Sticker price is only the beginning. In fact, the average car costs $9,100 per year during the first five years you own it—in gas, insurance, repairs and more, according to Consumer Reports. These handy apps can pave the way to a cheaper ride.
Best App: CarGurus (Android, iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Knowledge is power: Enter car specifics or a vehicle identification number and this app reports a fair price. Search dealer inventory, read dealership reviews and ask questions of the community. CarGurus does a good job of challenging the venerable brands Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds.
Best App: Bankrate Auto App (Amazon, Android, iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Integrates car payment calculation, insurance quotes and edmunds.com's True Market Value. Experiment with the savings that a bigger down payment or different term lengths would make, and how much your insurance would vary on different models.
Best App: MapQuest Mobile (Amazon, Android, iOS, Windows)
Bottom-Line Benefits: This app maps out your route before you take off, choosing the best options. And, with real-time traffic updates, it can help you avoid places where the roads are backed up and figure out the most efficient way to get where you need to go.
Best App: GasBuddy (Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Tells you the lowest gas prices at stations in your area. GasBuddy gets its information from users, who report gas prices and receive points for doing so. If you participate, once you earn 1,000 points, you'll be entered into a drawing to win free gas.
Best App: ParkWhiz (Android, iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Forget driving around looking for parking—ParkWhiz lets you find and purchase your parking spot in advance in more than 150 cities, with more to follow. Compare prices, convenience and amenities. The app is free, as is its up-and-coming competitor, SpotHero, currently available in 12 cities.
Best App: OpenBay (iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Sends your car-repair and maintenance needs to providers, who bid on your business via the app. Choose offers based on price, location or rating. Plus, the app keeps a log of any service you book through it, so you don't have to keep paper receipts to maintain your service history.