I bought the Automatic device exactly one year ago and it was the best ~$100 I have spent for my business. The Automatic is a small device that plugs into the OBD-II port, which is the small diagnostic port under every car dash in the last 20 years. They give you some pretty simple instructions to get it installed, you then download an app to your smartphone, connect the two and you are ready to go.
What the Automatic does:
- It Automatically (see what they did there?) tracks your mileage, which you can access in the app or via a web page.
- When your vehicle gives you a check engine light or other alerts, the Automatic app will give you info on what is wrong and you can reset the warning.
- You get a driving score each week based on excessive speed, fast accelerating and hard braking.
- They can alert someone if you are in an accident (poor man’s OnStar).
- There are also several third-party apps and home automation devices that can be integrated with the device (think lights turn on when you pull into driveway).
- There are also some extra features that can be used for teen or new drivers.
Why I love it:
- I am horrible at tracking mileage for my business, this does it automatically. For my 2015 taxes I logged into the website, downloaded an excel file of all mileage and deleted all non work mileage. Boom, done, no log books or Google Maps searches.
- My 2004 Honda CR-V has a pesky engine light that comes and goes. The Automatic app told me exactly what the issue was and a mechanic friend said that it is nothing I needed to worry about.
The Bottom Line: This is a no brainer if you have to track mileage for any reason. If you don’t need to, it still has some great features. It is currently about $100 on Amazon and there are no monthly fees. It can pay for itself with just one Engine Light Warning that you can make go away if it isn’t something serious and you don’t have to take the time and money to go see a mechanic.