How Much Does it Cost to Build a Taxi Booking App Like Uber?

Uber is a world known application from Uber Technologies Inc. It has started as a small project and then evolved into a popular taxi booking app. Now Uber is available in more than 50 countries around the globe. The stunning success of this app makes other entrepreneurs want to repeat it.

The Uber’s strongest thing is that it provides communication between a taxi driver and a passenger, offering easy-to-use cab service. In this article we will try to answer two main questions: how to build a mobile taxi application and how much it may cost.

Taxi Mobile App

Taxi booking app development

First of all, it is necessary to choose the way of taxi app development – hybrid or native one. Hybrid applications are based on cross-platform technologies. Still, they aren’t so good as native ones in terms of performance and reliability. And furthermore, native applications have access to all system components of a device, like geolocation (which is crucial for a taxi booking app), camera, contacts, calendar, etc.

Building a native application is needed in order to be able to write app compatible with a specific device (iPhone, for example). With no doubt, Android and iOS platforms are market-leaders so the app has to be developed for those systems.

The chief point about taxi booking app development like Uber is that it has to satisfy both parties – a taxi driver and a client. So two subcomponents(apps) for one taxi booking system have to be built.

The app for a driver has to have such features as:

  • The registration system;
  • Be able to work with requests (accepting and declining);
  • Driver rating system;
  • Status updating (if the driver is available or not).

A client-side application will be more complex, because a customer usually need to do more steps while booking a cab. So the features of this app have to be as follows:

  • The registration system;
  • Driver Info page (cab info, rating, availability, etc.);
  • The price calculator;
  • The payment system;
  • Booking history;
  • Notification system.

“Technical” features, like app analytics, should be included as well. For a client it will be helpful because there he will see how much money did he spend on a taxi as well as driver will see how much money did he earn for a particular time period.

UX/UI design of the app is important, since the application should look native to a user and be ergonomic. Both versions of the app (for a driver and a customer) need a map to see where the nearest client(or driver) is.

You may ask what if we will try to develop kind of a Uber clone. For sure,  it will not work. Your app has to have something different that will provide your customers with an advantage. There are taxi service applications in the market, like Lyft and Grab. However, Lyft is available in the United States only and Grab in China.

These applications are focused on the location factor and it makes them popular and able to compete with Uber. The strategies of those companies were successful. Lyft was founded in 2012 and it has about 5-10 millions of downloads only at Google Play, when Grab founded in 2011 has 10-50 millions of downloads. The example – Uber, was founded in 2009 and it has 50-100 millions of downloads at Google play.

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Application for taxi services

Hiring a team of developers

If you are feeling that it will be more convenient to delegate app development, then consider hiring a team of outsource developers. With outsourcing services you are not limited in a certain country only, as you can hire taxi app developers from any part of the world. A good idea is to study the resumes of the teams or visit their official websites. Quite often, they have client cases, where they talk about tasks they got and how did they solve this or that  problem.

The payment models vary as well. Some developers will ask for a fixed price for taxi app development, while other companies prefer to work on a pay-per-hour model. In this case, another important factor that comes into play is time.

Taxi booking app development

Time necessary for building a taxi booking application

A taxi booking app consists of several modules and development of each component requires some time, which in turn affects the price. Since we are going to develop a native app (in fact, this is the best option for developing app like Uber), the versions for Android or iOS will require different amounts of time.

A driver application includes fewer components, than a customer version does, so it requires less time. A development of a driver application with 3 or 4 main features may require 120-240 hours (for iOS) or about 200 hours (for Android).

An application for clients features a lot more functions and it requires about 340-450 hours to develop iOS version or 360-430 to develop Android one.

As it has been already mentioned, the time necessary for building an app determines the price, so you need to plan the app like Uber carefully, identify all you need to implement at the very beginning in order to avoid overpaying.

Mobile taxi booking application

How much does it cost to create a taxi app

The hourly rates depends on the team of developers and countries. Let us compare the hourly rates of North America and Europe. Hiring programmers from the United States, you will need to be ready to pay about $80-$150 per hour. Therefore, the prices will be around:

  • An application for a taxi driver – $16,000 – $30,000
  • An application for a customer – $32,000 – $60,000

Hiring a team from Europe, you will have to pay around $20-50 per hour. And the prices for the simplest version of app will be:

  • A taxi driver app – $4,000 – $10,000
  • A client-side app – $8,000 – $20,000

Again, these are prices for an application with basic features only.

Since the application deal with online payments, you need a perfectly secured system. It may increase the price and time necessary for taxi booking app development, but people tend to use well-protected software, especially if app is dealing with their credit cards. A custom payment system can increase the price, but it can be very effective.

Remember, the app has to be tested-well before releasing. Beta-testing requires some additional time, but it provides developers with good feedback. It helps to check an app performance on different devices in order to see how it works. Of, course without testing you will save money and huge amount of time but consider the fact that no one wants to have an app that crashes every time they run it.

It is impossible to ignore the quality level, especially when we talk about the expenses. Every company values its reputation so it always try to do its best in mobile app development. It especially becomes obvious when you start to work with the outsourcing company. That is why IT outsourcing services becomes extremely popular.

Best taxi application

Expenses do not end with application releasing

An application is a very important part, but it is still a part only. To make the app start producing the effect you need to work with the business strategy, start a marketing campaign (to tell people about the app and how it can help them), maintain the application (study feedback from customers, add new features and fix the bugs), etc.

To conclude

Creating of mobile app for taxi service is not fast and cheap, but thanks to proficient development app may become popular and consequently provide you with high incomes. Your ambitions influence the expenses too, so it is necessary to understand what you really need to do. A good idea is to study your competitors, choose an application you like and see what it offers to customers.

If you consider hiring a team, which is able to deliver a solution – Lunapps is right what you need. We are a team of experienced developers who are able to create an app for your business demands. Hire us and your unique custom IT-solution today.