Mobile phone apps are a way of life for many of us. And unsurprisingly there are loads out there aimed specifically at drivers. Some are better than others so we’ve chosen 10 that we think are among the best.
All the ones we’ve picked are available for either iPhone iOS or Google Android operating platforms. And all are free. That said, some do have upgrade options that you can pay for if you choose.
Do remember that it’s illegal to hold your mobile phone while you’re driving. You must control it via a Bluetooth headset or voice command, or while it’s safely located in a dashboard or windscreen mount. But we’d advise drivers to program destinations into navigation apps before they set off.
10 Great mobile phone apps
You can buy a sat nav device for your car, or you can use one of the mobile phone apps such as Waze. The beauty of this is that – apart from being free – it constantly updates journey disruptions such as traffic jams, potholes and speed cameras. Bear in mind its routes can be a bit fiddly sometimes as it defaults to back roads around busy towns to avoid jams.
HERE We go
Another free navigation aid is HERE We go. It offers a choice of routes with estimated times depending on current traffic conditions. And it’s got brilliantly clear symbols and instructions that make it super user friendly.
This app also has a very clear interface. It’s perfect for finding parking places in unfamiliar towns and shows how much you’re likely to pay in different locations.
This app scores over rivals as it enables you to book parking on other people’s driveways or rent out your own land to others. It’s a way of parking in big cities that frequently proves cheaper than ‘official’ car parks.
If you want a dashboard-mounted camera without forking out for one, this app lets you use your phone. You can set the timing loop, how much memory it uses, whether you record in mph or kph and the resolution of the images. All you have to do is mount it in a safe place where the camera has a clear view out.
Find My Parked Car
This shows you clearly on a bird’s eye-view map where you’ve parked. There’s a function that will guide you back to your car. You can also programme alerts to remind you when your parking ticket runs out. And unlike with some of the pay for parking apps, this service is free.
Fuel is one of the inescapable expenses of motoring but buy wisely and over a year you can save yourself a lot of money. Petrol Prices is an app that tells you how much you’ll pay for fuel. You can search on the type of fuel, the brand and by either price or distance. It’s not perfect but you can still use it to save yourself some money.
This good-looking and functional app lets you see what the weather’s doing where you are, where you’re going to and along your route. Particularly in the winter it’s a simple way of preparing properly for your trip.
A lot of cars have trip computers nowadays but how accurate are they? In our experience they’re not always totally truthful. This app puts that right. You input the mileage from your car’s odometer, then every time you fill up you update it with the new mileage reading, how many litres you’ve put in and the cost. The app shows exactly how many mpg you’re getting and how much you’re spending on fuel.
If you get to an unfamiliar town and need to find somewhere to eat or similar, Around Me will tell you exactly that. It shows everything from coffee bars to cinemas, restaurants to supermarkets and fuel stations.