Parking Mobile Apps
Number of cars around the world are increasing continuously, however the number of parking lots are limited. Due to this, Car owners or drivers are not able to find the perfect parking lot and hence they park their car at the first garage which came under their view of sight.
Even the statistics reveal some of the issues faced by users in parking:
- One of the studies done by IBM discovered that 30% of the city’s traffic is contributed by drivers searching for parking.
- Average Americans spend 17 hours a year searching for parking, which results in a cost of $US 345 per driver in wasted time, fuel and emissions.
Thankfully, the latest technological tools from the IT industry can provide the best solution. Parking mobile apps help to save users time as well as their money. Basic features of parking mobile app are finding and booking their lot at nearby locations. But, these apps can provide advanced features like cashless payments, GPS, price comparison, etc.
Here, we have created a comprehensive guide on popular parking apps and why parking app is necessary in the future? Apart from that, our guide provides step-by-step process on How to develop the best parking mobile app and how to start a parking lot business?
In this guide, we will talk about popular parking apps and how they work? Apart from that Step by step process to develop such an app.
How Parking Mobile App Works?
Before developing a parking mobile app, it is very much important to know how it works based on the user’s point of view:
Now let’s check different business models on which a parking app works.
Parking Lot Business Plans:
This kind of app will only provide details about the vacant spot in a particular city and area.
All other functions from booking to paying can’t be done online. This model is suitable for the MVP version to start a business.
The majority of players in the market prefer to first deploy an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) app with primary features and later update with most advanced features.
Navigation and Booking
This model is complex as compared to the previous model. It allows car owners to find the parking lot online and reserve a spot. Moreover, the app will navigate the user to the booked place.
This kind of parking service app follows an effective payment system. It contains various ease-to-use payment systems like credit card, PayPal or Cash. It contains some additional features such as adding extra time for parking or navigation back to the parked car.
Currently, this type of model is being used by parking applications like BestParking.
This is the best solution available as of now, as this app will solve all parking issues of a user. Using this app, car owners will be able to reserve their spot before reaching their destination. Moreover, it offers door-to-door service. There are valets that take user’s car and park their car at the desired spot.
How this kind of app works? Users have to first select the parking space and select the time and place to give car keys to the valet. The valet will collect the car, park it and returns the vehicle to the owner in the decided time.
It is highly secure as users can check valet’s photos, reviews, and other things. An example of such kind of application is Luxe Valet.
Before developing your parking mobile app, you should know your competitors first. Here, we will look after some of the best parking mobile apps available in the market right now.
Top 6 Parking Mobile Apps
ParkMobile is the fastest growing parking mobile app in the market. It focuses on providing its services to more cities then the number of locations it serves in a particular city. ParkMobile app serves 15 million users in around 600 international cities.
In 2015, BMW made a collaboration with the ParkMobile to enable parking payments into BMW payments. Also, in 2015, BMW reported revenue of $37 million in just the United States.
The app allows a user to park in mainly three ways, which include Park Now, Reserve Parking, and Event Parking. This app is available for both Android and iOS devices.
This street parking app is being featured in popular newspapers like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, etc. It is the best small airport parking finder app.
The app instantly locates all the parking spots available in a user’s area. It allows a user to compare with other spots, prepay, and save up to 50%. It provides its services in 110 cities and around 105 North American airports in the United States.
BestParking is being used by around 850,000 monthly users and it is backed up by heavy reviews on both Android and iOS devices.
All the small business travelers who are looking for a cheap parking option can go with ParkWhiz. This app is recommended by Forbes.
ParkWhiz provides a significant discount if a user books for the month or a season before the time, up to 60%. The app is available in more than 300 cities, and it enables a user to sort based on what they are looking for, such as a specific event, lot, or garage.
It allows a user to compare-pricing, reserve, and book a parking lot instantly. It is available for both Android and iOS devices.
4. Parkopedia Parking
It is the biggest parking service app. It allows users to book a parking space in 89 countries & 15,000 cities all around the globe. The app enables the user to find a parking lot based on current location or just by entering the address.
Moreover, Parkopedia follows a navigation system and guides users to reach the desired location. It provides different filtering options like free spots, credit payments, etc.
SpotHero is one of the most popular car parking apps available in the market. It allows a user to save up to 50% on an ideal place on their 4,500 partner garages and more as soon as he/she finds it. How SpotHero find such wonderful deals?
They usually buy unsold spots at a monthly price and garages at a heavily discounted rate, and then pass various offers to their users. In case a user wants to park at a place more than once, then they can reserve it for the future and pay in advance.
It is one of the best parking mobile apps available in the market. It serves more than 20 million registered users in 8 countries. Until now, it has around transformed parking in around 300 cities.
It allows a user to pay for a parking lot remotely and in advance. To use this app, user has to first login into his/her account, enter location number, and duration. Then enter three digits that are present on the back of their payment card to book in advance.
Moreover, it allows a user to extend their time remotely and enter a new registration. It is available for Android and iOS users.
After knowing the features of our competitors, you should also know what are the basic and advanced features present in parking apps. By keeping in mind these points, you will be able to build a solid app as per the current market requirement.
Parking App Features
Parking Mobile App development can have a lot of essential features. These can be divided into basic to advanced.
If you are a non-technical person, then first you first launch a MVP version of the app and then provide more features in the next version of the app. To know more about MVP, read our post on Importance of MVP app in mobile app development.
Basic Features of Parking Mobile App
- Location Tracking
For creating a user-friendly app, it is essential to allow GPS Tracking. It enables to find the nearest parking lot or parking lots in a specific area.
