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A car parking app development addresses one of the most common headaches in urban traffic: finding vacant car-park spaces and regulating illegal parking lots.
Illustratively, drivers spend around 17 hours per year searching for empty spaces, resulting in $345 per chauffeur in wasted time, fuel, and vehicle emissions.
With the ever-growing number of cars, parking capacity remains limited, resulting in challenges in finding empty spaces. Considering all these points, questions about how to build a parking app arise more often as the market will be expected to grow in 2021-2031 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 17%.
Luckily, parking software development successfully addresses these challenges. In this post, OpenGeeksLab will discuss how to create a parking app and how you can drive business growth through its best practices.
INRIX, a leading specialist in parking app development, transportation analysis, connected vehicle services, and more, reported that in New York City alone, the hardest-hit urban area, drivers spend around 107 hours (which equals 4.5 days) per year looking for vacant spaces, resulting in a whopping $2,243 loss in wasted time, fuel, and vehicle emissions per driver. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, and Seattle close the top five cities with the toughest car-park experiences.
What’s more, every fourth American said they missed an appointment, every third abandoned their trip because of parking lot challenges, and every fifth experienced road rage.
On top of that, the current situation negatively affects the broader U.S. economy: 63% of 6000 drivers avoided driving for shopping in malls, airports, leisure, or sports facilities given car-park issues.
Such challenges are boosting demand for more novel products of parking app development to occur. Hence, talking about the global smart parking market, its expected growth is some 3.8 billion U.S. dollars by 2023, at a CAGR of 14 percent.
For your convenience, we have collected ten famous car-park apps you can draw inspiration from. You can find them below:
It is a mobile and web application that enables millions of American citizens to find and pay for a parking space and reserve this spot for later. Also, the app allows extending parking right through the mobile devices. The application operates in more than 3,000 locations and 400 popular cities. ParkMobile serves as a great example of how to make a parking app simple and convenient.
A parking sharing app is available for both iOS and Android
If you wonder how to build a parking app with a seamless user experience, check Parker. This mobile application offers drivers real-time guidance to available garages or lots. The app also shows important information regarding this parking lot, including access pricing, operation hours, parking restrictions, and more.
With the feature “Find my car”, users can spot their vehicle quickly so that they no longer need to walk up and down the parking lot.
Another valuable functionality is turn-by-turn navigation. It enables drivers to get directions to available parking space close to their destinations.
An app is available for free at Google Play and Apple Store.
ParkMe is a free app containing car-park spots in more than 500 cities worldwide, covering the USA, Canada, Europe, and more. Users can see the rates of thousand parking facilities on the map and compare them for choosing the cheapest and closest ones.
The app allows consumers to reserve and pay for spots in advance, thus saving time. There is a live map showing available street parking for some selected cities. The timer feature helps avoid overpaying for a lot or getting a ticket.
Additionally, the application offers drivers the overview of monthly and daily parking rates and enables them to set a timer to avoid extra expenses caused by overstaying.
This car-park reservation app runs on iOS and Android.
BestParking has a simple interface and helps people find cheap car-park. At first, this app was a small airport parking finder, whereas today, it covers over 100 cities and 115 airports across North America, with more than 40 million users. With a tap of a finger, people can see nearby spots to park and easily compare their rates. After choosing the most convenient option, the app provides consumers with an interactive map navigating them to find this parking spot quicker.
A parking app can be downloaded for both iOS and Android.
Parkopedia ambitiously aims to cover every parking spot worldwide, which answers the app’s name. Thanks to drivers’ contribution, it includes 70 million lots in over 15000 cities – and it is growing.
The platform allows users to find parking spaces and opening hours, up-to-date costs, payment options, get directions, and more.
Users with premium accounts can see spots available in real-time and have advanced search features.
If a driver can’t find a spot in the desired area, they can email app support to include this place to the platform, or drivers can add space by uploading a photo of a price list or a car-park sign.
Parkopedia is available in Google Play and Apple Store basically for free, but with a premium upgrade option.
