A parking lottery is the worse thing for drivers every weekday morning. In a busy city, it’s usually hard to find an empty slot because the amount of cars is always higher. What if you could manage the parking and check the free slots on the nearest one? In this article, we will explore the benefits of parking apps, its features, and the cost of developing it.
How Car Parking App May Improve Your Business Bottom Line?
Car parking app development is an effective solution for easy finding parking lots, and as a result, business growing. For the rental car industry, the parking app is an efficient instrument for time optimization and fewer traffic offenses, as many of them were made when the driver was trying to find a parking lot. In addition, the app can help save money, as the driver could see the closest parking place and the cheapest one. Smart parking app development is also eco-friendly. It helps to reduce air pollution as the driver spends less time searching for parking.
How to make a parking app?
According to car parking market research by RIHA, there are 35% of cars searching for a free parking spot and occurring a traffic jam. Not all parking spots are settled; there are many empty ones, but barely visible. The parking app will help to reveal the hidden places, so car owners will spend less time on searching the empty spot. To create an Android car parking app, you need to browse the primary drivers’ demands and categorize apps on several points. Here are the main groups of the top used parking apps:
By the type of finding an available parking spot
The majority of parking apps are using maps to point out the available spaces there. Some of them are integrated with Google maps or use GPS features to define the free slot in real-time. With the GPS based app, the parking app will update a valid spot every minute.
Other apps suggest entering the location code to find the nearest parking. Such code is visible on the street sign, and valid for the parking within the specific area. The user could filter appeared parking by closest or further, recent, etc. The best way to define nearby and available parking place stands for the apps with several location detecting features. Consider it to build an app for parking your car.
By selecting the best parking time
Among the available parking apps, there are two main classifications of parking needs. The first one is about the planned parking. For example, you are having a business trip and want to leave your vehicle somewhere around and keep it safe. The app then notifies you about the available parking places around to stay for two weeks or another period. Another category goes for the parking on the fly. Find the area available right away using the map and leave your car there.
By the geo-location
The parking apps can cover not only one region, but can also both spread over the country. The app focused on one part that provides a wide range of parking spaces available within this area. It may suggest even the additional services when the parking app is spreading over the country or several others.
By available payment methods
Parking apps are usually free to download and contain integrated payment services. Among the most used methods are Apple PAy, Google Pay, PayPal, credit card. Some apps allow booking online and apply prepayment for the parking spot. For those who prefer avoiding wireless payment, these services suggest paying by cash.
The main benefits of TOP-3 popular parking apps
MKE Park is a partner of Parkmobile to give a suitable way to pay for parking service. The app is available for Android and iOS. User registers via email or phone and can connect several vehicles to his phone number. MKE Park defines location via the maps/GPS functionality. It’s possible to select the favorite places on recently used or other zones for parking. Users can set the notification reminders about the available spot, or the session expiring. App has Control Near-Field Communication used for scanning NFC stickers for parking. And camera used for scanning QR codes stickers for parking. MKE Park works along with the US country.
ParkMe app is available worldwide and serves 500+ cities. Among the countries, it is possible there are the US, Canada, France (Paris), Austria (Vienna), Italy (Rome), Spain (Madrid), etc. Both iOS and Android apps allow checking the parking areas on the map, see prices, and compare various costs. Users can check parking rates daily or monthly, and monitor real-time data about the available spots — the feature of setting the parking time help to avoid overstaying, overpaying, or getting a ticket. ParkMe has integrated payment and booking options.
ParkRight is the parking app available only for London (City & Westminster areas). It counts up to 41K parking places, and share the real-time data about the available parking spots. ParkRight allows online payment for parking once you’ve registered on this service. Users can browse over the available on-street and off-street parking and select the direction tips to reach the desired place. To use ParkRight user will need a data connection, WiFi or 3/4G to operate.
Features to make a car parking finder app
When you make an app to find a car, we prepared the list of main features it should have.
The main module for the user’s app will be the sign-up process. At this stage, ask the user to leave email, phone number, or use existed accounts in the social network either in Google to sign up. The smallest details will be to get the user’s name and email; other data is up to your choice.
The parking location is the next relevant module for the driver’s account. At first, the app needs to define the exact user’s location. And then need to show the nearest parking according to the location data. Integrated GPS module in the app will help to define the closest parking, and inbuilt navigation will build the optimal route.
The ability of route planning is an important feature, especially if it has an estimation of arrival and departure time. When the user planned to spend no more than 10 minutes on parking, this feature will help him to save time and nerves.
Another helpful feature is the possibility to schedule parking in advance. In a busy city, the chance to record parking for some days necessary. Drivers will secure their travels and with booking feature and save much time.
Payment integration is a must for parking apps, as cashless payment is becoming more and more useful. There could be several payment ways such as inbuilt payment via credit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay.
Ratings and reviews about the parking services will help to opt for reliable parking. And parking history will remind you about previously used functions, especially for parking in a different city or country.
For proper management services, the admin app has to include a user management module. It will help to track the number of users, the amount of payment received, all transaction history, and the detail of additionally ordered services.
Despite the users’ management module, the admin needs to control the parking owners. Parking owners could have several places, and the price for each is different. So, the admin needs to check the owner’s status, the number of parking places, the amount paid monthly, etc.
Payment management feature required to check the users’ payments’ statuses. Admin needs to manage invoices, costs, transactions, and possible issues with it. The payment module is equally integrated into both user’s app and the parking owner’s app. So, an admin is a must to check if everything works well for both sides.
