It looks like the high cost of gas isn’t going down anytime soon, even if we increase domestic drilling as certain candidates for the presidency suggest. The best way to avoid paying too much at the pump is to keep on top of the cheapest gas prices in your area. Luckily you can do so right from your Android smartphone.
There are a few apps that offer near realtime data on gas prices but there aren’t many for the U.S. and even fewer worth downloading.
The best gas price app for Android is GasBuddy, and it’s available free in the Google Play Store. Another good one: YP Yellow Pages, which can help you find cheap gas as well as nearby restaurants and other businesses.
Best Gas Price App: GasBuddy
GasBuddy is the most popular gas price finder in the Google Play Store and its reputation is well-deserved. Since it’s available on iPhone as well, there are millions of users contributing gas prices alongside gas station owners.
To find prices either enter a location or let the app use your current location based on your GPS location. The list of station is initially sorted by distance showing prices for Regular grade. You can sort by price right from this screen or check out higher grades plus Diesel. Each listing also includes the freshness of the data.
Fine tune your listings by tapping Menu > Filter where you can eliminate stations by brand, increase or decrease the distance, and limit the price range.
In the map view you can see prices and station logos at a glance. Tap on one to see the address and more details. If you’re a GasBuddy member you can also update prices.
The details screen not only includes prices, the address and phone number but also photos, features such as 24/7 locations and whether you can pay at the pump. Unfortunately, GasBuddy doesn’t tell you if the price is credit card only, even on this screen.
Most of the gas prices in the areas I checked were updated less than 12 hours ago, very few entries were older than 24 hours.
Runner Up: YP Yellow Pages
I’m a fan of multitasking apps, even if they’re from the old school. Yellow Pages puts the gas finding function right on the Home screen alongside Pizza, Restaurants and Deals, so the devs clearly know what’s important.
The gas price list doesn’t offer you as many filters or sorting options, you just get stations listed by distance. You can see prices for different grades, though.
I like that the app will highlight Good and Best prices so you can quickly scan and find low prices. In map mode the Good and Best prices get special highlighting so they’re easier to find.
Price updates are fresh in this app with several listings updated within two hours and none older than 24. Yellow Pages found fewer gas stations than GasBuddy, though. And individual station pages are less informative than GasBuddy’s.