Aberystwyth student develops fare-splitting petrol app

21-year-old student Jack Thompson, who is based in Aberystwyth, has developed a smartphone app that allows friends to divide petrol costs fairly.

With the app, designated drivers and passengers can calculate the amount of money spent per journey based on metrics such as car type and distance. They can then divide the cost between themselves.

Jack is currently studying software engineering at Aberystwyth University. He thought of the idea with his cousin and friend after travelling to various mountain biking locations around Wales.

Following the trips, they’d have the difficult task of working out how much money they owed the designated driver. The young innovators have solved this issue with Friendfare, which is launching on iOS and Android next month.

Speaking about the app, Jack said: “I hope Friendfare will be a handy solution to the common conundrum of when friends are trying to work out how much they owe each other in petrol costs.

“It’s gone through several prototype stages and been heavily influenced by user feedback to ensure it’s easy and functional to use. It’s been a labour of love and I can’t wait for it to go live now.”

Although the app hasn’t been released yet, Jack has already begun thinking of ways he can improve the concept. He said the idea could be extended to bill splitting at restaurants.

Jack continued: “I believe there are real opportunities to branch out beyond lift sharing and now I am comfortable with building and developing the app, I’m actively looking for ways to continue expanding and evolving Friendfare’s offering.”

Tony Orme, careers consultant at Aberystwyth University, said: “Jack is a fantastic example of a student applying entrepreneurial thinking to their studies to start their own business.

“At Aberystwyth we encourage all our students to act upon their entrepreneurial flair to enhance their own experience at university and increase their employability when they graduate. We’re looking forward to seeing Jack’s app launch soon and wish him every success in the future.”

Jack created the app after receiving support from Big Ideas Wales, a project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund to inspire young people to set up businesses.

Discussing the help he received from the organisation, Jack said: “Bootcamp was amazing. I left feeling so inspired and found myself constantly thinking of new business ideas.

“I’d encourage anyone with even the start of a business idea to think about attending the next Bootcamp event, as it will give you the information and tools you need to get it off the ground.”