15 Must-Have Smartphone Apps for the Savvy Driver
There’s an app for everything—including ones to make auto-related tasks easier for you! From saving money on gas and vehicle repairs to finding the cheapest parking spot, here are some of the best car apps to make you a smarter and safer driver. But before you take off on a new adventure, remember, you shouldn’t actively use these apps while you’re on the road! Distracted driving is dangerous and in many states, cell phone use while driving is illegal. So, hand your phone off to a passenger or plug in your destination before you get going.
Safe Driving Apps
As mentioned above, distracted driving puts everyone on the road in danger. Thankfully, there are apps designed to stop texting and driving and keep us safe.
Push notifications are tempting. After all, it’s totally normal to want to read what your friends have to say. However, checking them while driving can be a serious hazard. LifeSaver starts working when you begin driving, and it shows a lock screen if you try to check your notifications. If you’re expecting an important phone call, don’t worry. You can still take it hands-free.
Drivemode & Drivemode Dash
Android’s Drivemode gives drivers a simple and safe way to manage calls and text messages while behind the wheel. A streamlined interface, voice commands, and large buttons allow people to keep their eyes on the road. The app also integrates with navigation apps (like Waze or Google Maps) and music apps (like Spotify). Drivemode Dash is the iOS-friendly version of this wonderful app, and it boasts many of the same features.
Apps to Save on Gas and Parking
Unless you know where to park or fill up, gas and parking expenditures can really hurt your wallet. Download these apps to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Instead of driving around town to find the lowest gas price (and wasting gas while you search), download GasBuddy to find the lowest price per gallon near you! GasBuddy posts prices in your area, broken down by fuel type, so you can choose the closest, cheapest option. After you select your preferred gas station, GasBuddy will even give you driving directions to get there.
Interested in saving even more? GasBuddy offers a free gas card that allows you to earn “GasBack.” That’s right, you can earn gas money just by making everyday purchases at stores around town.
If you own an electric vehicle, PlugShare is a must-download app. With it, you can locate nearby charging stations as you search what the creators boast is “the most accurate and complete public charging map worldwide.” The app allows drivers to add stations as they pop up, so each day, the map continues to grow.
If you live in a dense city center, you know how difficult it can be to find cheap parking (or any parking spot at all). BestParking shows you where the cheapest and most convenient parking garages and lots are in the area of your choice. You can compare prices on an interactive map and in the words of the developers, “book the best spaces and save up to 50%” on parking.
Car Maintenance Apps
From oil changes and tire rotations to more in-depth service, keeping track of your car’s maintenance schedule can be overwhelming. Here are a few apps to help you stay on top of everything.
CARFAX Car Care
If you’ve ever bought a used car, there’s a good chance you relied on CARFAX for a vehicle history report. With the CARFAX Car Care app, the company claims you’ll have “everything you need to maintain your car and preserve its value in one convenient place.” Just open the app, and you can view your vehicle’s service history, get service reminders, find out about any recalls, locate reliable service shops, and more.
Even if you take care of your vehicle, cars eventually break down or need service. YourMechanic makes repair and maintenance less stressful with its mobile app. You can instantly compare car repair quotes from mechanics in your area to get the best price. If you’re only in need of minor service, you can have an expert show up at your home, office, or current location to diagnose and solve the problem.
Getting to your destination can be challenging, especially if traffic and construction are involved. Try these navigation apps to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible.
Waze has pretty much become a do-it-all app for drivers everywhere. Not only does it offer directions to get you to your destination, but it also relies on real-time feedback from users to identify traffic, accidents, and road hazards, all to help its users reach their destinations as quickly as possible. In addition to its directional features, Waze also helps users find cheaper gas prices and dodge speeding tickets by allowing users to report a police presence.
If you’re searching for a restaurant or business or looking for directions, Google Maps can help. The app features detailed mapping of more than 220 countries and territories, and it has hundreds of millions of businesses, dining options, and points of interest plotted out around the globe. You can get real-time traffic info and find the latest info about your favorite businesses and restaurants with a simple search.
Car Insurance Apps
Car insurance can get confusing, but the right apps can simplify everything and potentially help you save money.
Direct Auto Mobile App
Direct Auto customers can remove many of the hassles associated with car insurance so they can keep driving and focus on their next adventure. By downloading the Direct Auto Mobile App, Direct Auto allows you to:
- Go paperless
- E-sign policy documents
- Access digital copies of your ID cards
- Make payments more conveniently
- Renew or reinstate your policy
- Receive important notifications
- File a claim
If you’re looking for an easy insurance experience like this, give us a call, visit us online, or stop by one of our stores for a free quote.
DynamicDrive & Routely
Direct Auto customers can save up to 10% immediately when they enroll in the DynamicDrive program* and download the Routely app to share insights about their driving behavior. The app monitors behind-the-wheel behavior, and by driving safely throughout the year, you could save even more at policy renewal.
Apps for People Who Drive for Work
While many people commute to work, some people actually drive their vehicles on the job. Here’s a great suggestion if driving is a part of your workday.
If you drive your personal car for work, you might be accustomed to tracking your miles for reimbursement. MileIQ streamlines the process by automatically tracking your miles. The app logs all your drives and allows you to quickly categorize them as “business” or “personal.” When it’s time to submit your mileage, you can generate a simple report to show your driving history. Getting reimbursed has never been so easy!
Apps to Make Money with Your Car
Pretty much everyone is aware of Uber and Lyft, but there are other ways and apps that can help you can make money with your car. Just make sure your auto policy covers this type of work before you get started.
If you’re already driving, you might as well make some money while you’re at it, right? With Carvertise, you can earn extra income by pairing up with a company and putting a temporary advertising wrap on your car. Carvertise works with a bunch of different companies, so you might be able to match with your favorite sports team or restaurant. The Carvertise mobile app allows you to manage things more conveniently.
Looking for a few extra dollars? Try delivering with Favor. This popular app allows people to get deliveries from their favorite restaurants or quick errands run for them. Forget one thing at the store? Favor can save the day. As a driver, you’ll have the chance to earn extra cash. The more you drive and deliver, the more you’ll earn.
If you enjoyed these app recommendations, be sure to check our best road trip app suggestions ahead of your next vacation. And, if you’re trying to buy a car, be sure to check out the best used car websites for shopping.
*DynamicDrive participation is optional. Insurance discount is not available in every state. Subject to terms, conditions, and availability. Smartphone, application download, and activation of DynamicDrive required. Savings, if any, based on driving behavior and may vary by state. Routely is a separate application that provides data analytics.