<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=837991447379849&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">


Route Optimization

The Ultimate MapQuest Route Planner Guide

Explore MapQuest's features, pricing, and tutorials in our comprehensive guide. Is MapQuest still relevant for your route planning needs? Find out!

MapQuest, in existence for over 20 years, remains a go-to choice for simple point-to-point route mapping. While it is not ideal for business needs due to limitations, it can be useful depending on your requirements.

Wondering if MapQuest is the right fit for your route planning? We've got you covered with a detailed look at its main features, pricing, and a step-by-step tutorial.

To find the content most relevant to you, see below:

What's the story behind MapQuest Driving Directions?

Wondering about MapQuest's status in the age of Google Maps and Apple Maps? Despite newer options like Waze and Yahoo providing directions, MapQuest, the pioneer in web mapping, is still around. In the days when free mapping software was a novelty, MapQuest led the way.

Now, with Google Maps topping the charts and Apple Maps on a billion devices, is there still a reason to use MapQuest? Let's compare the key features of Google Maps, Apple Maps, and MapQuest. We'll do this to see how they measure up and if MapQuest still holds its ground among route-planning solutions.

Main Features of Google Maps

Google Maps stands out as a widely used mapping tool globally. It serves both leisure and certain small businesses with simpler route planning needs. Here are some key features it provides:

  • Add up to ten stops
  • Effortless, hands-free navigation
  • Real-time location sharing
  • Add stops during route navigation
  • Access Google Street View
  • Send maps from your computer to your car or phone
  • Time-specific traffic estimates
  • Discover parking details in advance
  • Accurate distance measurements between locations

A limitation of Google Maps in terms of route planning is its absence of cost calculation. This is a crucial feature for logistics and delivery-oriented businesses, especially for those focused on minimizing costs and maximizing profits. It makes it a notable drawback for them.

Apple Maps' Main Features

Apple Maps is widely used, mainly because it comes pre-installed on iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. It's typically seen as a personal mapping app rather than a tool for business route planning. Here are some of its main features:

  • Add up to fourteen stops
  • Seamless use across your Apple devices
  • Siri integration for voice control
  • Three-dimensional map view
  • Road features such as turning lanes, medians, bus and taxi lanes, and crosswalks
  • Speed and red light camera alerts
  • Share your estimated time of arrival (ETA) with others with a tap or Siri voice command
  • Indoor maps for places like airports or malls

Apple Maps now lets you include several stops in a route, a crucial addition for route planning. Yet, the process isn't as straightforward as some other map planning tools. Businesses might discover that Apple Maps lacks efficiency in both time and planning aspects.

MapQuest's Main Features

MapQuest, might be a less commonly used app than other mapping tools. It provides many features, like Google Maps and Apple Maps do. While it may not match dedicated route planning solutions, MapQuest allows users to:

  • Plan up to 26 stops for free
  • Receive total estimated fuel costs for a trip
  • Save entire routes
  • Rearrange many destinations
  • Avoid toll roads, highways, or seasonal roads
  • Perform automatic IRS reimbursement calculations
  • Use one-tap location-finding in the mobile app
  • Include stops by typing them in line-by-line, with copy/paste, or by importing a spreadsheet

Like Google Maps and Apple Maps, MapQuest is simple and effective for basic routes. It may not be the ideal choice for complex business route planning. However, it does have some noteworthy features, such as its automatic IRS reimbursement calculations. MapQuest will calculate your mileage automatically, determining the total reimbursement value you're entitled to for each trip.

The bottom line

While businesses can use these tools for mapping routes, it doesn't automatically imply that they should. Effective route planning for a business involves more than just marking destinations on a map. Factors like driver availability and mandated break times need consideration. Even a straightforward scenario, such as having more than one driver, poses a complex challenge. It may be beyond the capabilities of a free tool like MapQuest.

Is the MapQuest Route Planner Free of Charge?


Yes, the MapQuest route planner is free and allows for up to 26 stops. The free plan covers 15,000 transactions per month, suitable for average users. Additionally, there are six paid plans. These range from $99/month to $899/month, offering transaction capacities between 30,000 and 500,000.

The top-tier enterprise plan provides priority support, a dedicated account manager, and a service-level agreement. It has custom pricing and supports up to billions of transactions. That makes it suitable for high-volume users. Yet, it comes at a higher cost compared to other route planning software. It also doesn't offer as many features, making it less cost-effective.

Paid MapQuest users can generate many AppKeys for their accounts. Nevertheless, each device utilizing an AppKey from the same account adds to the monthly transaction limit. This means transactions can accumulate swiftly. That is especially true if you have a fleet of vehicles.

MapQuest also offers a good variety of APIs and SDKs for developers aiming to enhance the core software. An account is required to access MapQuest's API and SDK library, but it's available across all subscription tiers.

