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This is a guest post from John, who often freelances for a company specialising in one day car insurance and other forms of temporary car insurance. He drives a Focus, which he loves!
Millions of people in the UK and the US own and operate a vehicle of some description, with the most prevalent being the car. For a lot of people, their car represents their ability to be independent and get places, for others their car is their prized possession and is hugely important to them.
With so many people owning cars all over the World, I thought I’d have a look at my personal favourite iPhone applications designed for or related to, your car.
1. Car Spotter
The Car Spotter app is designed to help you find your parked car, in situations where you either can’t remember, or can’t find your way back to your vehicle.
The app utilises the iPhone’s GPS to save the location of your car, and is extremely accurate. You can save your GPS position with one click, and the application also allows you to record text or audio notes, to help you make sure you can find your car. There’s even a built-in timer, so if you’re parked on a meter somewhere and need to be back within the hour, you can simply set your countdown timer and not worry too much about constantly checking your watch.
You can also use the application with Google Maps, allowing you to get detailed directions back to your car, as well as using the images on Google Maps to help you find your car whilst out in the real world (see pictures above).
Trapster is a fantastic little application that lets you know the location of speed cameras, red lights, police check points, policemen with speed traps, etc. as you approach them.
This app is great for making sure you don’t get yourself caught and fined for going over the speed limit, and features a comprehensive, up to date speed trap and camera database. The application also has a user community of over 6 million users, all of whom have the ability to submit the location of police or new cameras in their area. This means you’re fairly likely to get a warning from Trapster before pretty much any camera will be able to get you.
One of my favourite things about this app is the fact that you can also use it as handy little travel tool, as it includes Google Live Traffic, local search, turn-by-turn directions and full iPod control while it’s in use.
3. AA Parking
This app might seem a little bit expensive at first, but actually, it’s well worth the price tag. Designed to help you locate suitable parking spaces in the UK and Ireland, I use this application throughout the course of my normal week.
The app not only displays a list of the most convenient parking facilities, but also displays them in order of price, allowing you to find the cheapest available service. The application also lists free parking spaces, and is currently being updated in include pay and display street parking.
There are some useful little functions too, like searching around your GPS location or by entering an address. The app will also give you directions to your chosen car park and can even give you real-time information on the parking space availability of your chosen car-park.
A genuinely useful application from the AA, and my personal favourite as it isn’t specific to any city (unlike a few of the other parking finder apps).
4. RAC Traffic
RAC Traffic is a superb application designed to help you avoid traffic jams and delays for the whole of the United Kingdom.
The application will allow you to check on both planned and unplanned road incidents, as well as accidents, delays and queues at anytime, displaying any issues via either normal text or overlayed onto Google Maps.
Once you have located a traffic problem, you can then use Google Maps to decide exactly how you want to avoid the incident, and then Google Maps will give you an alternative route.
For a free application I’d highly recommend this, as it’s extremely useful when planning long journeys or even short journeys that take in notoriously busy roads.
5. AA Fuel Prices
This app is the most expensive in the list, coming in at £4.99, which is renewable every year. For that price you get unlimited access to accurate, up-to-date UK fuel prices, meaning you can find out who has the cheapest petrol in your area.
This application is extremely accurate; not just relying on user generated data but receiving fuel data from Experian Catalist, in association with ARVAL Ltd. Given this data comes from monitoring the Arval fuel card transactions which take place every day (of which there are hundreds of thousands), making this app the most accurate and up to date fuel prices application available.
The application works by using GPS to identify your location, then checking the 10 closest fuel stations to you, ranking the cheapest 5. Of these five that are displayed, the cheapest is coloured green to help you locate it. The app not only finds the cheapest petrol in your area, but then will also direct you to it using Google Maps.
You might think that £4.99 is quite expensive for what it is, but actually it’s been estimated (albeit by the AA) that the average driver can save approx. £160 for standard use, and around £300 per year for a fleet driver. So the app should pay for itself quite quickly over a year long period