Driving to work can be rough. U.S. drivers spend $2,600 a year commuting. They spend 38 hours a year stuck in traffic. Drivers worldwide spend nearly 20 minutes looking for a parking spot. (Unless you have SpotHero. Download our app for iPhone or Android.)
But there’s hope. With these apps, your phone can make your commute easier, faster, and less expensive. In no special order, here are the 15 best apps for commuters who drive.
15. Glympse (Free, iPhone Download | Android Download)
Running late? Send a Glympse. Glympse is a fast, free and simple way to share your location with friends, family, and co-workers. They can see where you are and how long it will take until you arrive.
14. Pocket Casts ($3.99, iPhone Download | Android Download)
Podcasts are great for your commute. These days, there’s a podcast about pretty much anything. Pocket Casts is easy to use and helps you find new podcasts. Plus, you can sync with all of your devices. When you subscribe to a podcast, Pocket Casts can automatically download new episodes. That way you’ll always have something new to listen to during your commute. The app is worth the $4-$5 and podcasts are free.
13. Gasbuddy (Free, iPhone Download | Android Download)
Wanna get the best deal on gas? Get GasBuddy. It helps you find the cheapest gas near you. You can also search by location–something close to home or your office. There’s a daily drawing for a chance to win $100 in free gas.
12. MileIQ (Free, iPhone Download | Android Download)
MileIQ is a GPS mileage tracking app. It automatically logs your drives and calculates their value. You get the reimbursement or deduction you deserve with less busy work. It’s so easy!
11. Citymapper (Free, iPhone Download | Android Download)
On days when you don’t drive, use Citymapper to get the best transit route. The New York Times says “Citymapper is, quite simply, the best travel app to be introduced to New York City.” Just enter your destination to get suggested routes. Citymapper uses transit, walking, and cycling directions. You can also see how many calories you’ll burn on each route.
10. Pandora (Free, iPhone Download | Android Download)
Need some music? Ditch the regular radio. Pandora is free, personalized Internet radio. It lets you create stations based on artists or songs. Just search your favorite band or song and Pandora does the rest. You can thumbs up or thumbs down a song. The ratings tell Pandora to either play more songs like it or never play a song again. There’s a paid, ad-free version. Rock on!
9. Spotify (Free, iPhone Download | Android Download)
Spotify gives you access to millions of songs. You can create playlists and find cool new ones. Spotify has custom playlists for your morning commute and your evening commute. A paid subscription lets you play unlimited music all month long. Warning: if you start a free trial, prepared to get hooked.
8. Siri (Free, included with iPhone)
Siri is the iPhone’s built-in personal assistant. It’s great while you’re on the go. Just say “Hey Siri” to get help, set reminders, read texts, and so much more. Siri can answer most questions and use your location to recommend places near you. Need a reminder about something when you get to work? Siri can do that too.
7. Google Now (Free, iPhone Download | Android Download)
Google Now is Android’s version of Siri. It’s not conversational or witty, but it’s incredibly helpful for commuters. Just say “OK Google” to set reminders, get directions, or get the forecast. You can also ask Google to call, text, or email a friend–all with your voice.
6. Getaround (Free, iPhone Download | Android Download)
If your car is getting worked on or suddenly doesn’t work, Getaround lets you rent someone else’s car by the hour or for the day. Just search for cars near you, enter your info, and book and unlock with your phone. Want to earn extra cash? You can list your car.
5. HONK (Free, iPhone Download | Android Download)
Need car help on the road? HONK is an a on-demand roadside assistance app. Get towing, tire change, jump start, fuel, and lock out service. On average, HONK provides 15-30 minute ETAs starting at $49. There’s no monthly fee and more than 30,00 trucks are available 24/7.
4. Uber (Free, iPhone Download | Android Download)
Uber gives you a ride at the push of a button. If you need a break from driving, or need to get to a happy hour after work, use Uber. Best of all, when you arrive, you just get out of the car. No cash, no credit card machines. Payment is all through your phone. Sharing with someone else? You can split the fare on your phone too.
3. Lyft (Free, iPhone Download | Android Download)
Like Uber, Lyft is on-demand ride app. Just request a ride and a friendly driver will arrive within minutes. Just pay with your phone. The six-passenger ride, Lyft Plus, comes in handy when your with a group. If Uber is under surge pricing, it’s always worth checking out Lyft.
2. Waze (Free, iPhone Download | Android Download)
“Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute.” That’s Waze for you. With this app, you’ll always get the fastest route to work. Wazers share cheap gas prices too, so you can always save on gas money. Waze is just plain fun. You can pick different voices in the app for navigation–like “Boy Band” or Stephen Colbert.
1. SpotHero (Free, iPhone Download | Android Download)
SpotHero makes parking easy. You can reserve an affordable parking spot near work. Just enter an address and SpotHero finds nearby garages and lots. For many locations, you can scan in and out of the garage with your phone. It’s available in Chicago, NYC, DC, San Francisco, Boston, and other major U.S. cities.
What apps did we miss? Let us know in the comments.