Apps for the Best DPG (Dollar Per Gallon)
I’ve written about apps that help keep the MPG down and offer greener alternatives to fuel consumption, albeit from an environmental standpoint. Let’s face it though: gas prices are through the roof, and they’re only getting worse. So, it’s time to get eco-friendly — economically friendly that is. Even if you can’t spare your gas consumption and you can’t help your mileage, there are apps that can help you maximize your dollar. Here are some of the best tools, and best of all, they’re all free:
GasBuddy: This app is based on gasbuddy.com and works with both iPhones and Androids, so feel free to spread the news around to friends in both communities. It boasts one-click functionality that lets you see all the gas stations around you and what their current gas prices are. It is based on its users updating the prices as they encounter them, so for every price that you report, you’re entered to win prizes and giveaways, including a once-a-week gift card for $250 worth of gas (talk about saving!). Users have given the GasBuddy app 3 out of 5 stars, stating that it still has some bugs that need to be fixed and people need to realize that price reports are based basically on word-of-mouth so it may not be 100% accurate all the time (there is no price database that can be drawn from other than consumer knowledge). However, people also find it to be surprisingly accurate, interactive, and a great tool for finding places where you can get the gas you prefer (e.g. ethanol-free) at a price you prefer too.
Cheap Gas!: This app also works for iPhone and Android and provides gasbuddy.com information, so how does it differ from GasBuddy itself? Well, Cheap Gas! also enables you to map a route to the cheapest gas nearby and provides interesting options like an Augmented Reality view. There’s a range of ways to locate the best gas stations and views when finding them, but again relies on users’ reports for the most up-to-date pricing. Not surprisingly, considering it’s using another service’s information, Cheap Gas! only has 2.5 stars compared to GasBuddy’s 3, as users cite problems with bugs, functionality, and accuracy, as well as difficulty finding certain gas stations to update, especially the more obscure or local ones. However, users do say that when it works, it is great, and is a fast and easy to way to spot the cheapest places to fuel up.
Where: While this may not be a gas app in the conventional sense, one of Where’s features also links to gasbuddy.com to display the best gas prices around you. However, since this app also enables you to access a plethora of other interesting venues, events, items of interest in your area, deals, and personalized recommendations for where to go and what to do, Where is the perfect app for road trips, travel, or even simple explorations of your own town. The gas tool just further ensures that you will be happy where you’re going, even if it requires you to get gas. Users have given Where 3 out of 5 stars, saying that some of the information is out-of-date and that it could stand to do a little more research in some areas, but also praising it for being an easy, fun way to find something to do (and the new bump feature doesn’t hurt either!).
Bankrate.com: Okay, this technically is not an app (although it really should be), but you can certainly take advantage of it through your built-in web browser. By going to bankrate.com, you have access to a variety of different calculators that will help you make important financial decisions, including that consideration of: will driving the extra miles to a cheaper gas station actually be worth it? Yes it’s true, some gas stations may offer a few cents difference, but you also have to think that it will may take gas to get there. Use this nifty tool to calculate if the distance driven to get a better price will actually translate into savings in the end.