Last week I couldn’t even spell “apoplexy,” but I almost had an apoplectic seizure when I saw the price of gas. In the Gayborhood, the average price per gallon compares with the price of a Happy Hour drink! What’s a budget-conscious boy to do? If you’ve driven around South Florida, you know that fuel prices can change frequently, and may vary by as much as 20% within just a few blocks.
Although there’s little we can do about the price of gas–unless you happen to be on the board of OPEC, in which case, what the hell are you thinking?!?—there are a number of smartphone apps to help you stay informed about the cheapest places to buy gas locally, wherever you happen to be.
Fuel Finder by developer Bottle Rocket promises that consumers will “Save over $300 a year!* (*Savings based upon blah-blah-blah). From what I can tell, Fuel Finder would appear to be the most comprehensive source of gas prices in the US and Canada. Like similar apps, these prices are compiled from reports submitted my millions.
Among its exclusive features are an easy-to read list arranged by three color-coded categories (high, medium, and low), complete information on gas stations, including other services like ATMs, car washes, and food marts, stats on distance, driving directions, and the estimated drive time. Notable, too, are a customized savings calculator that bases its data on your car’s tank size, miles driven per year, and MPG rating, as well as an “assistance” mode that helps you connect with emergency roadside service when you need it most.
Last year, CBS News called Fuel Finder one of the “Best Apps to Save at the Pump.” There’s lots more in terms of features, except for maybe the most important one: finding someone to get out and pump the nasty stuff for you (boyfriends take note). Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Price at the pump: $2.99 (which is still—barely—cheaper than a gallon of gas).
Another gas app for harried motorists-at-the-pump, the GasBuddy.com app locates gas stations that are close by and showing their current gas prices. As its Web site promotes, GasBuddy.com is a community of users who work together to update gas prices in real time. App users are encouraged to report accurate gas price info, and they earn points that are redeemable towards prizes in the site’s give-a-ways. It is not as sexy or slick-looking as Fuel Finder, and has far fewer prices. On the other hand, it’s FREE, and how many other things associated with the price of go-go-juice can that be said of? Available for iPhone, Blackberry, and Android.