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Commuting is undoubtedly the most frustrating aspect of working life for many people.
Getting stuck in traffic jams or hit by delays to trains can be a major headache, but these things are avoidable if you have access to the right information.
And if you’ve an iPhone or iPad about your person, there’s an app that can help you get where you’re supposed to be, on time, whether you’re travelling by car, train or the Tube.
1. TomTom (£59.99 for UK & Ireland version)
It took a while, but the kings of sat-nav arrived on the App Store this summer with a set of apps whose polish puts the company’s standalone units to shame.
TechRadar’s TomTom for iPhone review noted that the TomTom app sometimes struggles in built-up areas, but the TomTom car kit should deal with that shortcoming. It’s just a pity about the hefty overall price of the solution.
2. CoPilot Live (£25.99 for UK & Ireland version)
It might be a cheaper alternative to TomTom’s range of apps, but CoPilot isn’t some dodgy bargain-basement offering. In fact, TechRadar’s reviewer preferred Co-Pilot to TomTom’s iPhone app, enjoying its clear UI and road display (including impressive ‘realistic’ motorway exits), and the strong feature set. The keyboard has also now been updated to the standard iPhone model.
3. Fuel Prices UK (£4.99)
With petrol prices again on the rise, it pays to know where the most affordable fuel can be purchased. Fuel Prices UK locates garages near your current location, showing prices on a sliding scale, although you can’t search other locations nor see exact prices for each garage. The app’s at least immediate and doesn’t require a log-in. However, the description notes that it’s “purchased from the App Store on an annual subscription basis”.
4. PetrolPrices Pro (£2.99)
A cheaper alternative to Fuel Prices UK, PetrolPrices Pro comes from the team behind petrolprices.com.
The app is very flexible, and although it automatically searches for petrol stations near to your location, it also enables postcode and town searches. Furthermore, the results list is superior to the one in Fuel Prices UK, displaying garage brands and prices. Note, though, that the app requires a petrolprices.com account and an in-app subscription purchase after the first year.
5. Traffic Info (free)
By turning the traffic incidents feed provided by the Highways Agency into a usable app, Traffic Info becomes a must-have install for car-based commuters lacking traffic info on a sat-nav. The most recent update adds a map showing where major incidents are, along with your current location.