I hate to admit to it but I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to cars and their statistics. It’s not just the performance stats either, it also includes the mundane things like mileage, fuel economy and costs. Don’t ask my why, it’s probably OCD, but I know I get twitchy when the wife fills up the car and doesn’t note the odometer reading or reset the trip counter.
Earlier this year I invested in a shiny new smartphone (no, not an iPhone, one of those Android things) and the world of apps has opened up new opportunities for indulging my stat fetish. I decided to see if I could find an app for recording vehicle costs and there, in the very long list on the Android marketplace, was Fuel Log. With an everage score of 4.5 out of 5 reviews section it sounded ideal.
There are two versions – one free and one paid. The paid version removes the adverts and provides an import/export feature and better graphing. I decided to try the free version and it downloaded quickly and installed itself with no fuss.
What’ll It Do?
The first great feature of Fuel Log is that it caters for multiple cars. Just enter the make, model and reg number and select its odometer type (miles or kms). Then you can start adding the costs.
Fuel Log allows you to record not just fill-ups but any other cost – servicing, tax, insurance, tyres, anything you choose. Fill-ups can be entered in miles or kilometres, litres or gallons and the distance can be recorded using either the trip meter or the odometer. Prices are entered in pounds which took some getting used to as I kept typing in pence per litre, which has a drastic effect on the cost of a tank!
The other costs are keyed in by date with a descripion, optional odometer reading and cost. You can add extra notes and decide if it’s a regular or one-off cost.
Once you’ve entered a few costs you’ll start to see the history building up. There’s the best, worst and average economy figures, costs per mile, costs per day/month/week/year and total.
What Won’t It Do?
Well, it won’t fill the car up for you and it won’t pay the bills. Shame. It would also be nice if you could add reminders for things like tax, insurance and MOT.
Anything Wrong With It
Downsides? The free version includes an advert in the bottom section of the screen but it’s not too intrusive and you’ll soon forget it’s there. You are also limited to the last ten fill-ups in the graphs and, as mentioned, you don’t get the import/export feature. Other than that it works incredibly well.
If I’m nitpicking it would be nice to have the number pad a touch smaller so that you don’t have to scroll down to the price box when entering a fill-up.
So Is It Any Good?
Fuel Log is a great app for the number crunchers out there. It stops you scrabbling around in the car for a pen that works to write down your odometer reading on the back of the receipt that you’ll only go and lose. Now you can whip out your phone, type in a few figures and drive off, safe in the knowledge that your precious figures are stored securely. Just make sure you don’t lose your phone!
Driving Spirit Rating: 9/10
Download from Google Marketplace
[Sorry for the lack of screenshots, who'd have thought it could be such a pain to get them from an Android phone. 1 point to the iPhone]