- Downloading cool apps for your phone will eliminate the need to speak to family or friends this Christmas

Was Santa good to you this year? Did he perhaps bring you a shiny new phone?

If he did, you will no doubt be heading straight to the Appstore to cram your knew bit of kit full of exciting new apps to play with.

To save you the trouble of hunting around for the best motoring/car-based apps, we asked around the DriveTribe office for the ones you should download today.

1. iOverlander

Owning car is all about the feeling of freedom, right? You can throw some gear in the back, fill up the tank, and hit the open road. With the windows wound down and Steppenwolf blasting on the stereo, you’re king of the road. Nothing can stop you now! Except in reality, these days the world is not just one big open plain full of welcoming farmer’s fields you can park up your camper or pitch your tent in.

If you even do manage to stumble across a nice, picturesque spot, chances are it is private land with scary notices about trespassers and ‘prosecutions’.

But worry no more, for the iOverlander app is here to help. Pretty much wherever you are in the world, it will find you a camp site or somewhere to park your van nearby. You can also specify which amenities you require (showers, electricity, wi-fi, etc).

Our producer Mercedes swears by this app. "When I was travelling in Patagonia, I found some of the most breath-taking camping spots I've been to in my life. I woke up surrounded by mountains, and had a swim in an empty lake with no one else around. And we never would have found that spot without the app."

Get it here.

2. Waze

Still using Google Maps as your in-car sat nav? Ditch it and upgrade to Waze today. It will plan your route just like Google will, but with the added advantage that the Waze community are all feeding in live traffic updates direct to the app.

So say you’re driving down the M1 but a few junctions ahead traffic is bumper to bumper after an accident. Someone in the Waze community will get word of this and feed it into the app, which will direct you off the motorway, around the jam, and back on after the traffic has cleared.

As they say on their website, Waze is ‘like a personal heads-up from a few million of your friends on the road.’ And it works.

Get it here.

3. Cuvva

Ever find yourself in this situation: it would be super handy for you to borrow your mum’s/friend’s/colleague’s car, but you can’t because you’re not insured on it, and it’s not worth getting yourself covered for the whole year?

That’s where Cuvva comes in. The app will let you get get insurance on a monthly, weekly, daily or even hourly basis. Handy, huh?

Get it here.

4. Parkopedia

Punch in the post code and find yourself a parking space. Easy.

Get it here.

5. Turo

Airbnb has become so ubiquitous in the world of travel it has now entered the language. In much the same way as people now ‘Google’ something, they also now ‘book an Airbnb’. Everyone knows what that means and tons of people have done it.

Turo is an now aims to become the Airbnb for the car world. And it works pretty much the same way: you can rent someone else’s car, or you can list your own car for rental to make a little extra cash.

It is available in the US, Canada, Germany and the UK, but for fiddly insurance reasons it currently works best in America.

Get it here.

6. AutoTrader

Once you’ve eaten the turkey, opened the presents, watched the Queen’s speech AND the Great Escape, you’re going to need something to do on Christmas afternoon. And there’s nothing than any good petrolhead likes doing more than browsing for cars they can’t afford.

And AutoTrader have thousands. Hundreds of thousands. Certainly enough to keep you occupied until it’s time to play charades.

Get the Android version here, and the Apple version here.

7. Fuelly

Ad the world’s oil reserves become ever-more depleted, the cost of petrol is going to rise and rise. One way to help mitigate this rising cost is to improve your MPG rate by driving more carefully.

Of course, keeping track of your MPG rate is not always easy, which is where the Fuelly app comes in. It’s free, and you can also set it to remind you when it’s time for an oil change or for your service.

Get it here.

8. Snapseed

These days every decent phone is also a pretty decent camera, so you can snap plenty of sweet pics of your pride and joy for the ‘Gram.

But if you want your pics to *really* pop (to help get that follower count up), then taking the image is just the start. Next you need to do a quick edit. Ten years ago this would have meant using a massively powerful computer (the kind that could beat Gary Kasparov at chess), and some vastly expensive professional software.

These days you can do it on your phone, and the best app to use is Snapseed.

It has all the usual filters Instagram does, but it has tons of other tools to make your pics stand out from the crowd, and it’s super easy to use.

To see what Snapseed can do, here is a before and after of an image taken by one of our social media busy bees, Jack.

Get it here for iOS, and here for Android.

Which essential motoring apps do you use that I have missed? Let us know in the comments...

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