How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Car Parking Finder Mobile App?

Updated 01 Feb 2024
Published 05 Dec 2022
Nancy Bhargava 3218 Views
Car parking Apps

One of the most common afflictions of modern living in a metro or Tier-I city is the constant need to find a parking space for your car or bike. This is where you can choose Arka Softwares for car parking finder app development.

We are experts in designing, developing, and successfully deploying a comprehensive and on-demand car parking finder app and its control panel to help you and your customers.

We are all witnesses to and have personally experienced the hassles one has to go through to find a parking spot on time so that one can reach the office on time. The problem is accentuated by the growing number of vehicles on the roads, limited parking space, and surging prices.

One can’t imagine the horrors of going to the city, shopping mall, or market and then wasting time struggling to find a nearby parking spot.

You may often have to search for almost an hour before you get to a parking lot with an empty spot—that too, at least a few blocks or a mile away from your destination. Many other times, the parking charges are so excessive that you wish that you never took out your car and hired a taxi instead.

What are Car Parking Finder Apps?

Car Parking Finder apps are catching up all across the world and are a rage now. They help drivers save time and money; they can pre-book their spot before reaching the parking area.

These apps help reduce inner-city traffic as cars find the nearest parking spots quickly and get off the roads.

This problem will grow in size and complexity as more people become mobile with more cars on the road. There is no way it is even slowing down, let alone seeing any reversals in the trends.

With each passing day, the number of cars per parking spot will increase, making it challenging to find one. 

Car Parking Finder App Development

We are experts in designing, developing, and successfully deploying comprehensive and on-demand apps for startups and enterprises and their control panel to help you and your customers.

With our cutting-edge solution and splendid features built into the app, you can not only help your retail customers but can generate more revenues from different schemes.

The parking managers and operators can advertise their vacant spots to all drivers in the vicinity and get the real estate filled quickly. Frankly, these apps are a win-win-win for all. 

The team at Arka Softwares has extensive experience in mobile app development, catering to clients operating in many business verticals.

Their track record of creating successful apps, including car parking finder apps, has allowed us to compile this brief tutorial to help you navigate the intricacies of the car parking finder app development process.

Market Size of Smart Car Parking

  • Smart parking has become significantly popular in the past few years. As per Allied Market Research, the market size of car parking finder apps was over US$ 6.05 billion in 2019, and it is believed to surpass US$ 11 billion by 2027. It is a possible estimation considering the increasing use of smart phone apps across the world.
  • Although the market was affected by COVID-19 for approximately two years, it has now reached pre-pandemic levels and doesn’t look to stop further.
  • Finding a vacant space for parking vehicles has become extremely difficult, especially in shopping centers, hospitals, airports and other public places. In that case, these apps can be handy and make things convenient for drivers. They won’t have to roam around the place and feel frustrated parking their vehicle.
  • There is an incredible stat shared by Grand View Research in their recent study that shows this market is dominated by the commercial segment.

Market Size of Smart Car Parking

  • In 2021, nearly 40% of the total revenue generated from this division had mainly come from smart systems located at sports complexes, theatres, shopping malls, etc.
  • As per 2021 statistics, North America generates the largest revenue with a share of more than 35%, and the numbers are growing tremendously. It proves countries like the United States, Canada, and Mexico dominate the market.

Business Model of Car Parking Apps

Before plunging into the features and technicalities of the car parking finder app, you must first understand that an app-enabled business works differently from a traditional one. Therefore, you must be aware of the business models and their key features to help you identify the right fit. 

Below are the three major categories – Dedicated apps, Aggregator apps, and All-in-one apps – each with its pros and cons.

Business Model of Car Parking Apps

Dedicated Apps

A dedicated car parking finder app is usually developed and deployed for one parking operator, possibly with multiple parking lots, in a city.

The details of all the geographically dispersed parking lots are fed into the app’s database and a real-time tracking system allows it to identify and allot parking spots.

This app is most suitable for small enterprises and startups who are in their growing phase and cannot afford to invest much in IT facilities. The app would have the most essential features, like an MVP, thereby its cost would be affordable.

For example, a driver would be able to find the nearest parking lot and a spot in it, in real-time, but wouldn’t be able to pre-book the spot.

Aggregated

Aggregator apps are fully functional mobile apps preferred by businesses that may have many parking areas across different cities. It is also useful for businesses that can aggregate data from multiple lots on a common platform and offer differential services and pricing to each. Aggregator apps come with many options to choose from.

Some key features include – search and navigation, online booking, app check-in, and online payments. The app may also assist the drivers in locating the booked or vacant parking spot using GPS navigation.

