The Best Gas Apps to Save You Money at the Pump
These top-rated gas apps will help you save a bundle as prices at the pump continue to rise.
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With world events catapulting fuel prices to new highs, saving money on gas can feel like an extreme sport. While Costco is known to offer the lowest prices on gas in most states, it’s not always the most convenient option. That’s where the best gas apps come in. They can locate cheap gas near you, offer rewards and cash back, help you plan the best routes, and so much more, saving you both money and time.
But before you head out fill up your tank, there are a few things you should keep in mind. For starters, the “cheapest” gas on an app may not be your best choice. “Before you drive eight miles out of your way to save five cents on fuel, you need to do a little math in your head,” says fuel-savings expert Melanie Musson. “If you save five cents a gallon on 20 gallons of gas, you’ll save a total of $1. And if your car gets average fuel mileage, you’ll spend more on fuel to drive those eight miles.”
The other issue involves privacy concerns. “These apps may help you to find the cheapest fuel, but your location and behavior is often being tracked and shared with data brokers,” explains Sean O’Brien, founder of the Privacy Lab at Yale Law School. “To avoid the more invasive apps, check the app with the Exodus Privacy scanner. [You can also] uninstall the app when you’re done with it to make sure it doesn’t continue running in the background.”
With that in mind, these gas apps will make your life so much easier—and your bank account so much happier. As an added bonus, all except one are free for both Apple and Android users. For more ways to save money on gas, apply for one of the best gas credit cards and learn these tips to get better gas mileage.
GasBuddy has been downloaded more than 90 million times, more than any other gas app, and has saved drivers $3.1 billion. It covers 150,000-plus gas stations in North America and compiles its crowdsourced data based on two to three million data points on gas prices every day, helping drivers save up to $.25 per gallon on every fill-up. It also pays to sign up for the free GasBack card, since this lets you earn and redeem free gas; this can save you up to five times more than using the app alone.
For deeper savings (and an extra monthly fee), users can upgrade to GasBuddy Plus, which can save you up to $.40 per gallon, or GasBuddy Premium, which offers guaranteed savings of $.20 per gallon (up to 50 gallons) per month and roadside assistance. Both the upgraded version and the free app can also help you calculate gas costs for trips.
- A Trip Cost Calculator can estimate what you’ll pay for everything from daily errands to your commute to a road trip
- A Fuel Logbook helps you calculate your vehicle’s fuel economy
- High ratings from users, including an average of 4.7 stars on Apple
- Funds come directly out of your checking account, so you can’t earn credit card rewards
- The app tracks your location and shares your driving habits with Arity, a company owned by Allstate
Unlike crowdsourced gas apps, GasGuru gets its pricing direct from the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and not from other app users, so these numbers should be the most accurate. Because GasGuru is owned by Yellow Pages, it’s also a good resource for drivers who might need other services, such as finding an auto-repair shop when they’re far from home.
- You can search for other gas-station amenities (such as mini-marts, ATMs, repair shops) or restaurants nearby
- Allows you to save favorite gas stations
- Users say that the app sometimes glitches, provides inconsistent directions, and doesn’t list every station in the area
- Available only in English
Mapquest is great for long road trips because you can plot out your entire route and find cheap gas along the way. On the browser, Mapquest offers estimated fuel-cost calculations for routes you create based on average-MPG vehicles set up in your account. This feature is coming soon to the app’s route planner.
Since Mapquest also offers turn-by-turn directions after mapping out the best route, it additionally helps you save by getting you to your destination more efficiently. According to Tom Melhuish, an energy-industry expert, apps showing traffic, accident, and construction delays “reduce the time spent idle in traffic, which can burn through a lot of gas.” Additional features include roadside assistance, real-time traffic updates, and the ability to share your ETA.
