Many of us spend many hours on the highway, so this month we thought we would explore apps that can improve the driving experience. We scoured the internet and also queried our CPA Practice Advisor community, and here’s what we found.
Jackie Meyer, CPA, CTC, president and founder of Meyer Tax Consulting, recommends Waze, the navigation app that allows you to share road conditions and driving information in real time with other drivers on the same route. “Get social insight into what’s actually going on during trips, when to go on the feeder road, if there are cops around, etc.,” said Meyer. Amy Vetter, author and public speaker is also a Waze fan: “Don’t go a day without it!”
If you find yourself in need of road service, Randy Johnston, executive vice president and owner at K2 Enterprises, recommends the AAA Mobile app. “It enables many of the services you have expected traditionally from AAA.”
Before you fork over cash for repairs, automobile resource website Edmunds.com suggests you download a bookmark to the Repair Pal website that will tell you how much you should expect to pay for specific repairs on your car in your geographic area.
If you’re beyond needing road service, Johnston suggests you try the KBB app (Kelly Blue Book) for new and used vehicle pricing or CARFAX which gives you used car location and reports on the cars.
Caleb Jenkins, EA, CQP, leader of client accounting services at RLJ Financial Services, Inc., recommends KBB as well, and in addition he suggests Craigslist if you find it’s time to purchase a vehicle.
And as long as you’re looking for a car, try TrueCar. This app is a good way to find out how much your car is worth or how much to pay for a new car, according to accounting software thought leader Doug Sleeter.
If you think you would rather lease than buy, take a look at the Honcker app. Reviewed earlier this year in Forbes, Honcker shows you vehicles that are available for lease in your area, calculates monthly lease prices (with no additional fees), sets up the lease agreement, and even lets you order a car and arrange for delivery through the app. Honcker is currently available in 32 states.
Electric vehicle owners will want to download PlugShare, the app that lets you know where the nearest charging stations can be located. Recommended by Edmunds.com, PlugShare allows you to filter by stations that are home, public, quick-charge, and in-use.
Most if not all of the vehicle insurance companies have their own websites and apps. But here’s something a little different. Metromile is the go-to car related app for Matt Donaldson, head of channel sales for Expensify. “Living in San Francisco means I don’t actually use my car to commute, so I don’t want to pay exorbitant amounts for insurance when I don’t use it every day. Metromile does a per mile fee that’s incredibly affordable and also has a bonus of warning me about street sweeping…the joys of driving and parking in SF.”
Have you checked out your automobile manufacturer’s app? Sandra Wiley, president of Boomer Consulting, gave us a heads up about Audi Connect – “It gives me everything I need to manage my Audi Q5, including letting me open it from my phone.” It turns out many of the manufacturers have apps. Cartelligent.com has a list.
One of my personal favorites is Gas Buddy, the app that helps you find nearby filling stations no matter where in the country you are, and it also lets you compare gas prices. Gas Buddy has a new points program that gives you opportunities to get discounts. I’m also a fan of Rest Stops, which not only shows where the nearest rest stops are on the highway but lets visitors provide reviews of the facilities. Also, there’s iExit which offers a rundown of the services and businesses at exits along the major highways.
Earlier this year we reviewed MileIQ, the app that helps you track your mileage. The program works in the background, tracking your miles, and then you can swipe to indicate if your trip was business or personal.
See inside November 2018
Time & Billing Apps
For business owners and accounting firms that are looking for a simpler way to track time and expenses without investing a lot of money, there are a variety of apps available that may fit the bill. As an added bonus, along with tracking time, many of ...