Outraged by high gas prices? There are 6 apps for that

“The average price for a gallon of gas is again approaching $4 [in the U.S.],” Candice Choi reports for The Associated Press. “But this time, drivers can cope by using their smartphones.”

“These apps will be particularly useful in the months ahead, when gas prices are expected to climb higher as summer vacations start,” Choi reports. “The national average price for a gallon of gas is $3.84. That’s up 29 cents from a month ago and nearly a dollar from a year ago. The average price has already passed $4 a gallon in a handful of states and several others are on the brink of joining the list.”

Choi reports, “The steady increases recall the summer of 2008, when prices reached $4.11 per gallon before the economy sank further into recession.”

To keep fuel costs in check this summer, here are five free apps for the road:

• AAA TripTik Mobile: (free; iPhone-only) TripTik lets users search for local gas prices and sort results by distance. Search preferences can also be set to scan prices for a particular grade of gas. AAA says it refreshes prices seven times a day, but not every listing is updated each time. The app tracks prices at more than 130,000 gas stations.
• GasBuddy: (free) GasBuddy relies on its 5 million users to post gas prices in their area.
• Gas Cubby: (free; iPhone-only) Tips users off to possible problems with a vehicle by analyzing its fuel economy.
• MapQuest 4 Mobile: (free) Another way to save on gas is to avoid sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The MapQuest app helps drivers do just that by giving them the option to see traffic conditions on their planned routes.
• Route4me: (free; iPhone -only) Specializes in mapping out routes for multiple stops; map out a game plan so you don’t waste gas zigzagging across town.
• Waze: (free) Collects traffic information through its users.

MacDailyNews Take: Of the gas apps highlighted by The Associated Press, fully half of them are iPhone-only. The next time someone tells you Android has the same apps as iPhone, they’ll be wrong then, too. And, even when Android has the “same” apps, they’re usually much uglier and very often buggier, with fewer features than their iOS counterparts.

42 Comments

  1. Just live closer to work. Or take the train or ride a bike. Between gas, parking, traffic, repairs, and all the rest, having a car very often just isn’t worth it, at least if you’re anywhere near a city. And for the few times city dwellers do need a car, Zipcar is a great app for that.

    1. ‘Just’ eh? House prices in the city are higher than the ‘burbs – a vehicle is essential if you carry tools etc.
      Ride a bike. Not if you live 25 miles from where you work.

      Most of the jobs are a long way from where we live – thats how it is in a world that was built for cars.

      Train? Most lines were closed down in North America and even in Europe, lines were closed because cars were cheaper.

      1. For sure, there are people for whom there is no choice but car to get to work. However, they are in a very small minority.

        Vast majority of urban (and suburban) population in the developed world has reasonably convenient access to mass transit. So, it is just the matter of choice. In America, huge numbers of people just prefer the perceived convenience of driving to work in their own car, even it if means spending more time during the commute, and not being able to do anything else while driving (as opposed to reading, sleeping or enjoying entertainment on that commuter train). Driving one’s own car gives the ultimate perception of completely controlling one’s commute. In practically all big cities of America, it takes longer to drive into the city to work than to ride a suburban train (or bus, or subway).

        It might surprise you, but train lines in North America (and also in Europe) are still very much alive and working. Commuter railway networks, underground (subway) trains and commuter buses are actually quite well developed and continue to grow.

    2. I agree with Derek, the answer of “Just… do this” is so easy to say, like the solution can easily apply to everyone in the world… If you’re gonna go the route of “Just…”, then why not, “Just be rich so that you don’t care about the cost of anything!”, or maybe, “Just convert your car to run on tap water so that it’s cheaper to fill up.” or how about, “Just invent a teleporter so that you don’t have to drive.”

      How about instead of “Just…”, try, “If you can…”

      1. How about, “try and see if you can”? I can settle for that. Obviously, it’s easier some places than others, but so far most people haven’t even thought to try. They just whine some more about gas prices, and then keep right on paying!

    3. Just what Maobama wants you to do Fredo. How about open up the US oil exploration capabilities??? How about stop over taxing everyone. How about making government much smaller and getting rid of all of the union waste. How about growing a brain. Democrats hate all of us and just want more power. Wake up.

