Smartphones are an integral part of modern life. Although you can't directly use your mobile behind the wheel, there's a wide range of motoring apps you can download to make driving easier, quicker, cheaper and safer.

Manufacturers have started to incorporate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technology into some models as standard. These systems allow you to project the screen from your smartphone onto the car's built-in touchscreen enabling you to use certain apps (e.g. messaging and maps) safely on the move. The list of apps compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is relatively small at the moment, but is growing all the time.

Regardless of whether your car has Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, if you download the right motoring apps to your smartphone, it can become the perfect driving companion whether you're doing the daily commute to and from work, the school run or transporting the whole family on holiday.

We've made a list of our favourite free and paid-for driving apps.

Waze

Cost: Free

Available: iOS, Android & Windows

Waze logo

All smartphones come with a built-in map app whether it's Apple Maps or Google Maps. Waze is different because it uses other drivers with the app to update traffic and road information in real-time.

In its most basic form, it can be used as just another sat nav app offering turn-by-turn instructions to get you to your destination in the quickest time, but it is so much more than that.

Other Waze users can report incidents such as road hazards, police presence and accidents as well as placing points of interest, marking shortcuts and suggesting scenic routes if you're not in a hurry.

It describes itself as the 'largest community-based traffic and navigation app'. Users are encouraged to share information such as fuel prices to help other drivers find the cheapest station on their route.

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JustPark

Cost: Free

Available: iOS & Android

JustPark logo

Finding a parking space can be a stressful experience, especially if you're in unfamiliar territory or it's a busy time of day. JustPark is the UK's favourite parking app allowing you to find and reserve parking spaces easily.

You can search and pay for a space in-app with easy navigation to get from your current location to the space. JustPark even lets you extend-on-the-go if you end up staying longer than you planned so you don't get slapped with a parking fine.

Choose from millions of options - both off-street (car parks and private driveways) and on-street (parking meters and free). You can also see the likelihood of space availability with the green circle around the 'P' icon - the more green you see, the better.

Where JustPark has the upper hand on its competitors is from the 20,000+ reservable locations it offers. You can even make money if you have a parking space to rent out. It's free to list and only takes a few minutes to set up.

Get JustPark

Drivermatics Blackbox Dash Cam

Cost: Free

Available: iOS & Android

Drivermatics Blackbox Dash Cam logo

In-car technology has developed to a point where dashboard cameras (dash cams) are becoming increasingly common. However, standalone gadgets are under threat from smartphones as their cameras improve with every new model that's released.

As opposed to purchasing a full dash cam, you could buy a phone mount and download the Drivermatics Blackbox Dash Cam app instead. It performs the same function of recording the road ahead, plus it has the added capabilities of capturing valuable information at the scene of an accident including video, photographic, audio and text-based evidence.

This app is easy to use and can connect to certain insurers and breakdown providers - a feature that is particularly useful in collaboration with the SOS button that will notify both if you have an accident.

In addition to recording video, it also uses the GPS, accelerometer and gyroscope sensors in your smartphone to record detailed telematics journey data about how you drive your car, providing you with a driving score for a bit of fun. There's even a sat nav option that works alongside Google or Apple Maps while it runs in the background.

Get Drivermatics Blackbox Dash Cam for iOS

Get Drivermatics Blackbox Dash Cam Android

PetrolPrices.com

Cost: Free

Available: iOS & Android

PetrolPrices.com logo

As the name suggests, this app originally started life as a website over ten years ago powered by data from Confused.co.uk. It now compares prices at almost 8,500 petrol stations, covering 98% of the UK.

They claim that you could save over £220 a year using this service. All you need to do is create a free account (which takes less than two minutes) using your email address and postcode.

Once you have an account, you can filter your search results in terms of fuel type, location and fuel brand to find the cheapest station to you including supermarkets. What's more, you can get directions to the station via the app.

