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Best Smartphone Car Apps

There are all sorts of ‘downloadables’ designed to make car ownership more fun. Here are some of the best smartphone car apps that you can buy today. 

“There’s an app for everything, don’t you know”, and car ownership is certainly no exception to the rule. Whether they’re designed to make your life easier, or to make driving even more rewarding, there’s a wide range of apps about which car enthusiasts should take note of. In fact, you can even download some of them straight to your car’s head unit infotainment system (if you’ve got the right set-up)!

So, let’s get straight into it. Here are some of the best smartphone car apps that you can download today…

Best Smartphone Car Apps

A classic Porsche driving along a road.

ROADS by Porsche

When out on the road, there’s nothing better than stumbling across a fun route; somewhere where you can safely stretch your car’s legs a bit, or somewhere enveloped by beautiful scenery. Well, the ROADS app by Porsche aims to make it a whole lot easier to find moments like those.

Using AI, ROADS generates route plans for you based on criteria such as speed, elevation change, or “curvy fun”, as the app puts it. On top of that, there’s a social element to the app too – you can share your own favorite journeys, or download those of others. You can even message and see who’s about in your area, if you prefer to drive in a group.

Essentially, ROADS is a global catalogue of perfect road trips, and best of all, you don’t even have to own a Porsche to use it. ROADS by Porsche is compatible with any car that’s equipped with Apple CarPlay, but sadly not Android Auto for the time being.

Interested? Download it for free here.

Waze integrated into a Renault infotainment system.

Waze

You’ll almost certainly have heard of Waze before. Waze is one of the leading smartphone apps for navigation, allowing you to plan your routes around real-time changes in traffic. Plus, if something happens ahead of you while you’re on the road, Waze will clock it, and re-route you through a different path.

There are also neat little features such as the ability to add service station pit-stops into your journey plan, or to hook Waze up to your music streaming account. You might wonder, ‘why don’t I just use Google Maps?’, and to be honest, that’s a fair question. Especially, if Google Maps is already in-built into your car’s infotainment system. Ironically, Waze is actually a subsidiary of Google, so there’s certainly a lot of crossovers in the tech used too. However, when it comes to getting you to your destination quickest, Waze’s no-nonsense approach to re-routing often results in quicker arrival times than Google Maps. That said, as Waze is community-driven, the app will undoubtedly be hamstrung if you’re the only Waze user in the area.

Most of the time though, it’s a great little tool to get you out of traffic or around obstacles, so long as you don’t mind taking some pretty unconventional routes sometimes. OEMs are cottoning on to this too: some marques, like Renault, now offer Waze in-built into their cars’ infotainment.

If your car doesn’t, fear not. Download the smartphone app for free here.

The CARFAX logo and mascot.

CARFAX

If you’re anything like us, you’re constantly scrolling through the classifieds, pondering what your next daily driver or project car might be. However, some cars have more checkered pasts than vendors would have you believe. That’s where CARFAX comes in.

The CARFAX database spans across the USA, Canada, and 20 European countries, and offers you valuable information for when buying a used car. You can use the app to check for odometer fraud, crash reports, or whether the car’s stolen, as well as a whole database of other useful info. So, better to be safe than sorry.

RRP: from 34.99€ (~ $38 / £30). You can download CARFAX as an app in some regions, or you can access the service directly via their website, here.

A man fills up his car, exasperated at the pump price.

GasBuddy

Like pretty much every commodity at the moment, fuel will cost you an arm and a leg if you don’t pick your pump station wisely. Helpfully, GasBuddy takes all the research and guesswork out of it, showing you the prices you can expect at every station you encounter, in real time.

You can search for gas by brand, city, or state, and can even ask the app for a cost estimate for your journey, before you set off.

As an added bonus, GasBuddy will not only help you choose the cheapest stations, but will also give you further cash off if you pay with the GasBuddy gas card, which is free to sign up for. Simply link it to your bank account, and cents will automatically be shaved off the cost of filling your tank.

For now, GasBuddy is restricted to the USA and Canada, but if you live in either of those two countries, it’s a great way to save some cash every time you get behind the wheel.

Interested? Download the app here.

The FIXD smartphone app and OBD2 scanner

FIXD

If you love driving, chances are you’ll make your car work hard from time to time. So, treat it with the compassion it deserves by keeping on top of its mechanical health with the FIXD OBD2 scanner app.

The premise is fairly straightforward. Grab the FIXD OBD2 sensor and download the accompanying FIXD app. Once you’ve connected the sensor to your car’s OBD2 port, connect it to the app via Bluetooth, and voila, a whole new world of automotive diagnostics opens up to you.

Basic free-to-use features include an RPM gauge, as well as the ability to read fault codes and clear the ‘check engine’ light. However, if you opt for FIXD Premium, the app can go into way more depth than a lot of other entry-level OBD2 scanners. It’ll give you information like the severity of a fault code, as well as a prognosis if left unattended. On top of that, it’ll also suggest repairs and give you a guideline of prices to expect.

There are a bunch of other functions too, ranging from maintenance trackers and car history files, to specific model issue forecasts and even an emissions checker. So, if car health is important to you, you can’t go wrong with the FIXD app.

RRP: $69.99 for FIXD Premium. Click here to sign up now.

You’ll also need to purchase the scanner hardware separately, which you can pick up on Amazon US ($59.99).

A group of people checking out the engine bay of a Lexus.

RoadStr

Billed as the social network for car enthusiasts, RoadStr aims to be the web that connects the car community together. Route planning and sharing is one of the ways in which it does this, offering keen drivers the ability to explore and recommend new and exciting routes with each other. In that regard, it’s a bit like the ROADS by Porsche app mentioned earlier – though RoadStr is compatible with both iOS *and* Android.

RoadStr goes further down the social route than ROADS does, too. For instance, you can join groups with like-minded enthusiasts based upon region or marque, and there’s even an event calendar for outings hosted by those groups.

So, if you’re looking to get more involved with your local community of enthusiasts, RoadStr is one of the best smartphone car apps to get you started. Download it here.

The post Best Smartphone Car Apps appeared first on Fast Car.

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