      1. How much do they pay YOU to shill for Big Oil? The FACT is that domestic oil production policy is utterly irrelevant to gas prices, because US doesn’t have nearly enough oil to affect global supply/demand no matter how fast you pump it. You can scream “drill baby drill” ’till you’re blue in the face, but it won’t make a hair of difference in prices at the pump… Only difference is you might pay $4 a gallon to Exxon or BP instead of the Saudis. Sure, that might not be a bad thing, but whether it’s “Maobama” or Dick Cheney running the show, I’ll keep encouraging people less ignorant than yourself to look to the real solution, which is finding, choosing and developing real alternatives to forking over more and more of our checks for gas (and parking, and ever-wider highways that never seem to solve the traffic…)

        1. Fredo you really are pathetic. Just the threat of opening up the US oil production causes prices to go down. Obamanidadjad wants high gas prices and wants to control us all, steal our private property, rights, destroy the US and more. You liberals are nuts!

          1. That’s actually quite incorrect. It never did, and it never will. The oil prices are not driven by clueless amateur nickel-and-dime investors. Opening any space up for drilling today would mean getting first usable and meaningful barrel of oil in 2023. New drilling possibilities today are completely irrelevant to the oil prices of today. War in Iraq is, though, as is the unrest in Yemen, Syria, Libya and the rest of the Arab world.

      2. Too many modern conservatives live in a fantasy world – just reduce taxes and everything will be fine.

        As Bush showed, when you increasing deficit spending year after year, it is not a problem of over taxing. It is a problem of overspending. In Bush’s case a lot of the blame goes to a massive increase in defense spending. Unless taxes are truly burdensome, tax cuts will not magically produce substantially more revenue. If you are a fiscal conservative with some intelligence, then consider the adverse implications of tax cut and spend as demonstrated by history. If you believe in a balanced budget (as I do), then it requires a balanced approach of taxation and spending. Get over your fantasies before it is too late.

      3. You’re drinking some serious neo-con Kool Aid if you think the conservatives and republicans are any different. I’d bet you don’t make enough money to qualify as a real republican. Both sides are fscked and you don’t have a brain if you can’t see it. ‘Nuff said…

  2. used gasbuddy and gasbag for years.

    only problem is, people are too lazy to update prices, and when they do… regular only. no other grade, and have never seen diesel prices.

    I just know that there are 3-4 stations that i head to and pass the rest. although.. if i drive 30 miles away… i can save .30 a gallon… state taxes are through the roof here.

    1. Reminds me of a story a friend told me that some guy would drive over the state border to buy cheaper gas. However in doing so he used a couple of gallons of gas to get there and back.
      In your example you drive 60 miles to fill up you tank. Let’s assume your tank is 20 gallons and you save 6 bucks to fill it up. Also assume your vehicle does 20 MPG. Therefore you have used 12 bucks of gas to save 6 bucks.

      These apps are good if you’re passing though. Would be neat if they bring up a notice on your iPhone as you’re driving that a cheap gas station is nearby.

      1. Well, one can infer based on his post that he is using diesel fuel. If so, I can guarantee he is getting better than 20 mpg. He’ll, my turbocharged sport compact gets 28/35.

        Diesels usually get between 40-45.. At 40, he’d be breaking even… anything above that is a win.

        1. So, if he’s driving a diesel truck he’s losing like doggonetoo states, if he’s driving a VW TDI then he’s breaking even. But, since he didn’t factor in the value of his time, unless it’s zero, then it’s a money-losing strategy.

      2. except i take the truck and get 80 gallons…. and get groceries (oh yeah… no tax on food vs 8% tax on food)

        I live 12 miles from the border, the border town has gas .20 cheaper, if i drive into the major city… then its 30 miles.
        We get gas for multiple vehicles, ATV/Bike/etc.

        So doing the math, i spend 8.88 in gas going back and forth. i save at least $25 from my states prices.. and then there is the groceries. not to mention the state sales tax being cheaper on everything else..

