You can pretty much bank on the fact that gas prices are going to go up. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when it’s going to happen.
For most of us, gas really takes a bite out of the weekly paycheck and we’ll do just about anything to save a few cents a gallon. That includes running around town looking for the cheapest gas station we can find.
Doing that just wastes time and, in reality, it costs you more than just buying the higher priced gas would to begin with. Besides that, you’re putting yourself in a vulnerable position if you look like you’re lost in some areas, there are all kinds of crazy people out there.
Americans are travelers, we drive everywhere for vacations, business trips, weekend getaways and shopping. Getting out to see the country is awesome, as long as you’ve got enough gas to get from point A to point B.
Nothing is more frustrating than realizing that the gas gauge is hovering just above E and you don’t know where the nearest gas station is. Nobody wants to get stranded, it’s embarrassing at the least and you could be in danger if you’re stuck in the wrong spot for long.
It used to be that finding gas close by when you needed it the most was a hassle. You had to either ask a stranger for help or blindly drive around hoping to find a gas station that was open. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way and it’s pretty easy to find a gas station nearby. There are several gas finder sites and apps that all promise to help you find the closest gas stations with the best price at the pumps.
No matter what kind of car you own, there’s one thing that you have in common with every other driver, you need gas to go anywhere. Whether you’re a cheapskate looking to save a few bucks or a wayward traveler looking for a spot to fuel up on the way through town, check out these gas finder apps and websites for yourself. Your time, money and mobility are at stake here!
Gas Finder Smartphone Apps:
Fuelzee: Allows you to find cheap gas prices near you quick and easy. You can use a list like we did for the local stations. The map is a great way to find the best gas prices when you’re traveling. A cool thing about this app, you can earn rewards in the form of redeemable points good at local retailers and online retailers just for reporting gas prices. There are even daily and weekly contests where you can win cash, snacks, and other cool prizes. Their tag line is “We make fueling fun”, and it really is. This a really cool up-and-coming app that’s getting better all the time.
FlexFinder: Not everybody uses gasoline in their cars and FlexFinder promises to help you find the closest E85 flex fuels fast and easy. You’re supposed to be able to plot directions and see a list of Flex Fuel stations along a specific route, but it doesn’t work every time. For some areas, we couldn’t find known stations and in others, the listings were outdated and inaccurate. That said, the times it works, it works well, but when it doesn’t it is frustrating at best.
Exxon Mobile Fuel Finder: Provides real-time maps, directions and station information for nearby Exxon and Mobil stations only. It works good, but the real downfall is that it’s so proprietary and doesn’t want to tell you about the cheaper or closer gas station that isn’t their brand. The prices of Exxon and Mobil are generally higher in our area, so we don’t find it useful. It’s not nearly as fun as some of the other apps that offer rewards, but for what it is and what it does, it’s adequate.
GasBuddy: Find the cheapest gas by either the name of the city, or the zip code. One thing that it does is to let you know when prices are going up, but it doesn’t let you know when they’re going down, which would be extremely useful. Users say it’s pretty accurate, but we noticed that a few of the local stations weren’t listed and the prices were off. That said, you can always make a report on the gas prices and you’ll get a chance to win $100 of gas every day. You save money and you get great rewards, not bad, but not perfect either.
For us, the best app was Fuelzee, hands-down. It had all the local stations listed and the prices were accurate. It’s nice to get rewarded for helping other people out too.
Coming in a close second is GasBuddy, although it wasn’t quite as accurate, the rewards might make it worth trying again. Overall though, Fuelzee won us over on all the important points and we’ll be using it quite often, for sure.
Gas Finder Websites:
Motor Trend: This is a pretty basic web site for finding the best gas prices. However, they expect you to already know where all the gas stations in town are. This web site probably wouldn’t be very helpful in an emergency situation if you’re pulling in to town on fumes. Although the site says it’s updated daily, we checked and over the course of three days, the prices didn’t change. In reality, one of the stations on the list a block away from us changed their prices twice over the same time period.
Aol Autos: This is a very basic site, that doesn’t have a map, like Motor Trend, they expect you to know where the gas stations are. A map would be much more helpful, especially if you’ve never been to the city. The prices they showed for gas were not accurate and showed huge differences, sometimes as much as fifty cents a gallon. We checked and the local competitor stations were only varying by a penny or two at most.
Mapquest: This is a very rudimentary web site for finding the best gas prices, there is no map and it doesn’t seem to be updated regularly. One thing we noticed that even with our zip code, it insisted on showing gas prices for stations nearly 150 miles away. There were no local results despite the fact that we have plenty of gas stations in the area. The prices weren’t current, we found them listed from 16 days ago to as long as 6 years ago which isn’t helpful by any means.
Gas Price Watch: This web site was very inadequate with the first search turning up only two stations with gas prices that were 4 days old. The next time we did the same search, a day later, it showed no results at all for the same zip code. Furthermore, there were a couple banners on the results page that were advertising their own promotions that were dated April, 2012, that’s 2 years ago. They aren’t updating that part, but apparently users are uploading new gas prices all the time, just not anything useful in our area.
As for these sites, it’s really hit and miss, and none of them are really all that good. Most of them are actually lacking a lot of common sense features like a map so that users can get a visual of the local stations.
Some of them haven’t been updated in a long time, at least for our area, but that may not be the case for your location. Give it a shot, you’ve got nothing to lose, but don’t rely on them to be up-to-date and accurate, you might be sadly disappointed.
It doesn’t matter if you use a smartphone app or a website to find the best gas prices, as long as you are getting the most accurate, up to date information you can. Check them all out, for sure, one may work better than another for your location. Saving money is the bottom line and if a little app on your phone can help you do it, all the better. Before you fill up next time, do a little research, and take yourself out for a nice hot cup of coffee with the money you save. Who knows? You might even win a really cool reward if you’re nice enough to report the gas prices in your area.