GasBuddy: Save Dollars at the Pump

With the price of gas reaching four dollars a gallon in some places across the United States, everyone could use some savings at the pump. For Android users on versions 1.4 and up, finally there is a solution!

GasBuddy is a free, community driven gas price application with a simple goal: it helps you find the cheapest gas prices in your area. This in-depth review will teach you all about what GasBuddy offers and why it should have a place in your app drawer.

Interface Introduction

Upon launching the GasBuddy app, you will find it is a clean cut, organized application. The developers clearly saw a need to make the usage of the application easy and efficient. You can immediately search for gas prices in your area by entering your city or zip code. Additionally you can use your phone’s location services to find gas stations near you. You can also find the settings, and a login screen for existing GasBuddy.com members.

The introductory GasBuddy application screen.

The introductory GasBuddy application screen.

Quick and Useful

If you’re on the go, or need to get the price of gas quickly, this application makes it simple. Entering your city or zip code brings you right into a list of gas prices for your area. Along the top you find assorted tabs for different types of fuel. The interface is fast and quick to change between fuel types. Below there is a scrollable list of the cheapest gas in your area, as well as a list of other stations near you. What I find the most convenient is the ability to switch between sorting by distance and sorting by price. Using your phone’s location service, GasBuddy shows you the stations closest to you.

A quick search for stations near you using your zipcode.

A quick search for stations near you using your zipcode.

What’s even better, is that you can quickly switch between a list view and a map view of the gas stations near you. When I first saw this feature, I said out loud, “Brilliant!” Indeed it is. Not only does the app show you the locations of the fuel stations, but it also provides you with the prices, and brand name of the station (if available) on the map. If you tap on one of the previewed stations, it conveniently brings up a small box displaying the exact address of the station, the current gas price, and the last time the price was updated.

GasBuddy provides a detailed comprehensive view of most stations.

GasBuddy provides a detailed comprehensive view of most stations.

Details, Details

The feature that really sets this app apart from any other community pricing apps I have seen, is the detailed view. Because sure, knowing gas prices and locations are great, but what about the chunky stuff?

Selecting “Station Details” from either the list view or map view brings up a comprehensive overview of the station. First and foremost, you are presented with a photo of the station (if available). This alone is useful because quite often multiple gas stations can be on the corner of a street for competition, so having a picture readily available can be useful. Additionally, most station details include the direct phone number to the station. As well as the gas prices for the individual fuels that the station offers, you can also view the different features that can be found there, such as a convenience store or car wash. Last but certainly not least, the detailed station view has a direction feature that allows you to easily launch your default mapping application for turn by turn directions to the station of your choice.

Reporting Prices

The core of this application surrounds the price reporting ability. If you’re stopped at a light, or fueling at a station, you can easily report the prices of stations in your sight for thousands of users to view instantly. Additionally, the application logs the time that you report at in order to maintain an accuracy level.

Reporting gas prices in GasBuddy.

Reporting gas prices in GasBuddy.

On a side note, it’s interesting to know that prices over seventy-two hours old are automatically removed from the system. You’ll still usually find all the prices you need, however, because other users update the cost of gas often.

My Account

Users with a GasBuddy account can also manage their account on the mobile app. Signing in on the main page allows you to view your profile, your favorite stations, and your eligibility for the $250 gas card competition. By reporting gas prices, posting on the forums, and completing other tasks, members can earn points. Over time these points can accumulate and you are able to enter yourself in for prizes such as the one mentioned above. In the Favorite Stations menu, it appears as if one could add a list of stations that they visit often, or live near. However, as explained below, it doesn’t quite work.

Conclusion

For me, some parts of the application force closed when I entered them, especially the Favorite Stations section. It instructs you to add a station by clicking the menu button, but unfortunately, the menu button causes the application to force close. This is why I was forced to give this app a nine out of ten instead of a perfect score.

Additionally, because GasBuddy depends on user additions for its gas prices and other information, some artifacts may be out of date, and some information may not be available at all. However, for what it’s worth, GasBuddy does a fantastic job, and has personally saved me money in the past. When I know there’s gas half a mile up the road for five or ten cents cheaper, it’s worth the quick drive to save some dollars at the pump.


Summary

GasBuddy is a free application on the Android Market that allows users to find the cheapest gas in their local area.

9
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