6 Best Apps for Cheap Gas

Pumping Gas
Getty Images/Mongkol Chuewong.

Whether you are a regular car commuter or looking to take a long road trip, if you drive a car, paying for gas is probably a big part of your budget.

These six apps can help lighten the load by providing great discounts as well as other perks. Make cheap gas a priority at every fill-up and save big over the course of a year.

1. Gas Buddy

Itunes Rating: 4.5 stars

Google Play Rating: 4.5 stars

Countries: Australia, Canada, U.S.

Nearly 70 million people use Gas Buddy and it is very highly rated by both iPhone and Android users. Drive a diesel or car that requires premium unleaded? No problem—you can search based on the type of gas you need and then filter your results by brand, location, and price as well as additional features like restrooms, restaurants and car washes. The app can also alert you of daily deals and price hikes at your local stores. Prices are updated in real-time by the community of users.

Gas Buddy also features a pretty sweet loyalty program: you can save 15 cents per gallon on your first time using the aptly named “Pay,” and 5 cents per gallon forever after. For helping the Gas Buddy community by reporting prices, you can become a valued member of the community and earn additional perks.

The app also features road trip guides and station reviews as well as money-saving tips.

2. Waze

Itunes Rating: 5 stars

Google Play Rating: 4.5 stars

Languages: 42

Waze is a community-powered app 90 million strong, but it tells you a lot more than just gas prices. The Israeli-designed app is famous for delivering up to the moment traffic and road updates including alerts of speed traps, ambulances, and accidents ahead without using a ton of your phone’s data.

It can also tell you which routes to take to avoid tolls and exactly when you need to leave to be on time for your events/items in your calendar. If you’re trying to save money on gas, driving at a consistent speed below the speed limit is also a good idea, and Waze lets you set a sound alert if you exceed the speed limit.

3. AAA TripTik Travel Planner

Itunes Rating: 2.5 stars

Google Play Rating: 4 stars

Languages: English, French

Becoming an AAA member is an investment that can save you time, hassle and money if your vehicle breaks down. But did you know that your membership also comes with a great mobile perk?

The AAA TripTik Planner allows you to plan all aspects of your trip, including the best places to stop for gas and the most efficient route. More than 85,000 gas stations throughout the U.S. are featured, including updated fuel prices. You can also access information about charging stations for electric vehicles as well as stores/shops/gas stations and hotels that take AAA member discounts.

4. Gas Guru

Itunes Rating: 4.5 stars

Google Play Rating: 4 stars

Languages: English

Gas Guru is the Yellowpages of gas—quite literally; it’s owned by the same company. The app interface is a bit more streamlined than some of the other apps, and the data are pulled from the Oil Price Information Service, not users, so there is no need to spend time updating prices at stations you use.

You can use the app to see whether it will be cheaper to buy gas near home or work, labeling frequent locations, and can filter your search by fuel type. As an additional perk, you can also see restaurants, repair shops, and ATMs are close by.

5. MapQuest

Itunes Rating: 3 stars

Google Play Rating: 4 stars

Languages: English

When you think of MapQuest, you probably have fond memories of “mapquesting” directions to a place, printing them out, and taking them with you on a road trip.

But MapQuest has undergone a 21st century makeover and has a fresh new look. Not only can you get the same turn-by-turn directions you know and love, but you can also have them read aloud accompanied by satellite imagery and live vector maps. While in years past a wrong-turn would mean mass car confusion and perhaps a few curse words, the MapQuest of today updates and optimizes with real-time traffic updates taken into account.

You can also share your ETA with friends and family, access roadside assistance, make reservations at your favorite restaurants and—most importantly—compare prices at nearby gas stations.

6. Upside

Itunes Rating: 4.5 stars

Google Play Rating: 4 stars

Locations: Washington DC, MD, VA, Long Island NY

If you live near Capitol Hill and need a great app that just assists with finding the best gas prices, look no further than Upside. Participating vendors—over 650 gas stations—provide daily offers through the app, and you will generally save around 25 cents per gallon. You will need to save your receipts and take a photo in the app in order to save money, but you get real cash back through a check or Paypal, as well as discounts on car washes, oil changes, and convenience store purchases.

Other Ways to Save

  • Check your tire pressure regularly. If your tires are under-inflated, it can cost you in efficiency. Cleaning your air filters regularly is also a good idea.
  • Fill up on Wednesday or Thursday before 10 am. Most gas stations will raise their prices Thursday afternoons, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays because people usually go on long road trips on the weekends.
  • Don’t idle. It wastes gas, even if you’re just doing it to warm up your car in the morning.
  • Drive like a grandma. If you drive slowly and safely, especially taking care to accelerate and stop slowly, you can cut your fuel consumption by almost one-third.
  • Use cruise control. A computer is a much better driver than you are and much better at keeping things smooth on the road, which helps keep fuel costs down.
  • Carpool. Sharing rides with a buddy and splitting the fuel costs is good for the planet and for your wallet.
  • Reduce weight. The more things or people you tow in your vehicle, the less fuel-efficient your vehicle will be.
  • Consider switching to a more fuel-efficient or electric vehicle.