- Offers more route flexibility than Google Maps
- Lets you locate COVID-19 resources and testing centers
- Available in English, Spanish, and Indonesian
- Users say the app sometimes crashes mid-navigation
- Voice can be too low or too fast
The American Automobile Association (AAA) has been around for more than a century, helping to solve all sorts of driving issues that may pop up. But the app’s TripTik planning feature can help you save money in two very specific ways: by locating the cheapest gas and by helping you plan the most efficient route. AAA also offers numerous gas-saving tips, such as taking your foot off the gas when slowing down and allowing your vehicle to coast, avoiding hard accelerations, minimizing your use of air conditioning, and driving at low-traffic times.
- In addition to gas stations, the app shows charging stations for electric vehicles
- Highlights businesses that offer AAA discounts
- TripTik used to be available only to those with memberships, but it is now free on the app
- Doesn’t organize gas station listings by location or price, so users have to scroll through them
- Available only in English
GetUpside offers users up to $.25 off each gallon of gas at 30,000 participating gas stations in 48 states. The app shows real-time savings on available gas stations closest to you and also offers you the opportunity to earn cash back on gas, restaurants, and groceries. And you can feel extra good about using this gas app, since the company gives back by committing 1 percent of all revenue to sustainability initiatives, such as offsetting carbon dioxide emissions and saving food from going to waste.
- Cash back comes through PayPal, bank transfer, or e-gift card
- Received an average rating of 4.8 and 4.6 stars from Apple and Android users, respectively
- At some gas stations, you have to take photos and save receipts to get cash back
- Available only in English
When using Waze, which is owned by Google, you can search for “gas” and the app will show all the gas stations near you, plus the price per gallon, with a breakdown by fuel grade. Waze also helps drivers plot the best route to avoid traffic and announces roadside hazards, accidents, and police activity. This information is crowdsourced from more than 130 million users.
You’ll also love the “when to leave” feature. “It collects data to show you the busiest times on your route and allows you to pick a time that’s the quickest for you,” says Melhuish. “This allows you to reliably plan the time you will reach your destination.”
- Gas station filters are easy to use
- Offers Spotify integration
- Available in 51 languages
- The pop-ups can be a bit distracting while driving
- Gas saving isn’t the primary focus, and the data isn’t always accurate
Like Waze, Google Maps allows searches for gas along your route, filtering them by price, brand, and distance. But Google Maps also offers eco-friendly routing, which indicates the most fuel-efficient option with a green and white leaf. According to Google, “eco-friendly routing has the potential to prevent over one million tons of carbon emissions per year—that’s the equivalent of removing more than 200,000 cars from the road.”
- Can filter gas stations by brand, distance, or price
- Allows users to add a stop for gas
- Available in 74 languages
- Gas prices aren’t always up to date
- The app requires Internet service, so it doesn’t work off the beaten path
If you’re not a Geico customer yet, you may want to be after you read this. If you get your auto insurance through Geico, you can search for gas through its accompanying Apple and Android apps, and in addition to the quick-search option, apps offer Geico Explore, a cutting-edge, augmented-reality feature that uses your phone’s camera to locate gas stations with pricing near you.
For non-Geico customers, there’s a browser-based option, which offers a simple gas-search option for gas within 25 miles of a zip code. By the way, you shouldn’t let your gas levels get too low—here’s how much gas you should keep in your tank.
- Shows the last time the gas price was updated
- Straightforward and easy to use
- Cutting-edge technology
- When searching in the browser, you need to enter a zip code to search for cheap gas, which is challenging when traveling
- This gas app is available only to Geico customers, and using the browser option is trickier when driving
- Washington Post: “Gas prices are hitting new highs. Here’s why—and how long the surge could last.”
- Melanie Musson, fuel-savings expert with CarInsurance.org
- Sean O’Brien, founder of Privacy Lab at Yale Law School
- Tom Melhuish, energy-industry expert with AquaSwitch
- CBS News: “3 reasons why gas prices are so high—and when they might come down”
- Google: “3 new ways to navigate more sustainably with Maps”