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With gas prices cruising towards five bucks a gallon in most parts of the country, Android owners should tap their phones before they tap a tank.
There are many free apps that can help you find cheap gas in your area, identify and avoid traffic jams, and share rides with others via carpools and other forms of public transportation.
Before hitting the road, we recommend you download these handy Android apps.
Gas prices are escalating in real time. Rather than drive around to look for the best deal in your proximity or try to find a feed for officially published prices, take guidance from other drivers like you who report exact prices per gallon right at the point of pump. Like the iPhone version, GasBuddy allows consumers to track gas prices by location, price and type. Anyone who downloads the app is invited to become a member of the GasBuddy.com community. Community members then share location and price information with others who own the app.
As an incentive, users accumulate points for reporting gas prices over time. Each report triggers 100 points. For every thousand points, users enter a contest giving them a shot to win $250 in free gas. That should cover the ride to and from work at least!
Gas Trip is another cheap gas location app that also estimates how much money you’ll have to spend on fuel for the duration of your trip.
High gas prices are not the only thing that can drain money while on the road. Vehicle troubles are costly and time-consuming. Thankfully, AAA has this official Android app that lets users tap one icon to call roadside assistance. The app also lets you register your vehicle and AAA membership, identify repair shops near you and even rent a car from Hertz if you’re really in a pinch.
Another socially-driven (pardon the pun) Android app that can help drivers save time and money on fuel costs is Waze. While not recommended for the individual in the actual driver’s seat, Waze provides real-time traffic updates based on information reported from other users. Monitor traffic jams, speed traps and acts of nature with this app, which is also available on the iPhone.
Trapster is also another handy tool to avoid police speed traps.
Getting lost can be a buzz kill, and also cause an unnecessary expenditure of precious fuel. Google Maps is the most comprehensive mobile navigation system on any platform, and will save you the heavy cost of buying or subscribing to a GPS service. Chart your course and receive traffic and terrain information as well as turn-by-turn navigation instructions.
Grouping together in one vehicle saves on transportation costs and actually may help you get where you’re going more quickly by taking advantage of the carpool lane. Of course, the eternal question remains, “Who’s turn is it to drive?” This free app has a recommendation system that actually suggests who’s turn it is based on driving history and a proprietary scoring system.