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A Comprehensive Guide on How to Create a Parking App in 2022

Updated 24 Jun 2022

14 Min

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The number of motor vehicles on the road in cities is increasing all the time, while parking spaces are becoming increasingly rare. Drivers often waste a lot of time looking for a parking spot.

Fortunately, the modern IT industry can provide a solution answering how to create a parking app according to the following steps:

  • Create a business plan
  • Study the competitors
  • Hire experienced developers
  • Create a functionality list. Launch an MVP
  • Consider a UI/UX of your app.
  • Think about advanced features
  • Keep it updated regularly

Citizens benefit from applications since they save time and nerves. The main purpose of such solutions is to locate and book available parking spaces in the area. They can also provide cashless payments, GPS, and other services.

That’s why we’ve created a comprehensive guide on how to build a parking app. We’re going to discuss parking app features and steps to develop such an app.

Parking App Development: Working Principles

The parking is a lottery for drivers almost every morning of their life: when going early to work, being in another city or just doing some business in their own one. It's not guaranteed that the parking place will always be free from any other automobiles.

That makes a danger for vehicle security. But the solution for this problem is nearby - using a car parking app allows you to book a parking place beforehand.

That's why the need for car parking apps has increased and the "how to make a parking app" question became more essential. Furthermore, a range of their advantages are essential both for vehicle owners and parking businesses. Thus, the drivers may save money by using the app to find the nearest and cheapest parking spot available. For the rental vehicle sector, a car parking app development is a useful tool for saving time and reducing traffic violations, as many of them occur when the driver is looking for a parking spot.

The creation of smart parking apps is also environmentally favorable. Because the motorist spends less time looking for parking, it helps to minimize pollution.

If you want to benefit from all the said asking "how to find parking near me", app development is the best solution. We'll start to talk about it from how it works at the user’s point of view.

6 steps on how a parking app works

How does a parking app work?

  • Step #1. Searching. The person uses GPS to find the automobile or types in the required address.
  • Step #2. Comparing. The app offers a variety of parking options. To locate the right match, the user can sort them by pricing or distance.
  • Step #3. Booking. The driver obtains an access code and reserves the desired parking place.
  • Step #4. Paying. The client can pay beforehand with a credit card or later with cash funds.
  • Step #5. Driving. Driving recommendations to the parking lot are provided by the parking app.
  • Step #6. Parking. The driver pulls into the parking space and stops their vehicle.

The working mechanism seems to be quite easy from the first point of view. Now, let's find out how to bring it into life by developing a car parking solution.

Steps on How to Build a Parking App

Follow these seven steps to develop a parking app:

  1. Create a business plan for your parking application.
  2. Study the competition (e.g. BestParking).
  3. Hire experienced developers to build a parking app.
  4. Choose several vital features and launch an MVP.
  5. Consider an intuitive design of your app.
  6. Consider advanced features to make your parking app unique.
  7. Keep it updated regularly.

There are main steps to create parking enforcement solutions. Below we discuss them more precisely.

Build a comprehensive parking app

Cleveroad experts will give you an in-depth consultation as to the creation of a smart city solution

Car Parking App Development Business Plan: Models to Follow

There are plenty of functions that a parking app can have, from online payments to navigation based on GPS. If you want to launch a car parking mobile app development, you need to start with a business idea.

There are three most common ones: navigation, navigation & booking, complete solution. We’ll consider all the details below.

Parking app business plan

Parking applications business models

Solution #1. Navigation

This option is the basic one since it provides users with one primary function — finding a parking spot near the car’s location. Such an application can’t book the free parking spot. However, solution of this type is perfect for an MVP of the parking booking app development to start the business.

Solution #2. Navigation & Booking

This type is more complicated than the first one. It allows users to find and reserve the chosen parking spot. Additionally, the app can navigate the driver to the booked place.

This parking service app tends to provide a flexible payment system. So, the users usually can pay by credit card or in cash. There are also such features as adding extra parking time or navigation back to the parked car.

By the way, this business model is the most widespread among existing parking applications like BestParking.

Solution #3. Full Set of Functionality

Such car parking application development tends to be more expensive compared to the previous ones.

Such applications solve the parking problem completely. They allow users to book the parking spot. Additionally, it’s possible to order door-to-door service. There are valets that can take and park the car.

How does a parking app work? The user needs to pre-book the parking space and choose the time and place to give the car keys to the valet. The valet takes the car, parks it, and returns the vehicle to the owner in the discussed time.

The service is secure since the users can look through the valet’s photo, reviews, and more. Luxe Valet is a perfect example of such a service.

What business model to choose?

Cleveroad will help you to select a model which will be the most beneficial for your parking app!

We'll discuss the parking app examples where the above described business models are successfully implemented. You can accurately analyze them in order to choose and properly implement a business model in your own app for car parking business.