        1. So basically it’s a red herring that you’re traveling to get cheaper fuel. In reality, you traveling for a variety of reasons. Getting cheaper fuel of itself is pretty much not worth it. I have no doubt your $25 saving is a liberal guess and is at best a best case scenario. You’re also probably not putting fuel in all your vehicles every time.

          EVEN IF you’re that rare case where it does actually work out consistently considerably cheaper, you have extenuating circumstances which don’t apply to most people. So your friend who drives the Ford Bronco hears you spouting off how you save hundreds of dollars per money probably wouldn’t. Making local gas prices STILL cheaper for him.

  3. Or… you can give the middle finger to oil like I did. Get a diesel, do a SIMPLE conversion to run on veg oil, and voila. No more big oil. Been doing this for 4 years and never looked back. Even did a 2200KM trip two summers ago and saved big $$$ when gas was $1.50/litre. We have options.

    1. I just give the middle finger to Obama and his inept, unqualified, incompetent ability to be a CEO of a country. But the man has never worked a day in his life outside of Academia and Politics so what would one expect I guess. Economy… in the crapper! Energy… in the crapper! Foreign Policy… in the crapper and so on. He’s a great “Sales Associate” whining to his base as a Community Organizer but other than that, the man makes Sarah Palin a genius!

      1. Yeah, because the current oil prices are not the fault of world supply and demand, rich Republican oil speculators, or the rich Republican Oil Barons. The current oil prices are the sole fault of the current President of the US of A who’s never done a lick of work; is dumb as a rock; makes Sarah Palin a genius; and somehow in spite of all that has the power to drive the oil prices up a whole dollar!

        1. Still blaming the Republicans… can’t you guys come up with a new reason. I remember when gas was up $4 bucks a gallon, and remember what John Kerry said he would do during the campaign of 2004? He said he’d go over there to Saudi Arabia and he’d “jawbone” those guys. He’d go over there and he’d give ’em what-for! He would go over there and he’d give ’em holy hell! In fact, he almost accused Bush of having a sweetheart deal with the Saudis to keep the price up — or down, or whatever it was — to benefit Bush. Oh yeah! But now, now it is said, “Eh, there’s nothing a president can do”. Where are the Democrat politicians that couldn’t wait to find a camera, especially Schummer of NY, where they ran out especially in front of gas station price signs so they can complain of the high gas prices? Where are they now?! Obama and his posse say drill baby drill will take 15 years to do anything. As opposed to wind and solar? Unproven technology, that will take just as long if not longer. How’s that $40,000 Chevy Volt doing? Who here is running out to buy a car that is electric for only 40 miles and then depends on a, you guessed it, gasoline engine and fossil fuels! So you still need drilling for oil to be refined as gas for that car on top of the energy from the electrical plant, that probably burns coal, to charge the other half of that damned car. Now I see why people voted for the man because Obama’s brilliance shinned so much it blinded people to the truth and the majority of American’s, majority of whom can produce their birth certificate (that’ll get ’em), were beguiled into voting for this man.

      2. Wow, shortest memory ever. The economy and foreign policy went WAY into the crapper on George Bush’s watch. Remember? Back then? Two wars costing $3 trillion? Virtually unregulated banking system? Remember? Look it up. You know, read something instead of watching Fux News.

        1. Gas prices went down after Bush opened up the ability to explore for oil in the US. Maobama is on record saying he wants gas prices at $7 per gallon. The guy is out to destroy the US and you drones follow happily along like the brain dead idiots that you are.

        1. Well said, tigerleopard. I, for one, am mightily, mightily sick of puerile name calling: Obamadinijad and Maobama, for example. C’mon, folks, let’s talk about interesting matters such as OpenCL, GPU computing, flexible OLED displays, and LTE. Oh, sorry … I forgot: that would require a bit of knowledge, maybe a bit of research, and not merely hot-headed opinion.

