- Turn your car into a futuristic connected vehicle with these cutting edge driving apps
- Discover the latest ‘parking angels’, intuitive sat navs and telematics apps
- Be warned though: tougher sanctions are being introduced for using your mobile phone behind the wheel
Whether it's navigating your commute to work, finding the last free parking space in a busy city or providing easy access to music, there are plenty of motoring apps to choose from. We've put together a list of the best mobile apps available for drivers.
An entirely free Sat Nav solution, Waze is a great community app for drivers.
Users send in real time traffic information to alert the Waze community of accidents, police activity and traffic jams in your local area. On top of that, it provides turn-by-turn voice navigation, automatic re-routing and the ability to send your ETA to your friends so they know you're on the way.
Over the past few years, dashcams have become an increasingly popular accessory for drivers. There can no longer be any disputes over who was to blame in a car accident if there's a video recording of the car journey. For less than £2, this app turns your iPhone into an effective dashcam, allowing you to switch between multiple resolutions, autosave recordings, track your location, and know when you're driving too fast.
With its clean design and easy-to-use interface, Parkopedia is a popular mobile app for drivers on the hunt for a parking space. Parkopedia maps and lists parking space availability in real-time, tells you opening times, prices and payment methods – and can even give you directions straight to the space. The app works in most UK towns and drops a pin in all the available parking spaces via an interactive map. It's free to download in the Google Play and Apple app store and a must-have for stress-free parking.
More and more modern cars now include forward collision warning systems: alerting you to cars ahead slamming the brakes on, before you've had a chance to spot it yourself. But there's no need to fork out for a brand new car just yet - for less than £1, iOnRoad is a perfect substitute. This augmented reality app uses your phone's camera and GPS, detecting how long it would take for you to collide with the vehicle in front of you. A colour-coded chart tells you if you're getting too close, making sure you don't tailgate the car in front.
PlugShare is available for both Android and iOS users and pinpoints the nearest charging stations for electric and hybrid cars. It features a database of charging spots all over the UK, so you can plan your route around convenient places to stop and charge your car. The PlugShare app is free and could be a lifesaver if your car battery's run out of juice.
A final word of caution…
If you think any of these apps could help improve your car journey, remember to download them at home, and set them up before you drive off. Please don't use your mobile phone behind the wheel – not only is it dangerous, you could also risk getting points on your licence and a hefty fine if you're caught.