All-In-one Parking App

An all-in-one fully functional car parking finder app would obviously cost much more than the other two options, discussed above. But it will not only combine the features of the two but will offer many advanced features that can take your parking finder business to the next level of growth.

Many notable features include – valet parking, pick and drop service, a heat map for administrators or parking managers, surge pricing, and in-app payments.

Car Parking Finder App

Business Dynamics of Geography & Parking Time

Location, geography, and parking time, reserved or on-the-fly, are two critical criteria in defining the features and functions your car parking finder app would have.

Once you have made the decision, it would be exceedingly difficult to re-engineer the system to follow the other model based on both these criteria.

Geographical coverage

Basically, most parking apps follow one of the two models – first, becoming strong in only one metro or city covering almost all parking spaces available on hire: and second, dispersing geographically to multiple cities.

1. Concentrated Localization

In this business model, car parking finder apps ensure maximum parking space coverage in a single large city, metro, or megalopolis. Concentration requires them to acquire as many parking spaces as their clients as possible to offer the largest set of choices.

They cover all parking areas – indoor, multi-level, and on-road – to offer the parking service in them. These players are limited within a set perimeter.

2. Multi-city Operations

Multi-city parking finder app operators tie up with a few parking owners in multiple cities, and often with multi-city parking chains. The app users may not find parking at all parking spaces in a single city, but they will certainly find parking in multiple cities.

This is a good option if you travel too much by car, like a salesperson or an on-call repair worker. Sometimes, their apps may also offer services across state and national boundaries – like ParkRight offers in Europe.

Parking Finder App

Parking Time

There are broadly two categories – parking reservation and on-the-spot/on-the-fly parking. Again, both business models have their pros and cons. As the parking finder app owner, you may choose to offer anyone or both of these services to your users.

1. Parking Reservations

The car parking finder app allows the user to pre-book a parking spot long ahead of their actual arrival. If the app has a valet (pick and drop service), you can order for the valet to wait for you to pick up your car at a designated time.

Institutions, organizations, and companies can also use reserved parking to reserve a part of the building or mall’s parking to use their executives, customers, and other guests.

2. On-the-fly Parking

We often do not plan to go to a place but visit there with friends, for work, or during emergencies. In such cases, car parking finder apps can offer available parking slots on the go.

You can use the GPS-enabled location service on your phone, and the app will notify you of all the available parking spots with their distance from your current location, their facilities, and charges. It is like regular parking, minus the hassle of searching for one.

How do Car Parking apps work?

On the face of it, car parking apps have an amazingly simple interface and process to find, book, and park your car in a vacant spot. But the amount of business acumen and technical ingenuity required shows that with the proper technology and an experienced team, nothing is impossible. 

We always strive to make our apps more user-friendly so that more users use them daily and drive more business for you, our clients. 

From a user’s POV, the car parking finder app would have the following steps:

How do Car Parking apps work?

  1. Search: The users can locate available parking spots by either turning on location sharing or entering the name or zip/postal code of the area they are visiting.
  2. Compare: Next, as users get multiple options in form of different parking spots, they will get details like distance from your current location, taking bookings or not, parking fee, and parking spot location in the area. Using multiple parameters, users can compare results and select the best one for themselves.
  3. Book: Next, the driver would book a selected spot and get a unique alphanumeric or QR code to get access to it.
  4. Make Payment: Parking finder app would allow a completely cashless system, however, would have the provision to pay in cash. The app supports PayPal, all major credit cards, and mobile wallets.
  5. Drive and Park: the navigation tracking feature of the app would help you locate the exact location of the spot in the parking area. The app can also assist you in parking if connected to your car’s navigation system.

Why invest in Car Parking Finder Business?

The car parking finder apps are an elegant solution to a long-standing problem, and that is why they are gaining popularity. There is never sufficient a good thing because we can offer our specialized services to help you market the new parking finder app. 

The app owners get to fill most of their vacant spots and make more money. These apps also reduce the number of attendants required to operate the parking post. The success of apps like these is clear as more users and parking businesses are using them each passing day.

Some reasons why you must invest in developing a great car parking finder app are:

Car Parking Finder app

Real-time Data on Parking Spaces

With an app managing all your parking spaces, you will get real-time data on which parking lots are giving higher returns and which ones are not.

Parking management can track each spot in each lot on a real-time basis and, over time, strategize to attract more drivers to lots that are unused.

Once there are some plans to improve the occupancy of parking lots, real-time data analysis can help managers find correlations between them and lot occupancies.

