GasBuddy privacy problems. Alternative ways to find the cheapest gas

GasBuddy privacy problems. Alternative ways to find the cheapest gas

Popular money-saving gas app comes under scrutiny for selling location data.

by Kurt Knutsson

If you’ve downloaded the popular GasBuddy app, you may wish to look at these other ways to save money on gas at the pump.

As high as $9.80 per gallon for self-serve premium

Gas prices are high everywhere but nowhere as bad as in California.  Just ask Matt Shupe who posted about his outrage from the ridiculously high prices for self-serve while driving down the central coast in a town called Big Sur.

If the price for gas isn’t bad enough – Matt found himself paying a staggering $9.80 per gallon – now we have to worry about our personal privacy when using popular tools to locate the cheapest gas.

Photo Credit: Matt Shupe

GasBuddy is selling data collected by its registered users.  Just as Americans are seeking out best ways to find the cheapest gas, you’ll want to know how one of the leading apps could be selling your location and more in the name of saving money.

Make no mistake, it’s about money — just not money coming to you.  It’s how GasBuddy and other free apps are turning toward data harvesting to find profitability.

What about GasBuddy is bad for your privacy

What was once a straightforward, easy way to find cheap nearby gas stations for a fill-up, GasBuddy now collects and sells personal data.  Specifically, it sells your precise location data to others.

It also heavily markets a program called “Drives” designed to save money on gas and car insurance.

Read the fine print at the bottom of the Join Drives offer: “GasBuddy can share certain information from your devices, including precise location and phone sensor data”.

That means GasBuddy could also record and sell your driving habits.  Exactly how you drive would be highly desirable data for a car insurance company.

Selling your data is big business.  Along with access to your location at any moment, GasBuddy appears to collect other particulars when you signup starting with your name, address, email, phone number, and your phone’s unique IP address.


GasBuddy removed from recommended gas price apps list

Not for me  No thank you.  That’s too much big brother for saving any amount at the pump.

Tip:  GasBuddy has valuable insights on where to find cheap gas prices despite privacy problems.  I recommend using the website without registering for greater privacy.  If you are still determined to use the GasBuddy app, there’s a way to limit some location data sharing.


How to limit GasBuddy app location data sharing

  1. Launch the GasBuddy app
  2. Tap Location Settings
  3. Select Location Privacy
  4. Toggle the switch to OFF or dim position to limit some sharing


Great Gas Price Search Alternatives

Google Maps and navigation app Waze lead the landscape.   Just search the word “gas” or tap the Gas button to locate nearby gas prices.  I recommend using each on a browser instead of the app versions for better results.

Geico cheap gas search shows nearby prices for regular to premium.   Put in your location and select the distance for the lowest prices.

Download a fuel rewards program offered at most gas stations.  For example, the Shell app saved me between 5 and 10 cents discount per gallon.  Find your favorite gas station app that offers the best loyalty rewards to lower the cost of filling up.

Use every chance to take back your privacy from big tech whenever you can.  No one else is going to look out for you.


Are other apps giving away your location?  Do this to check.

See my tips on how to stop your phone from sharing your location.



YouTube player

Related Articles

Subscribe to receive my latest Tech news, tips & tricks, and deals newsletter. (We won't spam or share your email with anyone else.)

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Tips to avoid our newsletters going to your junk folder