To start a car parking location app development, you should study your competitors first. Parking management solutions development requires preparations, so we’ve chosen four popular projects from the US, UK and Europe to review.

1. BestParking

BestParking assists in finding and booking spots at the best price. The service works in many cities across North America, e.g. NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and more. Additionally, the platform offers to reserve parking spaces in major American airports like LAX, ORD, and JFK.

The applications have such exciting features as pre-booking. So, the users can reserve a parking spot for a specific date and period of time. BestParking provides the final prices on the map to let users choose.

Available on:

  • Web
  • Android
  • iOS
How to build a parking app: BestParking

Parking reservation app development example: BestParking

2. SpotHero

SpotHero is another parking application providing high-quality services. The platform offers to find a perfect spot near your current location. SpotHero cooperates with various lots and garages having parked about 40 million cars for 10+ years.

This application offers to book a parking spot in many big cities across the US and Canada, including NYC, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, and more.

SpotHero also guarantees secure payments with credit cards, Apple Pay, or Google Pay.

Available on:

  • Web
  • Android
  • iOS

3. Parkopedia

Parkopedia is the largest parking service app. It’s possible to book a parking spot in 89 countries and approximately 15,000 cities all over the world. The app allows the user to find a parking spot using the current location of the car or entering the address.

Additionally, Parkopedia works as a navigation system and provides users with the direction to the chosen lot. Users can filter parking spaces by free spots, credit card payments, and more.

Available on:

  • Web
  • Android
  • iOS
How to build a parking app: Parkopedia

Parking spot finder app development example: Parkopedia

4. Parker

Parker is an effective example of how to build a solution for a vehicle parking giving the customers a flawless UX. It is gained thanks to implementation of various smartphone payment alternatives and necessary features.

For example, due to GPS use, Parker offers data for available garage/spot for parking in real-time mode without making users search by themselves, losing a lot of time.

Available on:

5. Parclick

This service offers parking spaces in more than 250 cities in Europe like Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Faro, and so on. Parclick can find parking spots for cars, vans, motorbikes, and more. Additionally, it’s possible to pre-book a space to park for a long time. For instance, you can reserve a place according to your schedule for several hours or days.

Parclick offers a flexible bonus system: there are discounts for monthly subscriptions or a 5% discount if you install the app. The service can satisfy the needs of any client as it allows to find a parking spot by price, distance, car type, and more.

Available on:

  • Web
  • Android
  • iOS
How to develop a parking app: Parclick

Parking garage finder app development example: Parclick

6. Parking Mate UK

Parking Mate solution helps the UK customers quickly find the available car-parking spots throughout the city. The map attached to the main screen assists users to find the most secure parking lots nearby. Furthermore, if there are some specific regulations as to the particular spot, the app can also warn the user about it.

The user occupying a lot, will also be notified by the app when the parking time is over. It will give them an opportunity to take their vehicle on-time for not to pay possible fines.

Available on:

  • Web
  • iOS

After you've thoroughly learnt about your biggest competitors in vehicle parking business, it's time to plan your further actions in such a way to overcome them all. And the first step in this planning is to create a proper functionality list for your upcoming solution.

How to Build a Parking App and What Features to Implement?

Public parking finder app development requires a defined set of features. Usually, they are divided into two types according to their complexity — basic and advanced. It’s common to create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) with some basic functions and, after that, add some advanced and unique features.

MVP allows you to launch an app and get some feedback from users. Based on this data, you can decide what features to add.

Basic Features of a Parking App

Parking app basic features

MVP features for an online parking reservation app development

GPS tracking

To make the application more easy-to-use, it’s necessary to enable GPS tracking. This technology allows to find the location of the car and determine the distance to the nearest parking lot.

Searching

The searching process should be as easy as possible. For instance, the solution should offer to find the nearest spot in one tap after a parking finder app development.

Booking

This feature allows reserving a parking spot. The user can find a place that fits the budget and pre-pay it on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. It allows for avoiding everyday reservations.

Price comparison

Parking applications tend to provide an opportunity to compare prices. So, it’s easy for users to find the cheapest place nearby.

Various payment options

Users should have several payment options to feel comfortable and secure. So, such services as PayPal should be integrated.

Lost in features variety?

Apply to us! Cleveroad team will help you create the best-fitting feature list for a parking app!

Advanced Features of a Parking App

Basic features are enough to launch the parking app. However, to gain loyal users and make your application unique, it’s necessary to add some complex functionality. There are some ideas below that you can use during parking finding app development.

Push notifications

One of the most popular features for increasing user engagement is the ability to deliver alerts about discounts, application updates, and more information. Furthermore, consumers should be notified 15 minutes before their parking place expires. Users can stay longer or return to their automobile in a timely manner.

Several cities

An opportunity to choose parking places in other cities is necessary while traveling or business trips.