Decreased Cost of Management

An innovative car parking finder app helps managers monitor every inch of their parking area with a smart camera controlled remotely. With monitoring possible from a single room and no need for parking assistants to guide drivers, you save substantially in labor costs on an annual basis.

Generate Reporting is Easy

One of the biggest pain points of its inability to generate reports in the desired format and on time. The admin panel, accessible from your desktop, allows you to view the data from multiple perspectives and take reports for each of them.

It gives you the flexibility to add ad-hoc elements or fields to the reports and save them as templates for future reference.

Other Equally Great Reasons:

  • A smart car parking solution would enhance customer experience and hence loyalty, leading to more revenues.
  • The parking owner or the company gets good brand recognition as an innovative and customer-friendly business. This goodwill could help you in exploring other opportunities.
  • Easier routine management of parking lots and spaces
  • Parking staff is less likely to handle large sums of cash, resulting in less likelihood of theft, embezzlement, and fraud.
  • Multiple plans can be implemented, simultaneously or sequentially, on a test-run basis to check which one works and which doesn’t. Real-time data analysis can help in this.
  • Optimal utilization of parking space resulted in fewer vacancies at any time of day than a manual system.

Top 5 Car Parking Apps

If someone wants to create a brilliant car parking finder mobile app, it is essential to know what competitors are doing. We have created information about the top 5 car parking apps for a better review.

1. Best Parking

Best Parking Mobile app Download

Best parking helps drivers to find parking at the most appropriate rate. It can be used for finding nearby establishments in well-known cities and airports across North America.It comes with an incredible set of features allowing people to reserve parking in advance by making payments.

2. SpotHero

SpotHero App Download

SpotHero is an incredible off-street parking marketplace covering over 7,500 locations across the United States and Canada. It is a solid web-based parking solution for finding nearby parking options.

This software allows users to manage spot tickets and reservations with ease. They ensure secure payments using a number of methods, like credit cards, online banking, etc.

3. ParkWhiz

ParkWhiz is a simple-to-use car parking finder app having a search bar to assist users in finding nearby parking spots. It is a perfect example of utilizing the available solutions for creating a flawless mobile app to find parking spaces.

ParkWhiz

They have excellent data to find the available parking space using the real-time model without wasting time. Finding more than 20+ parking spaces at the airport won’t be an issue with this app.

4. Parkopedia Parking

Parkopedia Parking is an excellent solution covering over 70 million spaces worldwide. It is an must-have app for finding parking garages using various filters.

Parkopedia Parking

With a presence in nearly 90 countries, it shows many statistics for the users. It ranges from parking cost to the number of available spaces and nearby parking spots.

5. Parclick

Parclick is a useful mobile app for making the parking experience reliable and pleasant for users. It is a famous solution in Europe that helps people find parking spaces in over 250 cities. This application’s installation in mobile phones ensures that users won’t have to spend hours finding a place to park their vehicle.

Parclick

The main plan of this app is to optimize the European parking market which generates revenue of 65 million euros. They even help the users to rent a parking place in the nearby area.  

How do Car parking Apps Make Money?

A car parking finder app has many channels to make money – most of them depend on what business model you have opted for and whether you also own the parking business or a pure-play parking app player.

When you put power in the hands of people and enable them, you will always see that they will make you successful and rich.

Our car parking finder app offer you features that you can exploit to help drivers, parking owners, and parking staff, thereby making you the app of their choice. In due course of time, this strategy pays off big time, and you earn more money.

How do Car parking Apps Make Money?

Commissions and Fee

The car parking finder app can charge either the drivers, or the parking owners, or usually both. Whenever a user makes a payment using your app, a small fee is charged to you, and a commission is charged from the parking business.

These fees are against providing occupant for the parking spot, reserving parking spot, and guiding the driver to the designated parking spot. 

In-app Advertising

To allow users to access the app free of charge, you can instead show them advertisements within the app. With in-app advertisements, the advertisers pay to show their ads, and the users may watch the ads – banners, placements, video ads, etc.– to earn more credits.

To earn more credits, users may be asked to watch more videos, making their app usage completely free. Many automobiles, spare, car wash mobile apps, and car repair service providers would love to place their ads on your app.

Premium Features

You may wish to offer your users and parking owner clients some premium features, for which they will pay you a premium over and above your commissions and fee.

What kind of premium services you can offer depends on the market research as your market will be very specific and targeted. We advise you to conduct a market survey; we can help with that to identify services to offer for a premium. 

Paid App

Making the app chargeable for use by users is one of the sure-shot ways to earn revenues. But if you want users to pay you for using your app, you better offer services and offers that no one else can think of, and users have a great demand for them.

