Owning a car is pretty easy once you’ve saved the money or got the finance for the one you want, or is it? Do you really know what it’s going to cost you over the life of the car or just the next few years? ASIC (Australian Securities & Investments Commission) have released an app to help you understand those costs, and we’ve found a few more to help you along the way.
MoneySmart is the ASIC consumer facing advice portal – offering info on all money matters to help people avoid the many tricks and traps out there.
When it comes to buying a car, there’s likely no chance you ever thought about the cost of the car in total over 5 years when you negotiated the price – that’s where the MoneySmart Cars app comes in.
The app is free, and really easy to use. At a top level, you simply enter the cost of the car. Then you choose if it’s new or used, and if you’re taking out a loan or not.
These three variables then result in a basic calculation of the total cost of ownership over 5 years, and the monthly costs too.
It’s a very rudimentary calculation, made to certainly get you thinking – but it also breaks down all the costs in enormous detail if you want it, and allows you to manipulate those costs to get an even more accurate picture.
Just by putting the cost of insurance, rego and running costs in your face makes a big difference – the up front cost is just the start.
If you want to find the cheapest petrol in your area, Gas Buddy is a crowdsourced information app – you and others enter information about pricing at service stations you see or visit, allowing others to find the cheapest price to suit them.
It’s really rather simple – a map, showing service stations, and the last recorded price.
Importantly each petrol station location shows the time and user who entered the data, so you can see how old the information is.
You might have seen ads for this one around our capital cities. Available in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Got U is a new disruptor in the Roadside assistance game.
The NRMA, RACV, RACQ etc offer amazing service – but it comes at a cost, membership and if you don’t have that, it’s going to bite you. It’s also a service that hasn’t moved with the time, while the phone assistance line can now tell you more accurately when your assistance will come – surely that should all be in an app?
Enter Got U. Very much like Uber in terms of an app showing available drivers, those drivers show up as tow-trucks, and in many cases that’s exactly what they’ll be.
Flat rates to jump start a dead battery, unlock your car or give you a splash of fuel to get you on your way – and no membership required.
It’s a simple, and frankly brilliant idea.
For those who are strict on record keeping and perhaps need a nudge now and then for reminders of service schedules – Gas Cubby is a bit old school now, but allows you to enter in the details of your car or cars, and then enter each petrol fill that you do and each service.
That allows you to have a log of things, and also get service reminders. It’s just a very manual process.
Available on iOS – App Store
You’ve probably seen these cars driving around, all sorts of makes and models, shapes and sizes. Hey – why own a car – if you’ve seen the cost in the MoneySmart Cars app, you might realise it’s best to just use one when you need it.
An early part of the “Sharing Economy” GoGet cars sit on the street until a member uses their smart card to unlock it and drive away.
You have to be a member to use the app, but signing up is quick and easy.
The Go Get App allows you to find the car nearest you and book in the hours or days you need!
Available on iOS – App Store
Similar to what 7 Eleven did recently with their lock in price app, BP have announced their trialling an app for their fleet or Plus Card customers who need a serious level of commitment to record keeping.
The App allows you to pay for your fuel, track your speedo, store receipts and locate your nearest BP servo all from the phone.
Launches next month for selected BP Plus card holders.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.