There’s no doubt owning an automobile costs money. From gas to the annual registration and inspection fees, tires, filters, fluids, washes, and other maintenance tasks, I sometimes wonder who owns whom! And don't even get me started on repairs. A couple of years ago my decade-old car decided to stop running every so often. Sometimes when this happened I was on the freeway. The mechanic diagnosed it as a failed part—a part that cost me $1,400! While the occasional disaster probably can't be avoided, these handy apps can at least help save money on routine repairs, accidents, and other vehicle incidents.

1. Repair Pal

Repair Pal numbers the New York Times and Newsweek amongst its many fans. The free app helps you find the best local repair shop, order roadside assistance with one click, keep a complete auto repair history on hand, save money by gathering estimates in advance, and much more.

2. Car Minder Plus

Car Minder Plus may not be free, but it permits you to log and track several vehicles at one time, which is useful since most families today own more than one automobile. Car Minder Plus also gives you maintenance alerts, tracks your fuel economy and gas consumption, allows you to email the complete maintenance history to anyone (especially helpful when you decide to sell the vehicle) and more.

3. iWrecked

iWrecked is that app you hope you will never need, but are awfully glad you downloaded if you do. This free app helps you do all the things most people forget to do if they are involved in an auto accident. Consumer Reports, the New York Times, Edmunds, and others recommend iWrecked as the best way to log accident details, take accident photos, record the other driver's information, and even generate a very streamlined PDF summary of everything a judge or attorney might want to know.

4. Auto Zone

Auto Zone is a free app that offers DIY repair guidance—as well as the entire shopping catalog of Auto Zone's chain of discount auto stores—to help you save the most money on car repairs.

5. Garage Buddy

Garage Buddy has a lot of helps to give you confidence as you repair or modify your vehicle. From helpful conversions (for instance, metric vs. standard measurements) to replacing parts, you can find the size, the brand, and even the part number you need with Garage Buddy.

6. Open Bay

Recommended by Vroom Girls among others, Open Bay is there to handle repairs that are beyond the scope of your knowledge. With Open Bay you can describe your repair needs and allow local facilities to bid on your job. As offers come in through the app, you can pick the best price, book your service, and even pay in-app. You can also store your vehicle's complete maintenance and repair history from within Open Bay.

7. Flat Tire Help

Never again will you worry about being stranded on the open road, at the mercy of your vehicle's flat tire and a cell phone signal. This cheap app guides you through the steps to change your flat tire, ensuring you have to pay for neither towing nor repairs.

8. Car Talk's Breakdown Lane

Breakdown Lane is an app designed to help you whether you want to repair your vehicle yourself or locate the best mechanic in any area of the country. Best of all, even if you happen to find yourself stranded in a no-cell-phone-signal area, the app's emergency lessons will still work to guide you through DIY repairs. You can also store your vehicle's maintenance history, gather competitive bids, and read customer reviews about local repair shops.

9. AutoMD

AutoMD offers an online and in-app guide to either perform DIY repairs or schedule a repair appointment with the best local provider in your area. You can get instant quotes, and even earn cash back for leaving your own customer review. You can also post photos and questions to get answers from the AutoMD community. Best of all, AutoMD offers a 100% money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with work you order through the app.

9 Auto Repair Apps That Will Save You Money