Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Excellent App for Traveling around town or across states!

I went on a very lengthy trip this weekend from Kent to St. Louis and back. When I got my first smartphone two months ago, I added some random free apps, one of which was called Gas Buddy. I liked the idea that I could check the gas prices around me with a couple of taps on my phone. The app is simple to use and and quick to install, it works wonderfully on my HTC EVO. It uses the GPS on your phone to access the data they have stored for your general location and gives you the prices of gas at gas stations local to you. You can search by location or price. It was very helpful on the trip as neither of us had made the trip before. We had no idea where to find the best gas prices and we were able to quickly access the prices and plan our stops according to what was cheap. You can go to the map and scroll further along your route to see what prices lie ahead of you. It worked beautifully across four states and impressed others enough that we got calls to find out the cheapest gas prices as we were leaving to head home.

In addition to the phone app, Gas Buddy has an interactive website that links you to a local website for your area and facebook page. The facebook page contains a lot of interesting information on how gas prices are determined and the various market areas in the U.S. The website contains fuel saving tips, runs contests to win free gas, and has a function that will help you log your trips to determine the gas mileage of your individual vehicle. The local website has a scroll at the top of the average gas prices in your area, how they are changing, the averages for the state and their status, and national averages. The data is gathered by individuals reporting prices and both the app and the website have easily accessed points where you can do this. I waited excitedly on our trip to find a place where Gas Buddy was incorrect and I could report a price, but alas, Gas Buddy was never wrong!

From the company facebook page:
Our mission is to serve motorists by providing a real time gas prices forum so that consumers can have access to the information necessary to locate the lowest fuel prices available. By working together as a community everyone will save money at the pumps. was developed as an initiative to provide the general public with access to local current gas prices. This is an entirely free service that depends on users to input gas prices on a daily basis to keep the database of prices up to date. Since the price of gas is often extremely volatile, posted gas prices may vary as much as 20% within only a few blocks of each other. By having access to the most recent prices at consumers now are able to locate the most inexpensive fuel price in the city and fill up on a budget.
 Be sure to check for this app, or join the website if you are without a smartphone. Considering the price of gas these days, no one should be without a way to locate the best prices in their area!

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