5 Essential Apps and Sites for Car Owners to Save Money & Fix Issues
After your phone, the second-most used device in your life outside the home is your car. These apps and websites will help you take care of it and save some money on repairs and unnecessary expenses.
These myriad tools cover a range of automobile-related issues.
There are calculators to figure out how much you should pay, loans you can get, and the car’s lifetime costs. A couple of apps help you track expenses and figure out true mileage, along with getting you the cheapest gas prices. And there are a few experts at hand to help you fix basic issues without needing to go to a mechanic.
1. Drivvo (Android, iOS): Track Expenses, Mileage, Service Reminders, and More
Drivvo is one of the best all-in-one car management apps you’ll come across, and it’s free. With it, you can track expenses, calculate mileage, get average gas station prices, and even set reminders for car services.
The whole app is manual, so you will need to enter the details yourself. But it’s easy to do that while you’re waiting for the tank to fill up. It’s a basic set of inputs, like why type of fuel you’re using, what the odometer says, the price, and the gas station you’re currently at (which can be put with GPS).
Drivvo will track every input for income, service, route, expense, and refueling, creating a dashboard that shows all your car’s vital statistics. It even turns them into charts for reports. And you can set reminders for expenses or services, along with notes.
The Pro version has a few advanced features like adding unlimited incomes, exporting the data to spreadsheets, and so on. But most people don’t need them, and you’ll be happy with the basic Drivvo app for your personal use.
2. GasBuddy (Web, Android, iOS): Find Cheapest Gas Stations Nearby
Gas prices vary at each station. Why pay more for fuel when you can quickly check GasBuddy to find the cheapest pump nearby? Just download the app, grant it access to track your current location, and you’ll see stations on a map or a list.
By default, it lists stations based on the price of regular gas, but you can change that to mid-range, premier, diesel, or unleaded. You can also filter stations by amenities you are interested in, such as restrooms, pay-at-pump, air pumps, ATM machines, and convenience stores. And you can see what other people have said about the station.
GasBuddy has a few other built-in tools. For example, it keeps track of your refuels to tell you how efficient your mileage is. And the website has data-based tools, like Fuel Insights to see rise or fall in retail fuel prices. It’s one of the best thrifty apps to save money on car expenses .
Of course, GasBuddy is only for the USA, but there are similar apps for other countries. For example, you can check Gaspy for Australia and New Zealand, or INSADCO’s Cheap Refuel for major European countries.
3. Car Calculators (Web): Find Affordability, Loan, Depreciation
Which car should you purchase based on your financial ability? Should you consider a car that retains its value well so you can resell it later? Omni Calculator has a series of calculators that answer common problems about cars and automobiles.
- Car Affordability Calculator: Find out the maximum price you should pay for a car (used or new) based on your current financial situation.
- Car Depreciation Calculator: A car’s value drops the more it is used. This calculator lets you estimate how much your car is worth, or even if the price for a used car is fair or not.
- Auto Loan Calculator: Find out the best car loan deal for you, and how much you can borrow and repay with monthly payments and taxes.
- Car Center of Mass Calculator: Find the center of gravity of any car, for better steering and balance.
- Horsepower Calculator: Answer the age-old question, what is your car’s horsepower?
- Lease Mileage Calculator: Calculate how many miles you have left on your lease, avoid penalty fees or predict the total fee.
4. ChrisFix (YouTube): DIY Repairs, Car Hacks, and Other Great Videos
ChrisFix is among the biggest names on YouTube for car videos. The channel shot to fame for simplifying car repairs so that you can do the basics yourself, saving some money on mechanics. And now it’s grown to talk about anything to do with car repair and maintenance.
The channel hosts videos for brakes, engines, fluid changes, maintenance, and anything related to cars. Some of the popular hacks include how to use toothpaste to restore your headlights, and how to start a car that has been sitting idle for years. It focuses on practical knowledge that can save you time, money, or energy.
The main reason ChrisFix is so popular is the quality of the videos. There are several car experts on YouTube, but ChrisFix takes the time to set up the camera and lighting properly and edit the videos for clarity. It’s as accessible for a layman as it is a gearhead.
5. Automotive Forums (Web): Ask Any Question You Have
Automotive Forums is among the oldest discussion boards for car enthusiasts on the internet. Started in 2000, it is still going strong thanks to a community of people who have oil in their veins, not blood.
The most important feature of this forum is the search function. Over the years, people have asked so many of the most common questions and got great answers, that you probably don’t need to ask it again. Instead, just search the archives. But of course, if your question hasn’t already been asked, make a new topic and you’ll get help soon.
Every major vehicle manufacturer has its own sub-forum, so you can dive into it and find your car’s model to see all topics related to it. There are also general topics like car audio, automotive art, fabrication, and tools, etc.
Avoid Mechanics and Rip-Offs
As a car owner, you can expect a number of expenses over the course of its life. Mechanics are businessmen, and any work can cost quite a bit. The best thing you can do for yourself is to learn how to fix the basics.
The first step is to understand the building blocks of a car and learn the nature of the problem. There are simple tools and apps to do that. Here are a few of our favorite ways to save money on car repairs and avoid mechanic rip-offs .