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The Best Mobile Apps for Motorists

Posted on November 15, 2018

Smart mobile phones and tablets haven’t been around for very long but it’s difficult to remember what life was like before them and bewildering to think that we managed to survive without them! Would you believe that there are more mobile phones in New Zealand than people? – although sheep still come at the very top at the pyramid! We might sometimes regret that time when it was fine to not be connected, sometimes at least, but it must be said that Apps have revolutionised our lives and made it so much easier to manage the day-to-day. Never is it truer than when we are on the road and we need access on the go to check directions, opening times, pay some bills, etc…

Some of the big players like Apple and Google have even very cleverly developed proprietary systems so that mobile Apps can make the transition into the motoring world, with vehicle integration, through clever infotainment connectivity like Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, the technology allowing some Apps to be displayed and used via the media controls.


Manufacturer-specific Apps

Some car manufacturers have developed useful Apps to manage your vehicle which can transmit data through a USB cable or wirelessly via Bluetooth or the mobile network. They usually are driving statistics, location tracking or controlling cabin temperatures.

  • Tesla

With Tesla’s App for example, owners can communicate directly with the Powerwalls anytime and lock/unlock their vehicle without a key. They can check their driving range and their charge status and, even more interesting, they can receive a notification when their car is fully charged so that they don’t have to come back and check periodically on its progress.

If you have ever been parboiled when coming back to your car after it has been cooking slowly under the summer sun, you will feel envious that Tesla owners can vent their vehicle and turn on the climate control system remotely to come back to a cool cabin.

GPS locating, while seemingly a basic feature, will be greatly appreciated for those of us who regularly realise after going shopping that they actually have no idea where they left their car.

The Valet mode allows owners to restrict access to their data when they hand over their car for servicing for example.

  • Hyundai

Hyundai’s Auto Link also provides owners useful information about their car such as signs of faults or vehicle location. It also keeps tracks of fuel efficiency statistics.



Although EVRoam isn’t an App as such but a database, we wanted to mention it as it will feed dozens of Apps in NZ and could be a game changer as far as the adoption of electric vehicles in the country is concerned. People tempted to buy an all-electric car are often held back by the fear of not being able to find a charging station when they need it and find themselves stranded.

Created by New Zealand Transport Agency in collaboration with partners such as vehicle charging infrastructure providers ChargeNet and Vector, and the NZ Automobile Association, it will give EV owners up-to-date information about charging stations and enable them to plot their route accordingly.



Gaspy is a really useful free App that records fuel prices nationwide so that you can easily compare offers in your vicinity and get the best prices wherever you are. It is a ‘community’ App which relies on feedback from New Zealand motorists. It was developed by IT software development company Hwen based in Tauranga and is available for iPhone and Android OS.


AT Park

Cars are great. Until you need to find a parking spot for them and then you feel like a prisoner going round and round through city centres with your eyes peeled for one of those elusive creatures. That’s when you realise you haven’t got any cash to pay for the meter...

Thanks to Auckland Transport’s AT Park you can now pay directly from your phone, without having to wrestle with a parking machine or having to display a ticket.



Waze is a location App for Smartphones and tablets with GPS support. It can be used as a SatNav but also gives you information about traffic, roadworks and crashes in real time so that you can avoid getting stuck in a soul-destroying traffic jam.


Car sharing Apps

Car sharing Apps have mushroomed over the last few years, and you can understand why as it really is a win-win on all fronts.

Sharing cars reduces the number of vehicles on the road, and therefore congestion and pollution; it helps people without a car travel to destinations that would otherwise perhaps be unreachable, or they make their daily commute easier and cheaper. Car owners receive a contribution from travellers, which compensate them for added wear and tear, car maintenance and fuel costs – but the principle is that they shouldn’t make a profit. Car pooling is therefore a way to make keeping a car more affordable.

There is a range of such Apps including Cityhop in Wellington and Auckland, Mevo Car Share in Wellington or Chariot Ridesharing. The App also offers the advantage of cashless payments, like Uber, pre-agreed ride fares and ride reviews. An important aspect of carpooling is ensuring the safety of everybody involved given that you are, basically, getting into a car with complete strangers. Chariot Ridesharing has the advantage of displaying background checks on the website which certainly make people feel safer.


Car Mate NZ

This App offers a platform to buy and sell second-hand cars as well as offering discounts on car servicing and maintenance. It is particularly appreciated by people wanting to sale their car as doing so is commission free.

If you are looking for an experienced shipping company to import or export you car, contact McCullough on +64 9 309 1163 or email us to discuss your needs and find out how we can help you.

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