How to Find The Cheapest Gas Nearby (When You’re On the Go)
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Four days ago I left work with an almost empty gas tank and pulled into the gas station around the corner to fill up.
Two blocks later, though, I saw another gas station that offered their gas at 10 cents per gallon cheaper than what I had just paid. I don’t ever want that to happen again. And fortunately, it doesn’t have to.
Thanks to some of the best apps to find cheap gas, and other gas-saving tips, you can figure out how to combat the expected gas price increases and save more at the pump.
8 Apps to Find the Cheapest Gas Station Near Me
Each of these apps offers unique features, and most of them are free. With some, you can save money by using brands they partner with to save anywhere from 5-20 cents per gallon. Others are simply cheap gas locators that will help you find the cheapest gas station in your area.
Over the last few years, Waze has become a household name as a crowdsourced navigation map. Waze is owned by Google and has over 115 million people using the app to find the best route, set up carpools, and travel efficiently.
Waze also has the ability to find you the cheapest gas station. You can set the type of gas you need, sort by price, and even set certain gas stations as your favorites. If you’re on a road trip and need to get gas, Waze can show you exactly how far off the route the gas station is and what they charge for gas.
GasBuddy is one of the most popular apps that help you find cheap gas. Their mission is to help customers “avoid paying full price for fuel.” They have over 600,000 users who make over 300 million searches per year. And they’re able to give accurate data on finding the cheapest gas because the information is crowdsourced.
This means that their massive user base inputs the gas prices near them for everyone else to see. They have real-time fuel prices for more than 150,000 gas stations in the United States, Australia, and Canada. Not only do they help users find cheap gas near them, but they offer a cash-back system called Pay with GasBuddy. Users can earn five cents back on every gallon of gas they purchase. It’s free to join and is accepted by gas stations nationwide.
To start saving money with the app follow these three steps:
- Join and link your checking account and they’ll send you a GasBuddy card.
- Swipe your card when filling up on gas.
- Fill up by using Pay with GasBuddy and save five cents on every gallon
Many users have reported savings of over $200 by using the GasBuddy app.
3. Gas Guru
Gas Guru is an app for Android and iPhone owned by Yellow Pages that helps users find the cheapest gas near them. They pull gas prices from the Oil Price Information Service so their prices are normally up to date.
The map in the app will show you the cheapest gas prices, color-coded, in your area. The gray boxes show the highest prices, yellow are the mid-range, and green are the best prices. If you’re on a road trip, you can also search ahead in various towns or cities to find the best place to refuel along your way.
One fun feature of the app is the ability to save your favorite gas stations for future use. You can also easily find gas stations that offer other services such as car washes, auto repair, ATMs, 24-hour service, or restaurants.
4. GEICO Mobile
GEICO is known for car insurance, but they also have a cheap gas locator app to help you find the cheapest gas prices. You don’t even have to be a GEICO customer to use the app; it’s free for anyone to use.
Like many of these services, they pull their gas price info from the Oil Price Information Service and so they will likely show the same real-time prices as other apps..
The nice thing about this option is that you don’t have to download the app. You can visit their website on your phone to use the gas price locator. You can search for cheap gas in any ZIP code that you want or use the “Find My Location” feature.
GetUpside is an up-and-coming cheap gas locator app. They currently have partnerships in major cities throughout NY, FL, DC, MD, VA, DE, NC, SC, and TX. It functions similar to other rebate apps like Ibotta, and they offer a cash-back rate at 25 cents per gallon.
They partner with gas stations, grocery stores, and other companies to offer you cashback for every gallon of gas you purchase. The app will help you find cheap gas prices to get you the lowest prices possible. You get cashback on every purchase and can get paid extra if you use their brand partners.
The best thing is that payment is simple. The cashback you earn is paid via check or PayPal and requires no minimum balance.
To get cashback with GetUpside all you have to do is:
- Download the app and redeem an offer
- Pay full-price for your gas using your own debit or credit card
- Upload a picture of the receipt to the app
You can also input your phone number into the app and it will text you a cash-back offer at a gas station closest to you.
Dash wasn’t created as a gas-saving app, but they’ve integrated a feature to show you the cheapest gas prices in your area.
Dash was created to give drivers, and companies that employ drivers, better insights into how their cars are functioning. Dash has often been called a “Fitbit for cars.” It will tell you how your engine is functioning, driving habits, fuel consumption, and it can show you how many miles you’ve driven.
The app also will give you a score based on your driving behavior that can help you save more money on gas by identifying bad driving habits. One neat feature Dash offers is engine diagnosis. Based on your car’s performance, it can help predict any engine problem you may have and even give you an estimate on the repair costs.
Unfortunately, Dash is not free. You can either buy the sensor for $95 and pay a $10 monthly fee or you can pay $15 per month and get a free sensor.
7. MapQuest Gas Prices
Once only a source for getting directions, MapQuest now has an app called Gas Prices by MapQuest that shows you where you can find the cheapest gas in your area. You can also use it to find a gas station along your driving route.
The app has a neat feature that allows you to select the type of fuel you need since some gas stations may be priced better for different types of gas (ex., diesel). If you find a gas station that you love, or one that’s routinely priced lower, you can add it to your list of favorites.
