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How to Create a Parking Space Finder App?

Around 95% of American households own a car, the Embassy of the United States of America says. In San Marino, the number of cars per 1000 people is 1263. Estimates say the number of passenger cars worldwide is over 1 billion. No wonder traffic congestion has become a top problem both for the drivers and city administrations. In Moscow only, the average driver spends 210 hours a year waiting in traffic.
Solution? Solutions are many like improving cycling infrastructure or building connected infrastructure. While these are yet to proliferate in the future, parking space finder apps are an easier and more accessible way to solve the problem.
If you are an entrepreneur and think of making money out of apps, parking space finder apps can be a great way of stepping into the market. How to create a parking space finder app? Before you get an answer to this question, you need to study the issue in depth. Sit comfortably and give yourself time to read this article. We will take you through a step by step process and help you build an app that is so much needed today.

Why Parking Owners Need a Parking Finder App?

Efficiency is on top of the list when it comes to parking space finder apps. If you manage to find a parking space today, your first reaction is “I did it!” You feel like a hero.
But the fact is that not all parking lots are full. In fact, many drivers use only on-street parking lots. But there are also off-street and indoor parking lots that drivers are not even aware of or don't take the trouble to travel believing they won't find a space anyway. Having an app solves this problem as drivers can book a spot and make sure that they will have a space.
Mobile apps also reduce the amount of work for the parking staff. E.g., inspectors can check license plates by using a smartphone camera if the mobile app has a feature for parking inspectors. They can then issue an electronic ticket in case of a violation. Parking staff can handle more work in a day with mobile apps.

How Does a Parking Finder Mobile App Work?

Now let's get to the nuts and bolts of how things are done.
The app locates the users and suggests spaces available in nearby parking lots. As simple as that. But how does that work in practice? There are some steps to follow. These are the six steps:
Image description
Searching: first, the driver needs to enter the vehicle plate number and search for a parking space in the nearby area.
Comparing: they can compare the availability and charges and decide which one is the best fit according to price and distance or both of them.
Booking: Once they decide where to park, they need to specify the time and date and book a spot. They will be given a unique code after they book a space.
Paying: The driver needs to make a payment. Normally, payments are done online.
Driving: When they reach the parking lot, the app will guide them to their space through navigation.
Parking: finally, the drivers get their spots and park their cars.

How Do Parking Finder Apps Make Money?

And, of course, the big issue. How do parking finder apps make money? At this age of apps when there are even mobile wallet apps and free apps that make money, it is no wonder that parking finder apps generate revenue. Below are the main sources of revenue for parking finder apps.
Transaction fee
The obvious answer is that app owners take a commission on transactions. When a customer makes a payment, the app charges a portion as a transaction fee.
But that is not the whole story.
Premium listings
Parking space finder app owners can also charge parking lot owners. This is done when lot owners want to get a priority in selling their space.
The parking space finder app owners may also offer premium membership to drivers for priority access to parking lots.

Some Tips to Follow

Needless to say that your app needs to be user-friendly and that you should research the market well before your product goes afloat. But here are some small tips that will help you add value.

  • Show details like photos, the cheapest time to park, or increase of charges;
  • Include additional information like nearby restaurants, stores, gas stations, car washing services;
  • Give the option to book in advance or on the go;
  • Include information about charges and rates.

Recommended Features for Your Car Parking App Development

The car parking app has 3 main interfaces:

  • User interface
  • Admin interface
  • Parking owner interface Image description

Groups of Parking Space Finder Apps

Parking apps can be grouped according to these categories:
By available spot
Most of the parking space finder apps are integrated with maps like Google maps or use GPS features to define the free slot in real-time. If your app has a GPS feature, it will update a valid spot every minute.
Apps can also suggest entering the location code which is visible on the street sign. The codes are valid for parking within a specific area.
You can integrate your app for on-street parking or off-street parking.

  • On-Street Parking – Some apps allow drivers to leave their car somewhere temporarily alongside the footpath or anywhere on the street.
  • Off-Street Parking – These include garages, private areas, or driveways that can be both indoors and outdoors.

By parking time

  • Parking on the fly – a driver may find a space right away.
  • Parking in advance – An on-demand parking booking application may permit users to book a spot for two weeks in advance or more.

By geo-location
Parking apps may cover not only one area but a whole country. For example, Parkopedia covers up to 70 million parking spaces in 15000 cities. Drivers give their current location or address in order to locate available parking spaces. They can also get directions to the parking space.
By payment method
Normally there is no charge for downloading parking apps but they contain integrated payment services. Among the most used methods are Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, credit cards. Drivers can pay both online and in cash. Some apps suggest a prepayment option. Others give an option for payment by cash.

The Cost to Develop a Parking App

Read also: How much does it cost to make an app for your business in 2021?

Now that you have a basic idea about why and how to create a parking space finder app, it's time to talk about your budget.
The cost will depend on several factors like the features and functionalities, the design, technology stack, etc. However, the most determining factor is the location of your developers. For example, the hourly rate for software engineers in the USA and Canada ranges from $100 whereas in Eastern Europe it may be as low as $25-$50.
That's why your app may cost you $10,000 but it may also cost you 5 times more.
If you need a precise estimate for your app cost developed by a software development company in Eastern Europe, feel free to contact us.

Conclusion

So, why do you need a parking space finder app? Don’t laugh but chances are that you may generate 6-digit revenue. A UK-based company My Parking Space, for example, generates $12.7M in revenue. Parkpnp, an Ireland-based owner of a parking space, generates annual revenue of $1M.
If you want more figures for a small-scale or medium-scale app, here is a calculator to go.
If you would like a future like My Parking Space or Parkpnp have, drop us a line.

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