Petrol, gas, juice. Whatever you call it, it’s something we all need to buy (all car owners, at least) on a pretty regular basis. Fluctuating oil prices mean that prices at the pumps are constantly going up and down – the local station that was really cheap last week could be the most expensive in the area the next. Rather than wasting valuable fuel, ands money, driving around trying to find the best deal, install MyGas on your iPhone and you’ll have access to the latest prices at all times.
At least that is the theory. MyGas is a great idea for an app. Anyone use the app is free to submit prices they discover at petrol stations they visit and this information can then be shared with the rest of the user-base. This crowd-sourcing philosophy is one that has worked well in other areas, but it is dependent on having an active audience who participate in information sharing.
Should you happen to live in, or be visiting an area where there are few or no MyGas users, there is a high chance that the app will be able to provide you with no information or perhaps outdated information. The lack of centralised pricing for petrol means that prices can vary hugely – even for two petrol stations on the same street or owned by the same company – and there is no easy way to get price details. Word of mouth has worked in the past, and MyGas is a modern extension of that idea, making it possible to search for prices based on your GPS determined location, or by searching for places you are going to visit – maps are provided to help you to get to the petrol station you decide to use.
The app’s database covers an interesting selection of countries - Germany, UK, Ireland and Portugal – which means that it could be used whilst on holiday or on business trips, and there are plans to include more countries in future versions. This app and others like it could be the start of a gas price revolution, but they need support and backing from users. The more popular these apps become, the more information can be shared and the more people can take advantage of the best prices.
Coverage and update rates are a little patchy, but this is a useful app to have installed, and it is a project that needs more people to get involved.