In summary, the key distinction between the free and paid plans is the total number of transactions allowed per month. It's important to note that a higher-paid tier plan won't help with any shortcomings that MapQuest has. That is especially true if it doesn't meet the specific needs of your business.

Using the MapQuest Route Planner


Using the MapQuest route planner is straightforward on any device. Follow these five simple steps to plan your route:

1.Open MapQuest

Access the MapQuest route planner by going to the MapQuest website. Click the menu icon and then select Route Planner. This can be done on any device with an internet connection, including your desktop computer or using MapQuest's mobile app. The user-friendly interface on both desktop and mobile ensures ease of use for all levels of tech proficiency.

2. Input Addresses

MapQuest's route planner provides three address entry options:

  1. Line-by-Line: Enter addresses on each line, add new stops, and optimize for the shortest distance or quickest arrival time.
  2. Copy/Paste: Save time by copying and pasting up to 26 addresses at once when planning your route.
  3. Import: Bring in addresses from CSV, XLS, or XLSX files. You also have the option to download template files for future use. Regardless of your chosen method, make sure your addresses are correctly formatted for accurate route planning with MapQuest.

MapQuest allows users to include up to 26 stops in a single route, surpassing Google Maps' ten and Apple Maps' fourteen.

This higher stop capacity proves especially beneficial for industries like food delivery, eCommerce logistics, and service technicians. From a cost perspective, adding more stops helps you make the most of your subscription's transaction limit but might not be as convenient.

Even though MapQuest provides a free delivery route planner, businesses needing greater flexibility might reach their limits sooner than expected. For such cases, exploring dedicated route planning solutions designed specifically for field service and delivery-based businesses is advisable. Some solutions offer a significantly higher capacity for stops, potentially in the thousands, compared to the limitations of free tools.

3. Personalize

Select "More Route Settings" to find extra options for customizing your route according to your preferences. MapQuest allows you to avoid toll roads, ferries, country borders, and other potential inconveniences.

MapQuest is versatile enough to cater to users walking for short journeys or last-mile deliveries. Its walking directions are just as accurate and user-friendly as its driving directions.

Unlike numerous navigation tools that prioritize either time or distance, MapQuest offers users the flexibility to make their own choices.

For added personalization, you can rearrange stops on the MapQuest multi-stop route planner. Or, you can activate the round-trip option. Keep in mind that doing this manually on MapQuest might consume time and fuel without optimizing efficiency.

MapQuest indeed offers automation for finding the most efficient route for many trips. This makes it adequate for personal travel or minimal business needs. However, it lacks consideration for factors like time spent at each stop, time windows, special requirements, driver skills, and other crucial elements. These elements can be found in more advanced route planning solutions for business use.

4. Check Directions

After setting your stops and preferences, click "View Route Directions" to see your complete route. The route planner presents a detailed list of step-by-step directions. It includes the total distance, estimated travel time, and IRS reimbursement value for your trip.

5. Share

Share your directions via email, links, or mobile numbers. Or, print out your route plan by clicking the "Print" icon at the top of the page. You can opt for driving directions in written form along with the map image.

Utilizing the MapQuest Mileage Calculator

Fuel efficiency matters to all drivers. It is especially vital for those seeking to cover their fuel expenses during business trips. This is where MapQuest's mileage calculators for the USA come into play as one of its noteworthy features. For users in the United States, these calculators offer an IRS reimbursement rate calculation for any route created in MapQuest.

The calculated values are based on the current year's official IRS reimbursement rate, represented as a cents-per-mile figure. MapQuest determines the reimbursement value by multiplying the number of miles on your route by the rate set by the IRS.

To activate the IRS reimbursement rate calculation tool, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Visit the MapQuest directions page on their website.
  2. Click on "Route Settings."
  3. Toggle the switch next to "Use IRS Reimbursement for Fuel" to the right.
  4. Click "Apply Settings."

After completing these steps, you will see the IRS reimbursement value when mapping a route, both on the route itself and on the Route Options page. To view the value, click "View Step-by-step Directions."


You might have considered MapQuest as a relic from the early internet days, akin to AOL or MySpace, but it's still around. It provides features similar to Google Maps and Apple Maps, such as finding the shortest route and avoiding toll fees. A notable feature is its ability to calculate an IRS reimbursement value for business trips. While MapQuest is suitable for recreational use like road trips or planning a single business trip route, it falls short when compared to dedicated route planning and route optimization software.

MapQuest lacks advanced features that logistics and smaller businesses need for comprehensive route planning. It also cannot optimize routes based on factors beyond simple distance. While it may suffice for specific business cases, like visiting a single work location, opting for a full-service route planning solution may be a better choice.


Similar posts

The leading Route Optimization resource

Be the first to know when new articles are released. eLogii has a market-leading blog and resources centre designed specifically to help business across countless distribution and field-services sub sectors worldwide to succeed with actionable content and tips.

Form CTA