With the upcoming Christmas and New Year holiday break comes the opportunity to explore parts of New Zealand where you don’t necessarily know the roads or when the next petrol station can be expected.
Here are some apps which can help you plan your journey, where to fuel up and when to buy kids treats and the driver a coffee. They are designed to be used on the road (though obviously not whilst driving and assuming the availability of wifi).
Z Coffee Card is an app from Z Energy (formerly Shell in New Zealand) which seems to primarily serve the purpose of replacing a coffee loyalty card in your wallet but also includes a store locator.
When you buy a coffee at Z you scan a QR code using the app and a stamp populates. Collect six stamps and a free coffee is allocated to you on the app. You can also get one free stamp by sharing the app with friends via email or social media.
You select your region and favourite Z Express station when you set it up. When you’re on the road you can find your nearest Z station and it allows you to phone, or map out your journey to get there. Pretty swifty but lacks any information as to fuel types.
BP currently lacks an app for finding their sites, though bpfinder.co.nz is a mobile optimised site performing the same function.
The site allows you to apply filters and search for sites with Wild Bean Cafe’s, Truckstops, premium fuels and for services such as trailer hire or a carwash. Once you’ve selected a site you can map out your way there or call them.
The Caltex Station Locator app lists not just New Zealand Caltex stations but those in Hong Kong, South China, Malaysia, Pakistan and more.
Similar to Z’s app and BP’s mobile website you can see what sites are closest to you, the fuels available, phone numbers and opening hours and work out how to get there.
Additionally in this app you can create a list of your favourite Caltex stations and rate sites on a scale of 1-5 stars. You can also view current AA Smartfuel and other promotional offers (though the ads are more annoying than helpful) and set up an engine oil change reminder.
Mobil is a tad behind the times – no app and the website is not mobile optimised. If you wish to find a mobil station you’re probably going to need to find yourself a Mac first.
Alternatively there are generic apps out there, not aligned to any particular fuel brand which use GPS to direct you to wherever the cheapest fuel is located. An example is Waze which utilises it’s community to share fuel prices as well as traffic and road information. This will suit those who are price conscious rather than reward hunters and using supermarket dockets or AA Smartfuel cards limiting them to certain fuel providers.