The app also comes with navigation features and you can use it to find well-priced hotels, restaurants, and other basic needs.
8. AAA TripTik
AAA offers a feature called TripTik Planner® to help you save money on gas for all of your trips. You can use the app to plan your next road trip minute-by-minute, and the interactive tool allows you to input points of interest, rest stops, places to stay, and gas stations to fill up.
You don’t have to be an AAA cardholder to use TripTik®, but if you want full access to the mobile app you must join.
AAA also has a feature on their website called GasFinder that allows you to see gas prices across the country by state, city, and county. If you are traveling on a road trip, this may help you plan where to fill up on.
Other Ways to Save Money on Gas
Already using one of the gas-saving apps above, but want to save more money? These eleven gas-saving tips will help you cut costs even more and get more cashback on every gallon you buy.
Earn free gas cards
One of the easiest ways to save money on gas is to earn free gas cards. The two best ways are by using Swagbucks and InboxDollars.
Swagbucks is a site that pays users for doing simple tasks online such as taking surveys, shopping online, or by watching videos. They award points for every task completed, which you can redeem for gift cards to Sunoco, Exxon Mobil, or Chevron gas stations.
InboxDollars is another website that allows you to earn points for doing micro-tasks such as taking surveys. When you earn enough points, you can trade them in for gift cards at major gas stations.
Raise is a website that buys gift cards from people who don’t want them and then resells them to buyers at a discount. They sell gift cards to most of the major gas stations such as BP, Citgo, Shell, Speedway, and Conoco. The savings won’t be huge, but you can save about 2% on gift cards and Raise offers $10 off your first purchase if you spend more than $100.
Get cashback on everyday credit card spending
Credit cards are an easy way to consistently save money on gas. Most cards have different perks, but a cashback card is guaranteed savings every time you swipe. If you drive a lot for work, then look into cashback credit cards that offer a special rate for spending on gas. This is a fantastic way to save money if your employer reimburses you for gas. They cover your gas spending, but the savings go directly into your pocket.
Pay in cash
Many gas stations offer discounts for paying in cash. Debit and credit card transactions are normally a 2% charge to the gas stations, but most have a reduced rate for customers who pay in cash, helping them save money. Next time you’re out driving, take note of the different prices offered. The cash price will often be the cheapest listed.
Another easy way to save money on gas is by carpooling with friends, neighbors, or coworkers. Create a carpool for daily activities like commuting to work, driving kids to school or activities, or even running errands. This will help cut your fuel costs significantly.
Choose a car with good gas mileage
Gas-saving hacks are helpful, but the most effective way to lower your gas spending is to choose a car with good gas mileage. Before you go buy a new or new-to-you used car, make sure to do a quick Google search to see check the car’s average miles per gallon (MPG). The better the mileage, the more you’ll save.
Drive cautiously and check tire pressure
Bad driving habits not only can be dangerous, but they can cost you in wasted gas. Accelerating rapidly is one way many drivers consume more gas than necessary. You should check your tire pressure and alignment every few months and especially before you take a road trip. When tires get out of alignment, your car will waste energy and be less fuel-efficient.
Track your mileage and implement driving tactics that work
One way to save money on gas is by driving smarter and taking routes that use less gas. Cars get better mileage on highways than in the city because you don’t have to use gas to accelerate after every traffic light or stop sign. Idling in heavy traffic and using cruise control when you’re on the highway are two small, fuel-efficient ways to save money on gas as well.
Join a rewards program
Some gas stations offer special rewards programs to attract customers. For example, when you buy groceries at Kroger, you can earn rewards that are redeemable at their gas stations. For every dollar you spend you’ll earn fuel points to lower your price per gallon.
Shell’s gas rewards program has a two-tiered system depending on how often you purchase gas. Gold status (six purchases of five gallons or more every three months) will save you five cents per gallon and Silver status will save you three cents.
And BP offers a rewards program that will save you 5 cents per gallon if you spend at least $100 per month on fuel.
Deduct work-related mileage
If you’re driving for work, make sure you’re being reimbursed for it. Some employers will try to save money by letting you use a gas card with your personal vehicle, but fuel is only one cost associated with driving. If you use your own car for work you should get reimbursed at the federal rate, which is currently $0.58 per mile.
If you’re not eligible for reimbursement, make sure you’re tracking it and taking a tax deduction. MileIQ is a mileage tracking app owned by Microsoft that gives you the ability to easily keep track of work-related mileage so when tax time these miles can be deducted from your taxable income.
A Few Cents Off Each Gallon Can Really Add Up
Anyone who drives knows that gas is a necessity. You need to fill up your car to drive to work, visit family and friends, get the kids to school, and run errands. And the more you drive, the more you spend.
Unless you’re in a state with the cheapest gas prices, then gas spending can take up a major spot in your budget.
It may not seem like much, but even if you’re only saving a few cents per gallon, it adds up over time. Use a cheap gas locator, a cash-back card, drive safely, and deduct your mileage if you’re allowed. The more of these gas-saving strategies you can combine, the more you’ll save.