There was a time when owning a car meant investing in maps for the glove box and a collection of tools to tinker under the hood with. Those days are gone. Now the phone you keep in your pocket can be your best roadside companion. Unfortunately, with limited storage space and the plethora of apps out there, finding out which are worth your time can be a pain. We’re here to help. These are the 10 apps we think every car owner should have. Download them and thank us later.

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We’re still surprised how many people don’t use Waze. They turn to the default navigation app their phones come packaged with and never think twice. Well, it’s time to think twice. Waze is far superior to every other navigation app out there. Why? Jeez, where do we start? Since Waze relies on its users for info—and there are a lot of users—you get real-time help. Not only does that mean you can avoid traffic and find the fastest route, but it means you can slow down when police are ahead, be more cautious when a pothole has been spotted, and not run into roads that have been recently closed. Honestly, that’s only scratching the surface. Waze can tell you where you can get the cheapest gas while you’re driving and even if your friends are on the road. If you’re not using it, you should be. Link


The FIXD app requires you purchase the FIXD Sensor for your car, but trust us, it’s worth the investment. After installing the $59 FIXD Sensor, you can use the FIXD app to quickly decipher those annoying check engine lights that pop up at the worst times. When the light comes on, simply look in the FIXD app for the cause and the severity of the issue. No more driving in fear over whether that little yellow icon means disaster is coming. Not only that, FIXD can also deliver info about maintenance needs based on your make and model. Yes, we know it’s not as cheap as most apps, but sixty bucks is a small price to pay for this peace of mind. Link


Drive an EV? You need PlugShare on your phone, pronto. PlugShare helps you find charging locations all over the world. Planning a drive and don’t know where you can stop to juice your vehicle? With PlugShare you no longer have to worry about long stretches without charging stations. Look, we all know how annoying it can be to find a gas station when you’re almost empty; imagine having to hunt down a much rarer charging station. Tesla owners and Leaf drivers, this one’s for you. Link

Best Parking

Best Parking changed the game for parking in cities. Anyone who’s ever debated going into NYC solely because parking is a pain needs to download Best Parking. The app shows rates at all the garages around the spot you’re headed and even lets you lock down a price. You can even use it for airport parking so you don’t have to pay the exorbitant fees at the regular overnight lot. Link


A great roadtrip is more than the right snacks and the right company; it’s the right route. So many people get that last part wrong and end up driving boring road after boring road. Roadtrippers makes the planning easy. The app finds historic and scenic points between you and your destination, and then it maps out the best path to take. A great roadtrip is not about the destination; it’s about the journey. Roadtrippers will make sure that journey can’t be beat. Link

Auto Care

Owning a car is a responsibility. Far too many people don’t give it the attention it deserves and are “rewarded” with expensive problems down the line. Don’t be one of those people. Auto Care is free app that helps you manage your car’s maintenance needs. Instead of just popping into Jiffy Lube every once in a while, use Auto Care to stay on top of your car’s service history. You’ll get reminders based on month or distance and will be able to chart just how much you’ve spent on your vehicle. And since Auto Care works with Dropbox, you can back up all your info for safe keeping. It’s something we wish we started when we bought our last car. Link

AutoMate Car Dashboard

The last thing you want to be doing while driving is fiddling with your phone. It’s a hazard to you and everyone on the road. For Android users AutoMate can help. AutoMate is a dashboard that revolves around driving, and it lets you control things with your voice and simple gestures. It brings together everything from navigation to the soundtrack for your trip. Voice control keeps your eyes where they should be, on the road. And since everything is put into one interface, you don’t have to go digging through files, menus, and screens to find the apps you need. Link

Smart Dash Cam

There’s a good chance you’ll never need a dash cam. Should the situation arise that you do, you’ll be more than happy you shelled out the cash. If the price is what’s stopping you, consider Smart Dash Cam, an app for iPhone and Android that turns your phone into a dashboard camera. You can upload videos to YouTube, choose the resolution based on your storage, and record with or without audio. Your only responsibility is to keep an eye on your storage so you don’t lose a video you need. If you can do that, this app delivers peace of mind without making you buy a pricey recording device for your dash. Link


Okay, when said we can’t understand why anyone would not use Waze, we did forget one caveat. The app can, at times, choose odd routes, and if you live in an area where those odd routes could take you through seedy areas, we get why you might want to skip. If you want the gas pricing power Waze offers, without using Waze, use GasBuddy, an app dedicated to up-to-date fuel prices. Follow GasBuddy recommendations and you can save $340 a year. Dig a little deeper and you can even use GasBuddy to find the closest gas station with a bathroom, a car wash, and more. Link

Torque Pro

If you have the need for speed, or you just want a better understanding of your car’s performance, Torque Pro is the answer. By using an OBD II Bluetooth adapter, the app allows you to view a digital dash of precise information of your choosing. See the dynometer. Check 0–60 time. Get a CO2 emissions report. Admittedly, this is next-level stuff, but for the passionate, Torque Pro is a game-changer. Because it taps into your car’s OBD, the data is accurate, unlike other apps that claim to do the same just by using the powers of your phone. So yes, you do need to drop $15 on a dongle and plug it into your car, but the info it will generate will make you more connected with your car than you’ve ever been before. Android iOS