8 frugal Android apps to save money on car expenses

It’s no secret that owning a car costs you a lot of time and money. In between vehicle maintenance costs, you have to pay high gas prices and parking fees. If you’re really unlucky, you may even have to spend some money for traffic violations, accidents, and car rentals.

After all this damage to your bank account, you need to take a break. Fortunately, these frugal Android apps can help you cut down on some of the expensive expenses associated with owning a car.

1. Car Scanner

Ever wish you had a pocket-sized mechanic? Car Scanner is the mini diagnostic tool you have been looking for. To get started, you’ll need an OBD2 sensor with Bluetooth capabilities. If you don’t have one, this BAFX OBDII Scanner is an appropriate choice.

When the “Check Engine” light comes on in your car, you don’t need to schedule an appointment with the mechanic right away. If you connect your OBD2 sensor to the port of your car, it will automatically sync with Car Scanner. The app pulls up the data to tell you exactly what’s wrong with your car, so you can try to fix it yourself and save money.

Car Scanner not only shows error codes but also can measure the performance of your car. Monitor your gas mileage, perform acceleration tests, inspect engine performance and sensors, and customize the app’s screen to display specific gauges.

If you want even more features, you can choose to upgrade to Car Scanner Pro: the paid version of the app removes ads and unlocks more diagnostic features. You can pay $4.49 to unlock the Pro version forever, or pay a slightly lower price for a three-month or one-year subscription.

to download: car scanner (Free, premium version available)

2. WinIt

After a night out in New York City, walk back to your car, where you’ll find a small piece of paper between your windshield wipers. As you unfold it, you realize you’ve been given a ticket. Just in case you get a parking ticket in the Big Apple, you should know that there is an app to fight against it.

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WinIt specializes in disputing NYC parking tickets. Simply upload a photo of your parking ticket to the app or search for tickets that match your license plate. Once you’ve submitted your ticket, you can add proof and WinIt will do the rest. If you win your case, WinIt will charge you half the price you would have paid for the ticket.

to download: win it (Free)

3. GasBuddy

It seems like gas prices are always rising. Keep track of which stops have the lowest prices with GasBuddy. Enter your location and the type of gas you use and GasBuddy will find gas stations with the cheapest prices in your area.

You can even filter your results by gas stations with restrooms, fast food, and car washes. GasBuddy is always there for you as it lets you know when a price increase is imminent.

GasBuddy isn’t limited to finding the best gasoline prices — it can also detect your car’s movement and determine if your driving is wasting your gas. In addition, you can enter the make and model of your car to view any recalls.

to download: GasBuddy (Free)

4. Scoop

Instead of driving to work every day and wasting gas in traffic, why not carpool with a colleague or neighbor a few days a week? Type in your work location and Scoop will find local carpoolers with the same daily schedule. The more people carpool together, the better – all members of the carpool share the cost, saving you money in the long run.

Unfortunately, Scoop is not available everywhere yet, although the app is regularly updated. You need to enter your home location and work destination to find out if there are any Scoop users in your area.

to download: Spoon (Free)

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5. AutoZen

If you own an older car, you probably wish you had the same touchscreen Bluetooth infotainment systems that come with new cars. Download AutoZen on your phone and you won’t have to spend extra money on a new Bluetooth system. Instead, you can have the same hands-free calling and texting experience just by using your phone.

After choosing the best car phone holder for your device, mount your phone and open AutoZen. With a simple voice command, you can send text messages, call friends, play music and access your GPS.

If you don’t want to take calls or texts on the go, you can always pay for the premium version to use the app’s “Do Not Disturb” feature. Not only will this app save you money on expensive car electronics, but it will also save you from tickets that you could get by driving while on the phone.

The Lifetime payment option is a one-time fee of $13.99 and permanently unlocks quite a bit of additional content. Or you can try the app with a seven-day free trial, followed by one of AutoZen’s subscriptions (yearly, six months, or yearly with no in-app navigation).

to download: AutoZen (Free, premium version available)

6. Turo

Let’s say your car breaks down and sits in the shop for a few days, but you don’t have another car to get you around the city. Then you probably choose a rental car from a travel website. However, that is not the most financially wise decision.

Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on a typical rental car, instead search for a car through the Turo app. Once you open the app, you will find dozens of cars renting out common people. Better yet, the prices are much more reasonable than with a rental company. Turo is also a great way to earn some money: rent your car to local holidaymakers and get paid.

to download: Turo (Free)

7. SpotHero

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If you do not plan your parking situation during your visit to a large city, you are usually stuck with a hefty parking fee in a non-ideal location. With SpotHero, you don’t have to circle the city to find the perfect parking spot.

SpotHero allows you to choose your parking space in advance, which means lower prices. Simply enter the location you are going to, along with the times for which you need to park. The app then shows a map with all available parking spaces and their prices. Pay for parking directly from the app and skip the line at the parking garage.

to download: SpotHero (Free)

8. Driver: Dash Cam

Installing a dashcam in your car can help protect you in the event of a collision or other accident. Insurance companies like to see proof, and a dashcam can provide you with that proof. But what if you don’t have enough money to spend on a top-notch dashcam? Use your phone instead!

The Driver app works like a free dashcam as long as you have a mount to place it in while driving. You don’t even need to manually start the recording – the app starts recording automatically when you start driving. The app can record with dual cameras, delete videos automatically for storage management, and run other apps while Driver is recording in the background.

When you spend money on the DriverPremium subscription, which costs $4.99 per month, you can store all your future dashcam recordings in the DriverCloud. With Cloud Sync technology you can watch your videos from any browser and travel is available for up to 90 days.

to download: Driver: dashcam (Free, premium version available)

Spend less, drive more

Owning a car doesn’t have to be that expensive. With the right apps, you can save money on gas, parking, and even a trip to the mechanic. If you want to save even more money on an in-car entertainment system, try making your own!

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