Waiting list

Every driver has a favorite parking lot. However, it can be full. So the user can be notified when a parking spot becomes available.

Heat map

The application can show the busiest routes in the real-time mode. Based on this data, users can make decisions about their booking.

Tag location

This feature allows saving the place where you’ve parked the car. Additionally, the user can share the parking location via social media or messengers.

There are various exciting features to implement during parking spot finding app development. However, it’s always better to start with basic functions and add advanced features gradually.

Parking app advanced features

Advanced features of a parking application

What to Consider Before Parking App Development

Several more aspects should be taken into account before the car parking finder mobile app development.

Team of Mobile App Developers

If you want to create an app, you need skilled and experienced developers. There are two reliable variants — hiring an in-house team or outsourcing company.

Outsourcing has become popular these days. Outsourcing companies offer affordable prices along with the high quality of the final product.

Having decided to cooperate with a parking app development company, you need to study reviews and previous projects. There are independent platforms like Clutch and GoodFirms with firms’ rates and portfolio.

UI/UX Design

People pay a lot of attention to the application design, so it should be user-friendly and convenient. Users don’t want to spend time trying to understand how the app works. Design can assist in gaining users and their loyalty.

Creating a UI/UX design during the parking lot finder app development can take plenty of time, depending on your requirements and it's complexity.

Tech Stack of the Parking App

The tech stack of your future app is more important than you may think. It’s responsible for the stability and scalability of your parking space locator app development project. Applications can be native, hybrid, or cross-platform. Each of them has certain peculiarities that you need to consider beforehand.

How to choose an appropriate mobile app technology stack? Let's check our article and learn more about choosing a toolkit for your project!

For instance, native apps are the most stable and provide the best user experience. Additionally, such applications offer the high-security level that is vital for parking apps. However, their development requires more time.

Below we’ve listed the approximate tech stack for city parking finder app development.

  • Kotlin for Android
  • Swift for iOS
  • Google Cloud Messaging for Android
  • Apple Push Notification Service for iOS
  • Nginx
  • MongoDB or SQL
  • Google Maps
  • Amazon CloudFront

Start building a parking app now

Our team can offer you an efficient tech consultation and accurate project estimation.

Parking App Development with a Skilled Tech Partner

Parking app development requires preparation since there are a lot of factors to pay attention to and features to implement. A competent IT vendor with a profound expertise in the Smart City solutions building may help you a lot. If you require to start such a collaboration, Cleveroad is the perfect choice for this purpose.

Let us tell more about this IT service provider.

Cleveroad is a skilled software development company from Estonia, Central Europe. Since 2011, we've been assisting startups and organizations of all kinds in acquiring cutting-edge technology specializing in a wide variety of IT services and bespoke software solutions. They improve workflow efficiency, address business issues, and aid in the acquisition of competitive advantages.

We offer:

  • A parking space finder app development considering our experience and knowledge of the latest building technologies
  • An initial project estimate from our Sales Managers
  • A complimentary consultation with one of our BAs or PMs
  • Signing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).on request
  • A team that can easily adopt to the existing workflow conditions
  • Profound software development expertise in various domains
  • A cutting-edge tech stack to build a modern and competitive app, etc.

We are eager to provide you with all the necessary information as to parking search app development. Our professionals will also help you with a tech stack choice and a feature list creation, selecting those features and tools to implement them which are the most appropriate in the current situation.

The way to a perfect car parking finder app development for your business is quite simple: let's collaborate with us and succeed. We're ready to help you lead your business to a new level.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Searching. The user locates the car using GPS or enters the necessary address.
  • Comparing. The app provides several variants of parking spots. The user can filter them by price or distance to find the perfect match.
  • Booking. The driver reserves the selected parking space and gets an access code.
  • Paying. The user can pay by credit card in advance or in cash later.
  • Driving. The parking app offers driving directions to the parking lot.
  • Parking. The driver enters the parking lot and parks the car.
  • Create a business plan for your parking application.
  • Study the competition(e.g. BestParking).
  • Hire experienced developers to build a parking app.
  • Choose several vital features and launch an MVP.
  • Consider an intuitive design of your app.
  • Consider advanced features to make your parking app unique.
  • Keep it updated regularly.

If your business clients ask you "what are the places for parking near me" app development of your own will solve this issue. However, you need to study the competitors before launching such a project. We offer you to pay your attention to the following apps as:

  • Best Parking
  • SpotHero
  • Parkopedia
  • Parker
  • Parclick
  • Parking Mate UK

Here is the final list of parking app features which includes both MVP and advanced functionality:

  • GPS tracking
  • Real-time search
  • Booking
  • Price comparison
  • Payments (e.g. PayPal)
  • Personalized push notifications
  • Support for multiple cities
  • Waiting list
  • Heat map
  • Tag location
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Ali Raza
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