Will automotive apps for your car change how you drive?

Car Technology
Get some advice on useful automotive apps (The Car Expert)

In the modern world, there’s an app for everything and your car is no exception.  Just have a look on the app store for your phone and you may be amazed at the level of detailed applications that you can purchase for just about every need and niche you may require whilst on the road.  Some of these automotive apps require payment, but many companies and garages around the UK are starting to see the benefit of making it as easy as possible for a potential customer to have their details (quite literally) to hand.

So what’s out there?  And are these automotive apps genuinely helpful, or just a fad for techno-junkies who have to use their phone for just about everything?

Fuel economy apps

With satnav being a pretty standard affair and easily integrated into an application, there are many apps out there that claim to be able to measure your fuel efficiency.  Just put in your car make and year it was purchased, click start and it will estimate how much fuel you’ve used, depending on the speed you’re travelling.  Results have to be taken with a pinch of salt, as they’re unable to take into account the gear you’re in and how hard you’ve had to rev to get to the speed you’re travelling (for example, most American automotive apps for fuel economy are blissfully unaware of hills) but many find these to be a good guideline.  Whilst newer cars have fuel economy details built into the dashboard, these apps can be helpful if you have an older car that predates this technology and you want to keep an eye on your fuel consumption.

Find my car + parking meter apps

iPhone automotive apps are becoming more commonWhen it comes to parking, there are several automotive apps out there to make this everyday use as easy as possible (with varying degrees of success). These either choose to focus on making a note of where your car is (which you input yourself usually by “checking in” to your location) and then the app will inform you of the location later if you happen to get lost. This can be helpful on journeys, particularly abroad if you’re unfamiliar with the area and what to go for a wander, but many free apps only offer the most basic of information and can even get their locations muddled. Parking meter apps are also a simple idea, simply put in how long you’ve got and it’ll time down, with many also giving you an alert as you approach the end of time. As helpful as these can be, getting this many car apps can make your smartphone look cluttered (see below).

Garages with their own automotive apps

Several garages now offer the ability to sign your car in for a service, repair or MOT simply via their own application. This can take the stress out of booking these necessary services provided the app works as it should and is a great choice if you find yourself remembering that you need to arrange a service but it’s 7pm with no hope of your garage being open. Some companies offer a variety of services via their app such as easy-to-arrange services, MOT, repairs as well as access to their loyalty scheme and additional parking apps mentioned above already built in. This gives you a Swiss army knife app for your car that fills a number of functions rather than filling up your phone with several single applications.

Giving these apps a try may give you a helpful hand in several areas of maintaining and using your car, so why not give them a try today?

TheCarExpert.co.uk forums

Want to share your favourite automotive apps with others? Head over to the forum and tell everybody what you think!

There are plenty of automotive apps available for your phone

Jane Russell writes for Russell Automotive Centre; an award-winning independent garage in North London which specialises in Audi, Skoda, VW, SEAT and Bentley. Genuine parts and equipment used in exchange for a smaller price.

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