If your car is more important to you than your partner, you’re definitely not alone, some of us just can’t get enough of our motors and spend every moment possible modifying, maintaining or repairing them to ensure that they stay in the best condition, prolonging their life and helping us to get from A to B whenever we need them to.
In recent years the motoring industry, like nearly all others, has been enhanced by a number of gadgets that are designed to make driving easier, helping us to improve the performance of the vehicles and guide us to our destinations. Sure, there have been examples of gadgets that have flattered to deceive, such as neon lights on the under side of cars and huge stereo systems in tiny hatchbacks that just look silly, but others have genuinely enhanced the whole driving experience.
Okay, they might not be able to give us a few more miles per hour, or even make the ride smoother, but they can make the journey more entertaining or help us to drive more economically. You can buy plenty of gadgets, like satellite navigation systems that can get you from A to B easily, giving you turn-by-turn instructions, but these often come at a price. In the case of sat navs, the prices are slowly decreasing as more and more cars feature them “as standard”, but they’re still a significant expense for many drivers.
So the alternative is smartphone apps. Obviously using your phone while driving is illegal, but for a lot of people the apps available for their smartphones can be really useful. With thousand available it can be difficult to choose which ones are actually going to be beneficial to you – it’s a real trial and error system sometimes, like a test drive in many ways – but to help you out, here are three that will definitely come to your assistance:
This cool app might sound quite geeky to some, but this cheap app allows drivers to monitor their fuel consumption and how much they’re spending. With the ability to work out your average miles per gallon as well as how much it costs you per mile and how much you’re spending each month you can establish whether or not you need to budget more for fuel and how economical your driving/your car is.
Recently created having been ditched by the iPhone, the Google Maps app acts as a great sat nav system and costs mere pence compared to being around the £100 mark and above for specific sat navs. With voice commands and accurate GPS tracking, it’s a must have especially when you keep it updated.
As mentioned, using your phone will driving is illegal and we’re all tempted to at least look on the screen and see who the caller was, who the text is from or who has Tweeted or Facebooked us. The Drive Safe.ly app costs less than £10 and will read all of your messages out, including emails, and allows you to respond by voice control making it the ultimate in hands-free devices.
Matt Rawlings is a tech and motoring enthusiast on the lookout for the latest driver aids. Having been driving for a number of years now with a number of cars in his history, Matt is an expert in Suzuki dealers Kent.