Parking Mate is an app that provides clients with open car-park locations around the city. Added to the main screen map shows the nearest and most secure spots to park. When parking time is running out, the platform notifies the user about it. What’s more, people can share car-park regulations of specific lots with other users.
Parking Mate is free and available for iOS.
ParkWhiz provides users with efficiency in saving a proper booking spot for a preferred destination. Consumers must enter their destination to see available lots around their area. Additionally, it helps people save up to 50% on car-park providing them with reduced rates for booking spots in advance.
You can download it for free in Apple Store or Google Play.
SpotHero is one of the top-rated platforms for car-park. It allows consumers to lower their drive-up expenses up to 50%, so users who are looking for good discounts will prefer this solution if they are ready to pay for spots in advance. The platform gives access to thousands of valets, garages, and lots nationwide.
Business people who travel a lot for work can upgrade their profile to split parking bills into different accounts. Even though users must pay for spots in advance, there are no ads within the application.
Available for free in Apple Store or Google Play.
JustPark is a leading platform with a high user rating of 4.5 at Google Play and thousands of users as a whole. Using this solution, people can find a spot within seconds or use some reservable lots. It provides clients with directions, instructions, or restrictions according to drivers’ desired lot. Also, people can pay for car-park services using this application.
You can get it for Android or iPhone free of charge.
Parclick can be called one of the most renowned platforms across Europe, covering more than 250 cities and helping find an available spot even in crowded places. Users can discover lots before they go to some area and book it beforehand. Application has many filters for choosing the best location and showing offers to get a lower price. Also, recommendations vary depending on the driver’s vehicle.
Parclick has easy-to-use intuitive navigation, and when people arrive at the lot to park the car, they need only a parking code.
It is free and available for both Android and iPhone.
We mentioned only some of the promising industry players, however, there are many more platforms. Even though there are various car-park apps, 63% of users prefer having one platform on their smartphone.
Of course, COVID-19 slowed down parking app development given restrictions imposed by local and national governments. But today we can say that almost everything returns to its place. So it’s high time to ride the wave and start car parking app development.
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Before investing in car parking mobile app development, you need to examine the most popular application types available on the market. This way, you will be able to choose the application’s kind that suits your project most. However, you may combine features of several application types to build a unique solution that will meet the demands of the picky users.
Let’s look at car-park app types in more detail:
Usually, when startups think of how to create a parking app they aim to be launched around a specific city or region. However, with time, they can spread around the continents, or, at least, countries.
ParkMe stands as an example of a worldwide solution covering more than 64 countries and seven continents.
Unlike the international solutions, local ones can operate in certain cities, districts, or even specific parking lots. This option can be handy for car-park businesses to provide their clients with an easy-to-use simple app for booking a spot in advance or permanently.
In such cities as New York local car parking app development is of high demand, and we can look at ParkNYC that represents this type of solution. The platform was created by ParkMobile company which includes leading apps in this industry in the US.
Based on the functionality, there are two types of software that users utilize while they park:
It can be helpful when you know that these two types require a totally different tech stack.
As we mentioned above, companies often mix features, but choosing a specific primary tool is also an option. Let’s look at some elements that can play a leading role in your app:
You can combine all these tools in one platform while parking app development.
There are more categories to differentiate car-park applications. Now, let’s look at a brief overview of the challenges that such platforms can address.
Car parking mobile app development solves four common issues. Let’s explore each of them below.
Sometimes drivers may experience difficulties with finding a free spot in an open space. That’s when parking app development solutions come in handy. They mark the available spots so that drivers can park their vehicles quickly and effortlessly. Additionally, such apps can offer them turn-by-turn directions to the closest car-park lots and inform them about fees, availability, rules, fines, and more. Moreover, if an app has a parking reservation feature, drivers can pay and book a space in advance.
UCLA parking specialist Donald Shoup has found out that from 15% to 74% of traffic problems result from inability or time-consuming car-park search. Parking app features that allow finding nearby parking lots or reserving them in advance help reduce traffic jams.