Featured Listing

This is a specialized service for parking owners, where an aggregator shows their parking areas as featured parking spaces over others. The parking owners will need to pay extra for featured listings on the app, thereby increasing their chances of getting more occupants.

Subscription Plans

Subscription plans are a way of continuing your relationship with the app users, with them making a monthly commitment to renew their subscription for better and ad-free services from you.

You can combine the premium and paid app models to create an ecosystem where free users get to see ads or pay every time they use the app, while subscribers get direct access to app features. Subscribers can also be given priority in booking premium or closer parking spots as compared to free users.

Partnering and Loyalty Points

You can partner with many stores and businesses in the city where you operate to participate in your promotions. Users will earn extra points, like frequent flyer miles, and redeem them against your fee or at your partner businesses. This way you advertise, and yet offer exclusive benefits to your users.

In-app Purchases

You can allow users to make in-app purchases of various goods and services offered by your partner businesses. You will earn commissions for every sale and possibly on listing too.

Mobile App Developer

Things to avoid in Car Parking App Business

Many great app ideas can turn into annoying apps due to poor execution, faulty design, or simply improper functionality. These trivial things can sometimes annoy users so much that they will uninstall your app and start using it from your competition.

Therefore, you must always work closely with app designers and developers to look out for any signs of trouble. Any module or functionality must be thoroughly tested for user acceptance before integrating them with the live app.

Here we list some common mistakes to avoid during the development of car parking finder apps:

Things to avoid in Car Parking App Business

Improper Filtering

If the users have to input details again and again, then they will easily get annoyed. Therefore, ask your users if you can save their details for future use.

Give them the option to save their addresses with appropriate tags and pre-fill the data as much as possible. Similarly, when a user applies a filter to a search, those should still be applicable when the user returns.

Incorrect Rates

The one thing that any user will never let pass is she thinks that you are trying to fleece them by showing incorrect rates. If there are any discrepancies in the offers available on the app, then users will be quick to leave you for some other option.

There shouldn’t be any hidden charges; all rates, discounts, coupons, points, and fees must be mentioned before they choose.

Limitation of Choice

If in a busy city center, out of four available parking lots, you list only two of them, then you are doing your users and your business a disservice. Limiting the choices for the users is never a good idea, and you must bring on board as many parking owners as possible.

Inaccurate Information

Your car parking finder app must always show correct information regarding parking spot availability, rates, conditions, and any other relevant parameter.

If you are listing local businesses as your preferred partners, then that information must also be verified to ensure no sub-standard businesses can fleece your clients.

Faulty app design

The app design can go wrong in more ways than it could go right. If the navigation is not intuitive, the icons are not well-placed, the call-to-action is not visible, or the UI/UX is not smooth, the user may find your app confusing or even irritating.

A lengthy registration process, the need to apply too many filters, or the need to enter too many inputs would also make users lose interest in the app.

How to Attract more users to your Car Parking Business?

Once your app is launched, the biggest challenge for you would be to attract as many users and parking owners as possible. An increasing number of one will automatically increase the numbers for the other and vice versa.

The app model of business works on the “Winner takes all” model where the market leader will be the only one making money. 

Here are some tips to swell your user base in no time:

How to Attract more users to your Car Parking App?

Users must Benefit

The pain vanilla task of finding the right parking spot is the basic service around which your business will be built. But as today’s users are accustomed to receiving benefits by using mobile apps more, it would be pertinent that you also offer attractive and exclusive offers & benefits to your users. Users must feel that by opting out of your app, they are losing something valuable.

Partner with Reputed Organizations

Never compromise on quality. When you broaden your perspective and widen the horizon, you will offer many related services and products to your user.

If any of your partner businesses do not deliver on what they promised, it will reflect badly on you too. When you partner with reputed organizations, you assure that they will take care of their brand image as much as you take care of yours.

Partnering with Bulk Business Providers

Shopping malls, amusement parks, commercial complexes, and large business districts have too many ‘footfalls’ to ignore.

When you partner with them to manage their parking space and display your app prominently to their visitors, you quickly gain a substantial number of users. To partner with such bulk-business drivers, you can offer their select occupants some exclusive deals.

Read Also: Guide for Developing Indoor Navigation App

Essential Features to include in Car Parking Finder App

We have listed the core features that a parking spot finder mobile app based solution must have. Remember that the customer end of the app is just that – an app for customers to locate parking spots and make payments.