        2. I wish I could “take it some place else” but see those brain dead dumbf*cks on the left like to spoil the concerts I pay good money to see by issuing their rants and for once, I’d like the ability to watch the Oscars without some Sally Field or Angelina Jolie bitch bemoaning the policies they don’t agree with of the other party. Especially coming from somebody who’s job it is, that they have to be told what to say and where to stand and what to do! Yes, it’d be nice if we stick to Macs and not have to worry about Apple spending money on Same Sex Marriage Propositions that fail or actors and singers that I’d wish would shut up and act or sing! Hear that Dixie Chics? Hear that Sally Fields? Hear that Robert Dinero… Rosie O’Donnel? Lady Gaga? Hear that Sir Paulie who has one hell of a nerve to comment about libraries and education over Bush. What degree do you have Sir Paulie that was earned and not Honorary?!… And after your snide comment on Bush you ef’n prick have the audacity to tell us Americans to lay off Obama and give him a break?! FU slimy Brit! (I’m allowed to comment, mom & her side of the family from England).

          Yeah it’d be a nicer place if all would shut up and take their political garbage someplace else. Hey, maybe next time you hear some snide political statement made at the Oscars or a concert, you’d show your concern there as well, okay…

  4. I gotta laugh when I see gas prices described as “high”. We are just now coming out of one of the steepest economic downturns in years. Gas is a bargain. In five years we will fondly recall the days of $4 gas. Millions of newly enriched people in places like China will be getting their share – but nothing compared to what the US has burned up — and prices will head only one direction. The grandchildren of people will someday ask, “Grandpa, what was gasoline?” Enjoy it while it lasts.

  5. I was sitting in a coffee shop Friday afternoon and overheard two women talking. One of them said she had cancelled her weekend plans because of the cost of gas. I asked where she was supposed to go – Traverse City MI, about 500 miles roundtrip. I asked what kind of gas mileage she got in her car – about 25 MPG. I pointed out to her that the trip would burn roughly 20 gallons of gas, gas prices are currently $4/gallon in MI, the trip should have cost her $80 in fuel. Gas prices are roughly $1/gallon more this year than last year, so last year that trip would have cost her $60. I asked if she cancelled her trip because of an extra $20 for fuel, and she said she thought it would have been more than $20 extra to drive there and back.

    That’s the problem with the Media these days. They create hysteria, and the sheep that listen to them don’t think for themselves anymore.

    1. The average car uses 600 gallons a year, that’s 12,000 miles divided by 20mpg. If gas goes up a buck, that’s $600. For some that’s alot, for some you try to compensate. Twice a week, instead of getting a newspaper, a donut and a coffee, you skip it. That sort of thing.

    2. I bet that is how Obama looks at things… Forgetting the fact that each work week costs more to fill up car to make the same paycheck. Each outing to the kids sporting event or dance recital costs a little more to fill up. Each trip to the grocery store or clothing store costs a little more to get there and to purchase because those products just didn’t get up and walk here themselves… Hate to burst your simplistic bubble point of view at looking at things, but you needed a little more enlightenment… They couldn’t afford that extra $20 to drive there and back for their weekend plans because they had already spent that $20 and then some ever before reaching that trip.

  6. WHAT COUND YOURSELF LUCKY AT THOSE CHEAP PRICES!!!

    The national average price for a gallon of gas is $3.84 in the USA, its £1.40 a litre here in the uk thats $2.30 a litres at current exchange rates!!!

    Which is about $10.35 a gallon here

  7. I went to get the AAA Trip app you mention, but the reviews on iTunes are pretty bad. So I got Gasbuddy, and drove past the two nearest stations. Exact price at both, however the Valero station that was $0.08 cheaper than the Shell was for “Cash” not ATM or credit card. I like that it gives the time of the price listed.

  8. Ha!
    in the Netherlands gas is doing 1.60€ per litre (and for you not using sensible measures, that works out to be 8.8$ per gallon) – most of it is taxes. Our economy is doing just fine, we have one of the lowest unemployment ratios in the world. And we have good public transportation to boot!
    What was that about taxes being bad for the economy? I’d say think again, but right-wingers would have to have thought at all first…

  9. I find most of the comments here pathetic! You have some of the worlds cheapest gas prices and you moan!

    In most of Europe we pay around 9-10$/gal so stop please!

    Wait until more oilproducers are trading in oil in € (it’s already happening) or China declare USA bankrupt. Doesn’t matter whether Obama or a tea drinker is in power.

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