Thanks to technology, traveling by car is easier than it's ever been. Fold out maps have been replaced by crowd-sourced navigational apps that modify your route in real time and the long national nightmare of not being able to find a gas station or a parking space when you really need them is finally over. Oh, and if you don't have a car, there's even an app to help you locate one that's easy to rent.

One of the best things about many of these apps is that they show how convenience doesn’t always have to come at an environmental cost. By reducing the amount of time we have to be in our vehicles and helping us make sure they are in proper shape, these apps are, in turn, helping us reduce our carbon footprint

With so many innovative apps to choose from, we thought we’d compile a few of our favorites. Here are 5 car-related apps for your smartphone that you don’t want to be without.


Gas Buddy

What’s not to like about an app with a name like Gas Buddy? It just sounds so adorable. “Hey, Gas Buddy, whatchu doin?” “Oh, nothing much, just helping more than 50 million drivers to save money on gas by letting them know where to find the cheapest gas prices in their area. What about you? “Um, going to download Gas Buddy?” “Good idea. You’ll also have a chance of winning $100 worth of gas each day.” “Thanks, Buddy!”


Waze mobile app

What’s better than a navigation system in your car? How about one that provides real-time traffic updates, including accidents, road closures and police activity, while adjusting your route on the fly? These are just a few of the reasons why Waze is the world's largest crowd-sourced navigation app. That it alerts us to the location of the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts, well, that’s just a bonus.


Parker app

Trying to find a parking space can be one of the most frustrating things about traveling in a car, which is why we should all be thanking the gods of technology that smartphone apps like Parker exist. Not only does it help you find parking, pay for parking and figure out the local parking rules, Parker can help you locate EV charging stations and includes a timer to keep you from incurring garage fees or getting a ticket.


Zipcar mobile app

Let’s say you have Parker, Waze and Gas Buddy but ... you don’t have a car. The Zipcar app can help change that, since it allows you to find and reserve Zipcars across the globe. The app lets you search for cars by type and model, view the available cars on a map or in a list, as well as make or change a reservation. You can even honk your Zipcar’s horn with your device and, as everyone knows, an app is only as good as its ability to simulate road rage.


NAPA Know How mobile app

It’s not the most fun thing to think about, but sometimes your car is going to need to be serviced and the NAPA KNOW HOW app makes the process a cinch. You can easily scan your VIN number and browse through an online catalogue of nearly half a million parts, reserve your items for in-store pickup, access detailed how-to information and repair guides and even chat live with a technician.

Get quality replacement parts for your car installed by a NAPA AutoCare Center. To learn more about NAPA AutoCare, visit