Get PetrolPrices.com for iOS

Get PetrolPrices.com for Android

Tile

Cost: Free (for the app)

Available: iOS & Android

Tile App device

Have you ever had the panic that you've lost your car keys? It always seems to happen right before you need to leave the house when you're already late. With the Tile app installed on your phone, you'll always know where your keys are.

Tile is a keyring device that connects to an app via Bluetooth. While the app is free, in order for it to work, you also need to buy the Tile device which starts from £20.

Once you have your Tile device, open the Tile app, press the '+' icon and follow the simple activation instructions. You can then use the Tile app to ring the device if it's nearby, or you can see its location on a map if you can't hear it ringing.

You don't just have to use Tile for your car keys; you can buy several of them and set them up with different names so you never lose your favourite things ever again.

Get Tile

Spotify

Cost: Free

Available: iOS, Android & Windows

Spotify logo

Listening to the radio in the car is fine, but sometimes you want to listen to your own music. Most modern cars can connect to a smartphone or MP3 device via USB or Bluetooth enabling audio playback. That means you can listen to music downloaded onto those devices.

Alternatively, you could download the Spotify app and have access to a library of more than 30 million songs for free. As a free user, you can listen to unlimited playlists or albums on shuffle, but you will be interrupted by adverts.

However, you can upgrade your account to Premium for £9.99 a month which removes adverts, lets you play albums in the correct order, allows you to create custom playlists and gives you the ability to download your favourite songs to play offline.

Spotify is also compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Get Spotify

RingGo

Cost: Free

Available iOS, Android, Windows & Blackberry

RingGo logo

Finding a parking space can be a stressful experience, but what about paying for parking when you finally have a space? A lot of people don't carry cash or coins with them anymore because it is more convenient to pay via contactless or chip and PIN.

RingGo helps to solve this problem by allowing you to pay via the mobile app. You can see all car parks that operate RingGo and even search by location before you set off trying to find a space.

When you find a car park that accepts RingGo payments, there will be a unique code that identifies that specific car park or area to the app. There are a few similar systems around, but RingGo is offered in more than 400 towns and cities nationwide.

Get RingGo

Aviva Drive

Cost: Free

Available: iOS & Android

Aviva Drive logo

Telematics or 'black box' policies are being offered by more and more insurance companies as they look to lower premiums for drivers based on the way they actually drive.

These policies use devices to record speed, acceleration, braking and cornering data so that the provider can assess how safely you drive and subsequently lower or raise your premium.

The Aviva Drive app gives you the opportunity to experience a telematics system without any consequences for 'poor' or 'unsafe' driving. The app monitors your driving and gives you a score out of 10 after 200 miles.

If you receive a low score, you can simply uninstall the app; however, if you get a high score, it could lead to a cheaper insurance policy (up to 20%) with Aviva Insurance.

It also has a dash cam feature that records video of the road ahead, can detect crashes and will automatically save the footage.

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Motorway Services GB

Cost: £1.99

Available: iOS (similar apps for Android)

Motorway Services GB logo

Exclusively available for iPhone users, Motorway Services GB contains detailed information of all motorway services in Great Britain including the facilities available at each location.

Using the mobile app, you can find the nearest motorway services to you and search for services that offer specific brands and facilities you want. In addition, you can find and book hotel rooms at specific motorway service stations before you actually get there.

Get Motorway Services GB

Travel Bingo

Cost: Free

Available: iOS (similar apps for Android)

Travel Bingo gameplay

Keeping everyone entertained, especially young children, on long journeys can be a difficult task - how many rounds of 'I Spy' can you play before starting to go crazy?

The Travel Bingo app presents various objects and road signs you're likely to see on a typical car journey and lets you tick off tiles as you spot them. You can play on a single device, or against other people.

As standard, you only get small town tiles for free. It will cost £2.99 to upgrade so that you can access all tiles the app has to offer. This specific mobile app is exclusive to iPhone users, but there are similar Android options including Car Bingo.

Get Travel Bingo