Well, dealing with mazes to find a spot that’s already taken is challenging. Meanwhile, discovering some fellow settled in two spaces is a whole new level of rage. With a car-park solution at hand, staff can see space allocated for a specific car. In case of double parking, they can notify a driver, resulting in better management.
Each parking lot operates by its own rules: short-term booking (up to four hours) and long-term booking (more than four hours). Drivers wanting to know how parking lots charge their customers will definitely benefit from using car-park applications.
Parking app development solutions save drivers from spending too much time looking for a vacant parking spot. Moreover, now they do not have to deviate from straight road direction and cause air pollution.
Commercial vehicles spend up to 28% of the trip time cruising to find a free parking space, so such platforms can help cities lower the ecological footprint.
Now that we’ve uncovered the core issues a car parking mobile app development solves, it’s time for revealing principles of how a parking service works.
iOS and Android parking apps reveal vacant lots and enable drivers to make the most convenient route to reach them. A great advantage of such solutions is multiple payment options. Users can pay by cash, credit and debit cards, or make mobile payments.
What’s more, a car parking mobile app development is about reminding a car owner about the time left.
Since you already know some basics, let us reveal what you should consider prior to parking app development.
The prep work is divided into several parts. Let’s get close to them.
At this stage, you and your investors understand whether a car parking mobile app development idea is reliable, which factors to count, how much money you need, how much you can earn, and what risk you may face.
Express assessment provides you with rough cost estimates. Usually, this process takes from several hours to one day. A detailed assessment can last from a few days to one week, but it allows you to accurately determine how to create a parking app, when and what application you receive as a result.
A deep cut of the market, analysis of existing platforms, competitors research, and clients behavior models help to get the whole picture. It would be great if you could perform a SWOT analysis for getting the best of rivals, avoid the same mistakes as they did, and come up with a unique selling proposition (USP) of your parking sharing app.
This move will help your parking finder app development enter the global market. You can do business as a sole trader, form a limited liability company (LLC), or find a partnership. Your responsibilities depend on how you will operate your business. An LLC is considered the best entity for limiting your liability and protecting personal assets if any issues arise.
You can gain new customers by being in touch with local businesses interested in increasing their income on behalf of your on-demand parking application. For example, fuel stations, electric vehicle charging stations, rest stops, and so on.
At this stage, UI/UX professionals create car parking app design making static and interactive application prototypes, showcasing how your online parking app will look and feel. Also, it will be great if you create a customer journey map for visualizing how various personas will interact with your service.
Why does it matter to create an outstanding car parking app design? According to the research, every 1$ spent for UX returns 100$, making an impressive ROI of 9, 900%. With a good mobile UX, 74% of people are expected to come back to your product.
Sure thing, you can use ready-made products of parking finder app development, but it will be tough to scale your app, enhance your service, and add extra functions in case of a need. For ensuring an easy-flowing experience, cooperating with a trusted parking app development team that is expert in delivering custom applications appears the right thing to do.
As soon as all tests are completed and no new bugs are identified, and the car parking development team have come to common opinion, they should proceed further and publish the completed application in popular app stores.
After its public release, an app story does not end. During the first months after the product launch, you will understand what functionality should be added, modified, or removed.
Afterward, you can start a new parking app development chapter or sign a maintenance contract considering new variables.
Now, finally, we move to the very car parking app development process. Give yourself a hand! And keep on reading to learn more about the functions a reliant parking app should include.
A parking app should cover three distinct user groups: drivers, parking owners, and service managers. Let’s take a look from the side of each part.
Now, allow us to unlock basic options of how to build a parking app profile for drivers.
Chauffeurs should authorize using password sign-in via email or phone number to ensure proper data protection. SMS-based authentication is the most attractive for 72% of users who chose it as the most preferable in 2021—followed by email and callback respectively 57% and 30%.
For users’ convenience, geolocation helps drivers find their car, vacant spots, and see the distance to the parking lot. Calculating the position of the users’ location if the GPS signal is unstable or unavailable is a must, especially while traveling.
When business owners think of how to create a parking app, this feature stands on top of the list. The parking platform should be able to search for nearby spaces in a particular area in a matter of seconds.
