Recommended Apps for Driving in Australia

By Angela Monroe - September 29, 2020

Recommended-Apps-to-Help-You-While-Travelling

There are tons of amazing apps that really make things easier for drivers. But driving apps for Australia do what? And more importantly, what problems do they solve? We find out:

We list some of the top driving apps for Australia and discover the problems they solve.

Problem: “I can never find a park!”

toy cars parked

Solution: Parkhound

Why: Parkhound allows you to find and rent parking spaces in locations they frequent.

How It Works: Parkhound is aimed at populated areas of Australia. It allows hosts (private or commercial) to list their parking spaces for motorists. For example, during the week, you might park at a train station and catch the train into the city centre. Parking can be expensive and car safety can be a concern.

Parkhound provides a map with prices and parking amenities nearby. This could even be a private citizen who wants to rent out their garage or driveway. It’s almost like the ‘Airbnb of car parking’. Prices vary by location, amenities (eg: size, locked garage, street parking, etc) and length of stay.

Available on Apple and Android. Price: Free

Problem: “Petrol is too expensive!”

petrol station at night

Solution: Fuel Map

Why: It lists the prices of petrol near you.

How It Works: Petrol prices fluctuate dramatically in Australia. At the time of writing, prices are around $0.99 per litre for regular unleaded at the cheapest and up to an astronomical $1.49 per litre at the highest. Want the lowest price? This app is for you. The information is crowd sourced, meaning that users can update it live, on the fly. Viewed on a map, you can select the best price near you or where you’re going. It also lists amenities such as toilets, car washes and open hours.

You’re also able to call up price history which allows you to time your fuel fills on cheaper days. Furthermore, there’s a handy fuel log which keeps track of your fuel purchases, costs and your vehicle’s fuel economy.

Available on Apple and Android. Price: Free

Problem: “I want a dash cam!”

man offering camera

Solution: Car Camera DVR. Pro (iOS) / AutoGuard Dash Cam (Android)

Why: Turn your smartphone into a dash cam with these apps.

How They Work: Both of these apps record high quality HD videos. The reason why they are better than simply hitting ‘record’ on your camera is that they offer embedded data about time, location and speed. They can be set to automatically start video recording when connected with Bluetooth. These apps can be configured to operate in the background so you can still use your phone for other things too.

Car Camera DVR. Pro: $9.99 / AutoGuard Dash Cam: Free (with in-app purchases)

Problem: “I can’t park close enough and have to walk!”

man walking with phone

Solution: Google Maps AR feature (Apple) / (Android)

Why: The new AR feature for walking.

How It Works: We won’t go over how Google Maps works as it’s pretty versatile, but we will go over the amazing augmented reality feature. It works when you select a destination and choose to walk. This comes in handy when you park and have to walk the rest of the way – especially somewhere unfamiliar. Say… a job interview in the city. The augmented reality option shows directions using the camera on your phone. For example, it’ll show arrows, left and right signs, distance and street signs on your screen via the camera.

Available on Apple and Android. Price: Free

Problem: “I want to drive a sports car!”

toy Ferrari

Solution: XLR8 (Apple) / (Android)

Why: This app makes your car sound like an exotic supercar in real time.

How It Works: XLR8 uses your phone’s accelerometers to realistically respond and make sounds to acceleration, braking and cornering forces. All in real time, as you drive. Yes, it’s a bit gimmicky, but great fun. The app connects to your car’s stereo via Bluetooth to make the sounds even more real. You can select from a V8 muscle car, Lamborghini, Ford GT40 and more. You can adjust the shift RPM and gear ratios along with other settings.

Available on Apple and Android. Price: $2.99

Problem: “I want to read emails while driving to work!”

email app

Solution: Speaking Email

Why: It reads your emails aloud to you.

How It Works: Speaking Email can connect to your car’s stereo via Bluetooth and is fully voice controlled. It is able to simply read your emails aloud to you via your phone’s speaker or through your car speakers. This enables you to catch up on emails while you’re driving – just as you’d listen to the radio. You can configure it so it only reads the content too, which avoids any jargon like ‘from [address], to [address], date, mailed by, signed by, etc’.

Speaking Email works with Gmail and Office 365. It can even read PDF and Word attachments. Using voice commands, you can skip, slow down, speed up, mark as read/unread, archive and more. Just be wary of any confidential emails if you have passengers with you.

Available on Apple and Android. Price: US$29.99 a year / Free trial for 7 days / Free 3 months extension for sharing

To Conclude…

woman on arcade

The above apps make even the best infotainment systems that much more intuitive. Along with the mind-boggling tech coming out of the auto industry, driving is not the same as it used to be – it’s safer and more convenient. Have a think about the problems you might have when driving and check out the above apps.

Angela Monroe
Angela Monroe is the Community Manager at The Positive Group, specialising in giving people the information that they need when they need it, and putting you on the path to a fair financial future. She has 8 years of experience in helping Australians find the right finance solutions, and regularly contributes articles to empower Australians with the knowledge they need to become financially healthy.

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