Searching process should be easy. The app should be able to locate the nearest parking lot in just a tap.
This feature enables to book a parking spot. The user can find a spot as per their budget and book it on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Comparing Prices
This feature allows to compare prices with ease and find the cheapest parking lot in your area.
- Different Payment options
It is suitable to integrate different payment options like Paypal, Credit card and cash, this will make the user comfortable and secure.
Advanced Parking App Features
Basic Features are good to release a parking app. But, if you gain the trust of users and want your app to stand out in front of competitors, then it’s important to include complex functionality.
Below list consists of some advanced features.
- Push Notifications
One of the most crucial features to improve user engagement is to send push notification about discount, app updates, cites added, expiry time.
- More Cities
This feature allows users to book their parking spots in a different city when they are on business or travel trips.
- Advanced Filtering Options
By providing different filtering options like filter by time, filter by cost, filter by region and list of Garages and lots.
- Detailed info of garages and lots
Provide a detailed description of parking garages and lots. This includes photos, extra services, regular parking fees and hours.
- Waiting List
Every car driver has a favorite parking spot. But, it may not be available. Hence notify the user when their parking lot is available.
- Heat map
App provides the busiest route in real-time mode. By this, users will be able to make a proper decision for booking.
- Save Location
This feature enables the user to save the location of your parked car on your device and share it with your friends on social media platforms.
There are some of the most interesting features that you should include in a parking mobile app. But it is recommended to start with some basic features and then later update it with advanced features regularly.
Now, we will provide step by step process to build a parking app.
12 Steps to consider to start a Parking Lot Business
1. Create a business plan
A highly-organized plan will help you to achieve success in the parking lot business. This will help you to discover various specifics, such as the opportunities and threats to your business.
Some of the essential things which you should consider:
- What are the initial costs of the project?
- Who is your target audience and location?
- How much time will it take to reach your profits equal to your costs?
- What will be the name of your business?
Business name is most important. Hence, we suggest you to do proper research and purchase a domain name based on your industry. After this, you have to also buy hosting.
If you are confused about domain name and hosting, you can take the help of an experienced web and app development company.
2. Form a legal entity
Build a legal business entity like LLC. This will prevent you from being personally accountable if your parking lot is sued. For this, you can take the help of a registered agent, which will protect your privacy and stay compliant.
3. Find Funding
Firstly, you should collect information about the average selling price for parking spots where you want to provide car parking services.
Reach to a loan officer or a credit union to check whether you have sufficient credit scores to qualify for a commercial loan. Also, you can contact small business administrations that provide low-interest loans to entrepreneurs who want to start their venture.
4. Find your location
For this task, you can hire a real estate agent who will help you to find the best commercial property at the best price in a specific area.
It is clear that a parking lot near a harbor will be much in demand as travelers face issues while finding a space to park their cars.
5. Register your taxes
You are required to register for different types of state and federal taxes before you even start your business. For example, in Seattle, Washington, commercial parking lot owners have to pay 12.5% tax on the total parking fee.
6. Design all the Specifics
You should plan properly whether you want to rent spaces to the tenants on a monthly or yearly basis or you are looking to rent out the parking area on an hourly or daily rate.
One thing you should consider is to estimate the price you want to charge the user at the parking lot. Also, ensure that the price is suitable plus fair enough to cover all your expenses.
7. Organize your parking lot properly
You should present your ideas of the parking lot to an architecture. They have expertise in designing parking lots to make sure all of your requirements are met. It is vital to verify that your parking lot possess the maximum number of spaces as per the layout and size.
To check this, you can also construct a lot properly and paint the line to properly divide spaces between cars. If you are planning to rent out the spaces, it is highly recommended to assign numbers. This will help tenants to quickly find and use their space.
8. Provide Best Safety and Security
Install Security Cameras to track all the activities in your parking lot. You can also keep a passcode gate or an attendant at the car parking lot who will look after all the people who don’t have access to park their car.
You can also hire a security guard who will control all the activities of the parking lot when all the users are enjoying their day.
9. Open a Business Bank Account
Using a specific business banking and credit accounts for all your business transactions is crucial for personal asset protection. By doing this, you will keep your account safe.
When you merge your business and personal account, your personal assets like home, car, etc are not safe and your business might get sued.
10. Create UI/UX Design of App
Nowadays it is very important to create a user-centric design. Users don’t have enough time to understand how the app works. An easy-to-use app with all features is important to gain people’s trust.
You must create a UI/UX Design of your app will consume a lot of time based on the requirements.
11. Develop a Parking Mobile App
After you have finalized the design of your app, you have to start development. To develop an app, you have to hire an-in house team or you can outsource your project to dedicated developers.
The main reason to go for dedicated developers over the in-house team is that they will deep understanding of developing industry-specific apps. Other reasons include low cost and flexibility, timely delivery of project, instant support, etc.
12. Promote your Business
After you have developed your parking mobile and deployed on the Play Store and App Store, it is essential that it should reach the potential customers.
To promote your brand or business, you can contact a leading digital marketing agency, which will help to reach potential customers.
The car parking application should provide all the essential features in the listed regions. This type of business is highly complex and you will have to collect the most accurate data of parking lots in different regions and also provide the best connection to the users.
In order to develop a successful app, you have to keep in mind a lot of important factors such as business model, target audience, market growth, revenue streams, customer experience, etc.
All the above-mentioned apps are serving a wide number of customers worldwide. Now, it’s your turn to join the market and help several car owners to find their parking lot with the tap of their screen.