Remember that it is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving, so be sure to pull over where it is safe to do so and come to a complete stop before using any smartphone apps.
More and more people are becoming reliant on their smartphones to help them during a huge variety of day to day tasks, from cooking to entertaining their children, exercising and even sleeping better. An area that has come on in leaps and bounds since the technological boom of recent years is the market for motoring apps that help drivers. The market is saturated, with tons of great apps and even more not-so-great apps available. So how do you choose which ones you need? Well, we can help. We’ve compiled a list of five motoring apps that every driver should have on their smartphone. You can thank us later.
P.A.N.I.C (Free on iPhone, Android and Blackberry)
This safety app takes you step-by-step what to do if you have a car accident, including first aid advice. This nifty app gives you your grid reference via GPS so you can tell the emergency services exactly where you are. The PANIC app also contains a place for you to store in case of emergency details as well as handy details such as when your MOT and car tax is due.
My Cars (Free on Android)
If you want to keep track of how much your car is costing you then My Cars can help. The app lets you track your expenses, with other useful tools like a maintenance recorder and fuel logger to help you work out how much petrol your car is using. You can also manage the cost of parking and insurance through the app if you choose, and set up reminders to notify you when services or MOTs are necessary. The easy-to-use interface has been very well received with a 4.5 star rating on the Google Play store, so it’s well worth a look.
Google Maps (Free on iPhone and Android)
If you don’t want to fork out tons of money on a satnav then downloading the Google Maps app is a great alternative. The app comes as standard on Android phones and used to be standard on iPhones, although now iPhone users have to download the free app from the App Store. It features voice-guided navigation that runs alongside comprehensive, accurate maps available for over 220 countries.
The app also includes live traffic conditions and incident reports and will re-plan your route automatically to find a quicker way where possible. No more getting stuck in pointless traffic, now you can get to your destination quickly and easily. Make sure you start the navigation before setting off and do not adjust Google Maps while you are driving.
AA Parking (iPhone £2.29, Android £1.99)
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination and not being able to park. Thankfully, the AA Parking app is on hand to help make sure this doesn’t happen. It includes detailed information on all of the free and paid car parks in the UK and Ireland, and integrates with Google Maps to direct you to the car park of your choice. Not only can the app tell you how to get to the car park, it can tell you how much your ticket will cost and offer real-time availability information so you don’t waste time driving to a car park that’s already full.
It’s easy to see how this app has become so popular, being voted amongst the top 500 apps in the world by the Sunday Times and nominated for the Best Innovation in the Automotive Sector at the GSMA Global Mobile Awards.
Waze (Free on iPhone and Android)
Waze describes itself as being “all about contributing to the ‘common good’ out there on the road”, which is a great sign for drivers. It is based around being a community-based traffic app that allows people to share real-time information on traffic to those around them. Only use these features if you are a passenger, as it’s illegal to use your phone while driving. The idea is that this then improves everyone’s journeys by reducing travelling time and saving money on fuel.
The app also features step-by-step voice navigation so that you can follow the directions whilst you drive. Super useful, and free. What’s not to like?
Do you have a favourite motoring app? We’d love to hear about it!