If, like Chris Rea, you’re going to be driving home for Christmas this year then you might want to take a look at the AA’s fuel prices UK app for the iPhone. It’s designed to help you save on the cost of fuel by comparing the five cheapest prices at local petrol pumps. The app displays the results in either Google Maps or in a list. Stations marked on the map with a green fuel pump are the cheapest while red stations are the most expensive.
The cheapest and most expensive prices are displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen. Data on prices is harvested from purchases made on Arval fuel cards allowing for some pretty up to date price information.
It doesn’t matter what type of fuel your wheels run on – you can search for unleaded, diesel and LPG. If it needs premium, then you can search for super unleaded and ultimate diesel as well.
The app performs searches very quickly, even on a weak GPRS connection (we tested it on an old school non-3G iPhone as well as a 3G one). You pull and pinch to zoom just as you normally would with Google Maps which is just as well, as with every search the map puts you above Africa for some reason.
As much as we liked the app we felt that it could be improved with the addition of a postcode checker. Being able to search for the cheapest prices within a certain radius of a specific address would be ideal for holidays and long road trips where you’d be making multiple stops. We’ve been told by the AA that a postcode search function is being worked on and should be rolled out as a free upgrade to the app later in 2010.
The AA fuel prices UK app is available to purchase from the Apple app store now, on an annual subscription that costs £4.99. AA claim that the average motorist would be able to recoup this cost after 5 months, by finding the cheapest prices while using the app.