But there are two more parts of the solution working behind the scenes – the Parking Assistant panel and the Admin/manager’s panel. We have listed the essential features for all three of them for you:

  • GPS-based search and navigation.
  • Data security.
  • Push notifications.
  • Parking time over and payments alert.
  • Location-based parking spot availability status.
  • Rate card.
User Panel Parking Assistant/Valet Panel Features Admin Panel
  • Register and Login via Google, Social media, phone number.
  • Tracking vehicle location.
  • Search pickup location for valet (pick and drop) parking services.
  • Entering estimated arrival & departure time for better parking availability.
  • Reserve parking space in advance.
  • Book a parking spot instantly.
  • Issue a car back Request – from the valet parking.
  • User profile management.
  • Manage parking and transaction history.
  • Offer multiple payment options and manage payment history.
  • Ratings and reviews.
  • Sign up and log in.
  • Submit ID proof documents for verification.
  • Accept or decline parking requests based on load.
  • Establish contact with customers to reach their car.
  • Get payment from customers – cash or mobile transfer via the app.
  • Check for reviews and ratings.
  • User control and management.
  • Revenue center control and reporting.
  • Driver management – for valet parking services.
  • Manage earnings from different channels.
  • Approve or reject drivers’ profiles for employment.
  • Bookings manager to check future occupancy.
  • Design and manage offers and deals.
  • Add new parking locations and track them in real-time.
  • Generate comprehensive and ad-hoc reports.

Advanced Features of Car Parking Finder App

The following is a list of advanced features that your parking app should have to stand out in the crowd and make a mark with the customers.

Advanced Features of Car Parking Finder App

  • Offer services in multiple cities and multiple locations in each city would make the parking space app business scalable. 
  • Automated parking management by integrating sensors and cameras with the parking app’s control panel.
  • Heat map view of the parking lots to visually indicate which ones are over-crowded and which ones have availability. This can help you introduce surge pricing as well.
  • Dynamic surge pricing for popular and overcrowded parking lots. This will dissuade people from all going to one parking space and will help reduce traffic and congestion.
  • Bulk billing facility for corporate customers, car fleets, and big groups of cars.
  • Cloud-based technology to ensure that your core team focuses on the business and not on technical details. Cloud-hosted apps make it easier to scale operations quickly if the number of users increases. 
  • Real-time alerts for users, drivers, parking assistants, and managers as per their use-cases to help them better.
  • Access the app via wearable device or in-car navigation and communications system.
  • Setup operational zones or clusters to group multiple parking spots in a locality.
  • In-app advertisements in the form of banner ads and in-app video ads to earn loyalty points. Advertisements also bring additional revenue for you.
  • In-app communication using messaging or VoIP calls to connect users with their parking assistants, or with customer care executives.

Hire an experienced App Developer

Cost to Develop a Car Parking Finder Mobile App

If you are wondering if the car parking finder app with all these features will cost a fortune, then you are right and wrong! The cost of app development is greatly affected by the location of your development team – something costing around USD 100K in the USA would cost just a third in India, with exact same quality and features.

In India, the project cost to design, develop, test, and deploy a basic car parking finder app for Android and iOS users would cost around USD 40k.

This will come with a robust backend and custom app design. If you wish toad more features, then it would make the app development more expensive.

The following table gives you an idea about the mobile app development cost based on the location of your development team.

Region Hourly rate Basic level parking app 
The USA $100-180 $80,000-160,000
Great Britain £100-180 $120,000-170,000
Western Europe €80-150 $130,000-160,000
Eastern Europe $30-70 $40,000-55,000 
Ukraine $30-50 $35,000-40,000
India $15-30 $30,000-40,000 

The expert team at Arka Softwares is always ready and firing on all cylinders to develop a solid mobile app for you to deliver to your customers within your budget and constraints. 

Conclusion

There are many factors to consider and many features to include in a great car parking finder app to make it a roaring success. If you are careful from the beginning, you can get your idea developed by a team of expert engineers and designers. Such a team would have sufficient experience in dealing with such complex applications.

At Arka Softwares, we have years of experience dealing with clients with diverse requirements, demands, and challenging constraints that we have always met.

Our services cost nearly a third of what they will cost in the USA and western Europe, making our services one of the most affordable. But rest assured, the quality of the design, features, and functionality are never compromised just because we cost less.

To make a flawless app to help grow your revenues and profits, enhance your brand’s image and recall value, and announce to the world that you have arrived, choose Arka Softwares for your custom car parking finder app development.

FAQs for Car Parking Finder Apps

Nancy Bhargava

Nancy works as an IT consulting professional with Arka Softwares. She has an in-depth knowledge of trending tech and consumer affairs. She loves to put her observations and insights of the industry to reveal interesting stories prompting the latest domain practice and trends.

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