Part 4 in a series on Essential Road Trip apps.
In yesterday's installment of Essential Road Trip apps I recommended the eponymous Road Trip as my favorite fuel-economy tracking app. Today's installment helps you find the fuel that you're tracking.
Nothing's worse that filling up your tank only to drive a mile or two down the road to find a station selling gas 20+ cents cheaper per gallon. This can be quite common, especially in bordering states. In New Jersey for example, gas can cost as much as 20 cents cheaper per gallon than just over the bridge in Philadelphia.
Gas Buddy (free, App Store) is an indispensable iOS app that I check before every fill up. It helps me squeeze the most petroleum out of every dollar and is an essential member of the "Auto" apps folder that lives on my iPhone.
The app is super easy to use: just launch Gas Buddy and touch Find Gas Near Me. From there you can view the results sorted by distance, or price (pictured). Touching a specific station brings up more information (as you'd expect) including a station map and directions that can come in handy if you're lost.
My favorite Gas Buddy feature is the ability to report gas prices. I guess that it's like reporting speed traps in Trapster, there's a fun and social aspect to contributing to the Gas Buddy community. Plus, if you register on GasBuddy.com you can earn points towards prizes for reporting gas prices.
Unfortunately, the current iOS app (v1.0.7) doesn't support reporting prices in both cash and credit, but you can work around this by noting the credit premium in the notes field. No word on if/when that's going to be fixed. Gas Buddy has mentioned some other upcoming features, including favorite stations and filtering stations by distance, brand and time reported.
Avoid overpaying for gas by checking Gas Buddy before you fill up.
To recap, my Essential Road Trip apps are: