You load all manner of apps on your smartphone, from games to budgeting software, but car-related apps can be particularly helpful. Sure, you probably already use Google Maps or another popular GPS app for your in-car navigation, but useful apps for your car go far beyond telling you how to get from point A to point B. Here are five of the best:
Insurance agencies such as StateFarm.com have turned to the app platform to make it easy for mobile users to send in insurance claims. The PocketAgent app allows you to document the entire claim process, as well as submit pictures of any damage. You can also pay your insurance through the app, contact customer service and have a virtual insurance card on hand.
Never Lose Your Car Again
If you don’t have the best memory, it’s a pain to remember where you ended up at in a new city, a parking garage or the endless parking sea around festivals and events. Instead of wandering around in the dead of night, waiting for all of the other cars to leave, the Find My Car Smarter app uses your GPS to point you to the direction of your car. It tells you exactly how far away you are from your vehicle and provides satellite or map images to help you on your way.
Texting and driving is a massive issue, putting drivers at 23 times more risk of getting into a car accident, according to All Things D. It’s also illegal in many states, but it’s hard to resist the temptation all the time. Instead of relying on your own control, take the temptation out of your hands by using DriveScribe, which puts you in a no-texting mode once you start your trip. These apps are particularly useful if you have a teen you’re trying to teach safe driving habits.
Save Money on Gas
GasBuddy – Find Cheap Gas Prices is an app and social network that allows you to report on cheap gas prices and find the lowest prices around. If you find a particularly good gas station, you report its location and prices through the app. The usefulness of GasBuddy does somewhat depend on exactly how many active users you have in your local area, but overall, it’s a solid app that also helps you get to the gas stations. Over time, you’ll find out which stations historically have the best prices, and you can plan your trips around going to those ones.
Road Trip Tunes
There are a lot of music apps, but Spotify has to take the crown when it comes to tunes in the car. You can search new albums, browse other user playlists, create your own playlists and download them to your phone so you don’t have to have a good connection to listen to music in the car. You need to subscribe to Spotify Premium (about $10/month) for mobile playlist use, but the free version offers unlimited radio stations and suggested music.