or Google Maps most of the time anyway. Also, most built-in navigation systems require constant and tedious updates.
Lane keeping assist: This feature automatically steers or brakes your car when your vehicle crosses lane markings without turning on a blinker. It sounds tempting, but in real life, it’s more annoyance than convenience. Often, you’ll need to suddenly cross a lane marker for good reason, like moving over for an emergency vehicle or for a cyclist on the shoulder of the road. Plus, according to Consumer Reports, there is no data that proves this feature has any safety benefits for the driver.
[Before you start shopping, call, click, or stop by Advantage One to hear all about our auto loans! We’d love to help you get behind your new set of wheels!]
Did you buy a new car recently? Tell us about the features you chose and why they made it to your list.