5 best apps to find cheap gas
Cheap gas is in abundance this winter.
Average prices have been tumbling toward $2 a gallon in the United States, and many places around the country are already paying less than that.
Still, local prices can vary by a quarter per gallon -- that's about $4 per fill-up.
If you're looking for the absolute best price, there are dozens of apps that can save you money at the pump. But each has pros and cons.
Here are five of the best.
GasBuddy. By far the best-known gas price app is GasBuddy. The crowdsourced app asks people to enter the prices they pay at the pump. GasBuddy then lists the gas stations in your area, letting you find the one with the lowest price.
The app incentivizes people to post gas prices by offering a weekly drawing for a $100 gas card. GasBuddy gives users points every time they post prices. They need to report about six or seven gas prices to be eligible for the drawing.
GasBuddy has a strong following, but its app feels a bit dated. It isn't the most intuitive interface, and some users complain that the prices can be outdated.
Gas Guru. If you're into saving money on gas but not interested in doing any work, consider Gas Guru. The app draws its gas price information from the Oil Price Information Service, so the prices are always up to date.
The Gas Guru app provides directions to the cheapest gas station near you, and you can share your savings with friends on Facebook if you're into bragging about stuff like that.
Waze. The popular crowdsourced navigation app lets you know how much you'll pay for gas as you travel, and it can direct you to the cheapest gas station.
By navigating to partner gas stations, the app offers "Waze-only" deals.
Like GasBuddy, Waze gets its data from its users. But Waze users are known to be a friendly bunch, tipping others off to accidents and where the traffic cops are hiding.
Dash. The vehicle information service tells you everything about your car -- and throws in where to get the cheapest gas for good measure.
Dash's tiny sensor connects to any car model made in 1996 or after, plugging in just underneath the steering wheel. The app provides useful driving information: What your "check engine" light means, how you're driving, and how much gas you're using.
The app uses an unnamed third-party party source for its gas price information -- it doesn't crowdsource the data.
MapQuest Gas Prices. Yup, MapQuest is still around. And it has one of the best apps for finding cheap gas prices.
MapQuest lets you choose favorite stations and select your fuel grade, and then it directs you to the cheapest gas station in your area. But if you want its app to navigate you to the gas station of your choice, you'll also need the MapQuest GPS app.
Its desktop site is particularly good, letting you survey all the gas stations near you in an eyeblink.