Fuel apps are taking over Australian Smartphones everywhere. Remember the days when fuel cost less than a snack-size packet of Smiths chips? Well, as people scramble to save as much as they can on inflating fuel prices, companies and app developers everywhere are pushing to find a solution.
This month, we’ve seen the launch of two new fuel-sourcing apps – GasBuddy and 7-Eleven Fuel. These come as a challenger to existing apps such as MotorMouth, Petrol Spy and Fuel Map Australia, as well as the official apps and discounts for Woolworths, BP, Coles Express and Caltex fuel.
The fuel-game is getting more competitive and it’s only going to get fiercer.
So what do the GasBuddy and 7-Eleven Fuel apps actually do?
The 7-Eleven app, available on iOS and Android, filters through the fuel prices of various 7-Elevens within a radius of the user, and allows motorists to ‘lock in’ the cheapest price.
First, users need to register for the 7-Eleven digital wallet and then select a voucher based on fuel type and litres (10-150 litres) – not too dissimilar to a pre-paid phone. The voucher can then be used in seven days at any of the stores and paid for once the voucher is redeemed – so if the bowser price falls below the voucher price, you can still make the most of the lower dollars.
Obviously, there’s a catch. The vouchers can only be redeemed once, which means if you buy 150 litres worth of fuel, for you 40 litre tank, you’ve just forfeited 110 litres worth. And only one voucher can be used per transaction – so two 10 litre vouchers won’t cover your 20 litres of fuel.
Additionally, there’s a limit on how many times you can check fuel prices (100 is the magic number) and two fuel prices can be locked in over a 24 hour period.
Then there’s GasBuddy, which helps you located the cheapest prices around town via a crowdsourcing method.AustrlaianMotorists are able to submit the prices for various fuels types to GasBuddy which is then updated in real time.
To ensure accuracy, GasBuddy allows users to confirm or update prices submitted. Points are rewarded for submissions and can be deposited to win a $100 fuel voucher.
While there’s no doubt the app game will continue to develop in the fuel industry, we give a big tick of approval to anything that’s going to save us some money. Unless fuel prices fall to 50c per litre again, in which case we’d be ok with that too.