With gas prices on the rise, many consumers are seeking out every opportunity to maximize value at the pump. In Chicago, where we currently have the fourth-highest average cost of gasoline in the country, it is not uncommon to find gas prices differing by 20 cents a gallon or more within a relatively short distance. Instead of wasting money and gas driving around searching for the best deals, there are several apps at your disposal to help you find the lowest prices in your area. One of these is GasBuddy, a free app with versions for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. We tested the app on the iPhone 4S.
When you open GasBuddy, you can use your phone’s GPS to find your current location or you can search for locations by city, state or zip code. Once you have done that, the app returns a list of stations that you can sort by distance or price. The list is further broken down into separate tabs for regular, midgrade, premium and diesel. Tapping on an item gives you additional details, including directions, address and phone number, and services offered.
You can also choose a map view of the stations in your area, with thumbnails of the price of the selected grade or type of gas at each station. Tapping on a thumbnail will bring up the detailed information page for that station.
Tested from AAII’s office in downtown Chicago, GasBuddy found a spread of 35 cents between the cheapest and the most expensive regular gas within a four-mile radius. Over time, this can add up to some serious savings. Not bad for a free app!
GasBuddy relies on crowd sourcing to keep its gas prices up to date. Each listing tells you how recent the price report is. Users can register to win a $250 gift card for providing updated prices, encouraging participation.
There is also a GasBuddy website with some unique features such as regional and national gas price “heat maps” (listings of gas prices by state and city), a fuel log book for tracking your fuel expenses for each vehicle you own, and tips on increasing your fuel economy.
GasBuddy is a free app that can, potentially, generate cost savings, which is not something to ignore.
GasBuddy—Find Cheap Gas