These five apps can save you money on the road
Getting behind the wheel doesn’t come cheap. There’s gas, insurance, parking, maintenance, tolls and tickets, and of course the A-word: The dreaded accident. But there are ways to keep the cost of driving in check. Thanks to modern technology, the money stays in your pocket with the click of a few buttons in your palm.
Download these apps, reduce stress and start saving money and time every time you get in the driver’s seat. Of course, we don’t really need to remind you not to use your phone while driving, do we?
Time is money, so why waste it idling in traffic? If you’re still using Apple Maps, Google Maps, or — heaven forbid — MapQuest, it might be time to consider an upgrade to something more modern. At its core, Waze is GPS-based a traffic app that gets you to your destination using the quickest and most direct route. The data is crowd-sourced by fellow motorists also using the app, so things like speed traps, construction, accidents and other disruptions are collected and updated instantly. If you want to contribute new info to the app, however, you’ll need to wait until you’re pulled over — Waze blocks users from typing while driving.
Parking can cost a small fortune, especially if you’re in a city and doing the find-a-spot dance on the daily. Honk makes sourcing both affordable and available parking easier than parallel parking. The map interface displays detailed information about each lot or space, including daily rates. Got a parking space of your own to rent? List it on Honk and turn that piece of unused pavement into a lucrative side hustle.
Boston-based GasBuddy brings its cheap fuel sourcing skills to Canada with this gas price tracking app. A map reveals the gas stations within a predetermined radius, along with the cost of petrol at each one. Information from the company’s database — which is extensive, pulling from over 150,000 gas station locations across North America and taking user ratings into consideration — is updated in real-time, ensuring drivers fill up with the most affordable fuel in their area.
Yes, CAA has an annual fee, but use a tow and the membership will have more than paid for itself. The app allows access to all of the same services as if you were placing a phone call — tows, dead batteries, empty gas tanks — but also has a service tracker, so you can see when a truck has been dispatched and is en route. There’s also a built-in map that shows all of the CAA’s over 100,000 partners within your area. Use the card to the max and save on everything from ice cream to gas and hotel stays.
Getting a ticket can ruin your day and your budget. Avoid distracted driving tickets by curbing temptation to check your phone with an app that locks the device when in motion. Earlier this year, a Vancouver Island man got out of a distracted driving ticket after the courts ruled that an app, like eBrake — which he had installed on his phone — had locked his device rendering it unusable while driving. He may have been holding the phone, as the officer reported, but the judge decided that the app meant he couldn’t have been actually using it.