Imagine this: You’re driving around town in your car and desperately looking for a parking space. After you’ve made a few rounds, you finally find a space – drenched in sweat. Relieved, you get out of the car, but the next problem is already waiting for you: The parking machine only takes cash and you don’t have any coins. What do you do now? Give up your hard-won parking space? That doesn’t have to be the case.
If you have a smartphone, there are numerous little helpers that can make life with a car much easier. Keyword: Apps! Whether you’re looking for an easy way to park, a warning about speed cameras, or a list of the cheapest gas stations nearby: We’ve picked out the best apps for driving for you—compatible with both Android and iOS and mostly free.
Navi app: Alternatives to Google Maps
Google Maps and its counterpart Apple Maps for the iPhone are familiar to most smartphone users who drive. However, numerous other apps also offer free navigation with up-to-date traffic data. If extensive offline maps or data protection are important to you, you will find interesting alternatives here.
HereWeGo: Numerous offline maps
The navigation app HereWeGo offers a comprehensive package of offline maps. You can easily find your destination in more than 100 countries worldwide without an Internet connection. In addition to a speed indicator, the app also warns you if you are traveling too fast. Another practical feature is that the voice-guided navigation easily avoids any traffic jams thanks to real-time data.
Tip: Did you ever get caught in a traffic jam? Then read our traffic jam tips here!
Waze: Social network
Waze is based on the social network of its community. After opening a user account, members can report traffic jams, severe weather and other dangers. Due to the user dependency, the app is particularly suitable in congested areas. What many don’t know: Waze was acquired by Google in 2013. If that is too uncertain in terms of data protection, you should take a closer look at the following alternative.
Tip: Whether it’s traffic jams, construction sites or detours – with the Autobahn app, you get the latest traffic reports in just one app application.
Magic Earth: Car app with high data protection
It scores with high data protection: The Magic Earth navigation app does not store any of your data. Untethered from servers, you don’t even have to share your location to use the free services. You can choose between a 2D, 3D or satellite view and see details such as distance and elevation profile at a glance. In addition to parking spaces at your destination, you will also be informed about speed cameras on the route. As if that wasn’t enough, the app offers offline maps in over 233 countries and regions.
Note: It is forbidden to hold the smartphone in your hand while driving. That’s why Google and Apple offer smart interfaces. You can learn more about this in our article about Android Auto & Apple CarPlay.
The best car apps for parking
Who doesn’t know you – the eternal search for a parking space. And if the search was finally successful, the next problem arises: Where is the parking machine? How long is the car allowed to stay here? And what happens if you don’t have the necessary change? Fortunately, inventive minds have come up with various solutions for this as well.
EasyPark: Parking ticket via smartphone
The name says it all – EasyPark promises easy parking. For iOS and Android, this app is available in over 1500 cities in 19 countries across Europe. Start the parking process conveniently in your car, without the hassle of searching for the ticket machine. You can easily set the parking time using a digital wheel. And if you do make a mistake, you can extend the parking time on the road with just one click. A reminder 15 minutes before expiration is available as a push notification.
By the way: Easy parking is not only promised by the EasyPark app, but also by maneuverable small cars. We have compared the top 5 cheapest small cars for you!
The payment options are diverse: credit card, Klarna, PayPal and ApplePay. Attention: transaction fees apply for every parking transaction! These are about 10% of the ticket price. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the app even helps you find a parking space. A special feature for all e-drivers: Soon, EasyPark will also show numerous locations of the much sought-after charging stations.
Parkopedia: The encyclopedia for parking
Parking as clearly as Wikipedia – that’s what the makers of Parkopedia want to make possible. The app now knows 70 million parking spaces in 89 countries worldwide and even shows their availability in real time. Further details such as opening hours, current prices and payment methods can also be found in the list. Filters for free parking spaces, canopies or parking spaces for the disabled make the search easier. If you are ever in a region where no parking spaces are displayed, send an email to the developers. They will always take care of an extension of the app. Or simply add unlisted parking spaces yourself.
PayByPhone: Parking space search & payment
A practical combination of parking space search and payment can be found in the app “PayByPhone”. This shows you the exact address, opening hours and the amount of parking fees. You can narrow down the search by filtering for free parking spaces, parking spaces with parking discs or parking garages. Here, too, you can pay your parking ticket directly via smartphone if you wish and receive a reminder before the parking time expires as well as the option to extend it on the go. Practical: The location of the car can be saved so that you can easily find your vehicle again. For using PayByPhone, you receive a vignette for the windshield, which shows the ticket inspector that you have paid via the app. If you recommend the app to others, you will receive a credit of 5 euros.
Fuel apps: gas prices & gas stations
Would you like to save money when refueling or keep an eye on your fuel consumption? Then we recommend a download of the following apps.
Gasoline price flash: Current gasoline prices & price alarm
Current fuel prices from over 60,000 gas stations in seven European countries can be found at Benzinpreis-Blitz. You can search for the cheapest gas stations either locally via GPS location or manually nationwide. These are displayed either on a map or as a list. Opening hours, services and payment methods of the station are also stored. In addition, you can set a price alarm. If your specified price threshold is undershot, you will receive a push notification on your smartphone.
Clever-tanken.de: With navigation to the cheapest gas station
A similar principle is promised by clever-tanken.de. Here you can specify a search radius of up to 50 kilometers and be guided to the cheapest gas station with integrated navigation. After registering free of charge, you are free to report gasoline prices yourself. To keep an eye on your favorite gas stations, save them under “Favorites”. Meanwhile, even charging stations for electric vehicles are included. You can control the charging process directly with the app using the start and stop function. The app is free of advertising for 1.99 euros.