From the admin app, it is possible to manage bookings through the app, incoming offers, and create discounts for both drivers and partners.
Parking owner interface
For parking owners, the first required feature is registration. Similar to users’ app, there are several ways to sign up, starting from simple phone numbers entering. It depends on your company’s needs and data you will gather from your users.
Then parking owners need to add parking places to the app. Your app might offer owners adding available spots for bikes, motorcycles, scooters, cars, etc.
The price range for car owners is individual, so to specify the required amount per hour is a must. The price can vary according to the possible additional services, or other trivia.
Manage parking requests in case of limited spots in parking space. The parking owner has to control the incoming requests to book parking or to leave the car immediately. Together with the managing parking places, the owner needs to check the number of users, and the whole bookings.
In case parking accepts wireless payments, then the owner needs to manage all money transfers in the payment integration feature. There could be several payment methods implemented within one app.
And the last important feature to have is review and rating checking. All customers’ feedbacks are vital to know as they help to improve service quality and learn things users will never tell you.
The first must-have feature is notifications to interact with users with the app. Inform customers about the available place, successful payment, completed reservation, etc. Push notifications help to interact with users better and inform about the critical actions.
“Instant messages” is another feature for the parking app, where drivers can communicate with the parking manager and book space earlier. Not everyone likes phone calls. Sometimes chats can solve issues quicker. An additional feature of the messaging feature is multi-language customer success. It works when you make a mobile parking app for several countries. But as the advantage of having a multi-language app, you may engage foreigners in your town to use it.
To build a GPS car parking app is impossible without a GPS feature. Users will be able to select the available spots on the map and drive there with the help of tips. Moreover, some apps suggest map searching options when the user can find the best place on the sheet. Either iOS or Android app for car parking can use Google MapKit for navigation.
Read also: Intelligent traffic management systems
Tech Stack of the Parking Mobile Apps
Another significant step in parking app development is choosing the universal technology stack for building future products. The viability, competitiveness, and the range of scalability of the mobile app mainly depend on the tech stack. The application can be native, hybrid, or cross-platform. All those types of apps can solve different business problems. For example, native apps provide the best user experience, but at the same time, they are more sophisticated in development.
Next, we listed the most common tech stacks for parking software development (in SpotHero app example):
The tech stack can depend on the type of app, operational system, or functionality. One of the legal advice in choosing the stack is to build a simple prototype or minimum viable product. Then, after you launch the product, you can start improving it by adding new features and functions. It will help you begin in time, test the app, and find effective development solutions for the best parking app.
Parking Mobile Applications Revenue Model
One of the most frequent questions for developers is how to build a parking app that will earn money for the business. The quality of service of the app for car parking is significant in building a business model for monetization. Next, we will point out the most commonly used models in car parking finder mobile app development.
Commission Per Booking. One of the most commonly used models in booking services (for example, the same model is used by Airbnb or Booking). Every time the app user books a parking lot, the parking place owner will charge a fee. A part of this money is usually returned to the app owner to encourage bringing a client to a particular place.
Subscription. It is also a pretty popular monetization model for services. You can offer a monthly or yearly plan for your customers that use an app a lot. They can pay a certain amount of money for a subscription and do not pay every time they use an app for searching a parking lot. At the same time, this model provides a better quality of customer experience. The subscription model is focused on building long relationships with customers. With this model, you can earn and increase customer satisfaction from using the app.
Reward Points. This is another revenue model that allows increasing customer experience. You can give your clients extra bonuses for using the app for a long time (or after every 5-10-15 booking a parking lot with your app). It will cultivate custom loyalty and make a parking app a source of a beneficial relationship with them.
Marketing and Branding for Parking Owners. You probably see in other booking apps that developers promote some positions. It is another model for the monetization of parking apps. You can provide marketing and branding services for parking owners. They can pay for the promotion of their places, among others, underlining the benefits or providing more information about their business. This information can be highlighted visually or have a unique UX design for attracting more users to this parking lot.
The revenue model for parking finder app development usually depends on business goals and general strategy. It is possible to use only one model or compile all of them. Moreover, you can focus on implementing new revenue streams, such as cooperation with city administrations. It can open new opportunities for car parking finder mobile app development.
How much does it cost to develop car parking location apps?
Сar parking app development process may take from a few months to a year. It depends on the list of features you will add there. We suggest starting with the first set, such as registration, Google map integration, and “Book now” option. Together with the user’s app and admin panel, such MVP might cost even less than 10,000$. To create an app for parking car with all three modules listed above will require from 20,000$ to 150,000$.
Consider that you will make a parking mobile app on several stages, starting from the prototyping, where the primary requirements will be gathered. Then, you will need to design an app for iOS and Android. If there will be a web admin panel, to create it is also costly. After UI is ready, the app and web developers will code it. To ensure your development process is going smoothly, develop a car parking mobile app with a dedicated team of professionals. We suggest working with the in-house team to get quality service on time.
Amconsoft’s expertise on how to create a parking app is built on our broad experiences and cooperation with the logistics industry.
For example, we created an IoT-based system for intelligent search of available parking places in the nearest locations. This system informs the clients about free parking by notifications and performs car tracking in real-time. We also have many cases on creating car apps for our customers that help us to understand the industry and implement the best technical solutions to life.
If you still have questions about car parking tracking system development, contact our specialist for detailed information and presentation of our core consulting services in this field.
I've been leading a tech department specializing in eLearning applications and Business Intelligence for 10 years