This function helps users calculate when parking time is running out and how much money is needed to pay for a parking ticket. What’s more, this option allows calculating the time needed to reach a parking lot from the current destination.
Truly a must-have function if an app provides an option to book spots in advance. When people travel to favored locations, this option can save their day. Still, usually, it requires prepayment.
Give consumers a choice among diverse options like Visa, MasterCard, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or cash. Additionally, consider multiple payment methods in your car parking mobile app development to cover wider audiences. User experience shows that 76% of people who have paid for parking using the app prefer this option to others. Moreover, 81% of these consumers pay with the mobile app at least half from the time when they park.
Adding a parking history will allow users not to remember addresses and costs paid, Google them, but save favorites and simply return to them. This saves time and increases customer satisfaction.
Sometimes expectations of customers do not meet reality. So it will be great if you allow users to leave ratings and reviews while car parking app development so that drivers can share their feedback on a specific lot to help others make decisions.
Ensure customers can get client support immediately in case of emergency or if they just want to share with you their experience. Over 65% of millennial users expect real-time interactions and responses, whereas more than 60% are ready for sharing their data to improve their experience. Not less, but 75% of overall customers expect to get help within five minutes, and 72% share a positive experience with others.
This feature keeps clients up-to-date with vacant spots, service updates, and available discounts. Push-notifications can increase user engagement up to 88% and boost retention rates from three to ten times.
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Here we collect some basic options car parking app development should deliver for app admins.
Owners of parking spaces should authorize via mobile number or email to ensure proper data protection.
This feature enables owners to keep track of their users, their number, services they have ordered, or transaction details.
This functionality makes it easy for parking owners to manage their car-park lots. It allows you to monitor the spaces and define whether you need to remove some of them or add new spaces.
Owners of parking businesses should be allowed to manage and set prices as appropriate.
Parking owners should be able to monitor bookings, as well as confirm or decline new booking requests.
Parking owners can process billing, invoicing, referrals, driver commission.
Customers’ reviews will uncover the hidden pain points of your business and help deliver better services.
Last but not the least, these are major options of how to build a parking app admin panel for service managers.
App managers should be able to create, store, modify in-app content.
This module helps admins track the number of users, add/delete users, see payments received, monitor transaction history, along with additionally ordered services.
Since parking owners may have several facilities with different prices set, an admin should be able to check their status, the number of spaces, the amount paid monthly, etc.
Managers need tools for processing billing, invoicing, transactions, referrals across both app versions: for drivers and parking owners.
Service managers should be able to check and manage bookings, set incoming offers, as well as manage bonuses for drivers/parking owners.
App admins need tools for sending notifications to drivers/parking owners.
Taking into account all these features you can be the new star in car parking mobile app development. All that’s left is to choose how your app will generate income.
There are five ways of how to make a parking app monetization. Let’s disclose each of them.
It is obvious, you can charge fees from every order users make within an app: payments, spot reservations, or bookings.
Showing advertisements in a pre-allocated space of the car-park platform gives revenue per a specific number of clicks or views. So instead of paying for the platform directly, users can pay with their time and attention.
In-app purchases work by allowing users to purchase additional features or bonuses. However, this type requires genuinely dedicated followers of your car parking mobile app development product who would be willing to give money for some extra options.
For using such an application, users must pay beforehand. Sure thing, the platform functionality must be perfectly polished. This is not the most popular way for monetizing apps since free apps distribution in 2021 took over 94% and only around 5% of distributed solutions are paid apps.
As you can see, there are multiple methods of how to make a parking app monetization. You can choose what will suit your case, considering all pros and cons.
As you can see, parking software development offers notable benefits. When done properly, you get a solution when everybody wins. Parking applications will only thrive. If you’re (still) mediating on whether it’s the right choice to digitize urban parking, you better start moving now.
We at OpenGeeksLab will eagerly share our experience in car parking mobile app development. Contact us to discuss your project idea or book a free consultation with our technical experts to find out how our company can help you.
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