Motorists who also own smartphones can take advantage of many different apps that are specifically tailored to suit their needs. There are thousands of great motoring apps that are being used every second to help drivers the world over. Here are just a few of the ones we like.
Motorway Walks and Breaks
This iPhone app is great for drivers who want to get off the motorway and explore some of the UK’s sights without searching through a guide book. As well as providing you with information on the attractions that exist within a five-mile radius of most motorway exits, the app also integrates a number of location-specific walking routes that will take you on an enjoyable jaunt to help stretch your legs. There are even lists of pubs and restaurants so that you can grab a bite to eat before you get back to your journey. The app costs £2.99 to download, but it is brimming with content and data that helps justify its premium price.
This app is one of the many location-based search services that help travellers to find local amenities when they are out in an unfamiliar area. For drivers, the most useful feature will be the integrated fuel-price checker, which tells you where local petrol stations can be found and indicates how much you can expect to pay to fill up your car at each. Prices are updated with real-time data so you can be sure of their accuracy and it is a great way to be frugal while on the road. Poynt can be downloaded free of charge for most smartphone operating systems, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS.
Highways Agency Live Traffic Info
Navigating the highways and byways of the UK can be taxing, particularly when your path is blocked by traffic or accidents. Up-to-the-minute travel information can be pulled down from the official Highways Agency service using this iPhone app, letting you see which roads will be affected by road works and closures that are planned ahead of time. You can also get information on incidents and set the app to look for traffic on the routes that you travel most regularly, simplifying your daily commute. This app is free to download and even lets you listen to live traffic updates from various radio stations, although a bold banner at the top reminds you not to use your mobile while you are actually driving.
Auto Trader Mobile
Anyone who owns a car will probably have browsed Auto Trader at some point, either in its original magazine format or in its much more comprehensive online iteration. You can get a free app to bring the entire classified car ads listings over to your smartphone, allowing you to search for specific models and potentially find your next used-car purchase. The use of built-in mapping within the app means you can see the location of the cars for sale relative to your own position, which is a nice touch. You can get this app on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry and if you register an account you can save your favourite finds and your previous searches for later perusal.
This app may bear the BMW branding, but it can be a very useful tool for anyone, regardless of the car you own. It basically acts as a parking reminder that helps you to avoid getting a ticket by alerting you when your time is about to run out. It even uses built-in navigation to estimate how long it will take you to return to where your car is parked and then gives you the best route so that you can walk back to it in plenty of time. This app is free to download if you have an iPhone and it is just a shame that it does not actually help you with the parking process itself!
All of the applications mentioned above are designed to improve our driving experiences. Many people would be lost without being able to use their apps. From searching for the perfect car insurance to finding a place to park, smart phone apps are becoming an essential part of driving.
-Article by Stefan Mustieles