What is the Cost of SpotHero-like Parking App Development ?

Sudeep Srivastava June 5, 2024
app development like spothero

Imagine you are in your car planning, how will you start your shopping spree? You drove all the way, beating traffic by an inch, and just when you thought no more impediments will come your way, you ended up on a block with “No Parking”.

Having a Deja Vu? We totally feel you!

Those two words together are such a buzzkill for almost all the humans on the earth. Urbanites have suffered for decades from this “No parking” problem and desperately need a solution. 

In a survey by Sygic, it was noted that almost 80% of drivers do not know whether they will find a parking spot or not. The survey also assessed the time spent by drivers looking for parking every day. Here is how the results turned out to be –

Time Spent By Drivers Looking for Parking Per Day

Being opportunists or rather circumstantial victims of this problem, Mark Lawrence and Jeremy Smith identified the scope of business in the domain of the smart parking market.  As a consequence, they invented the SpotHero app, essentially a digital parking reservation mobile app.

Would they have also considered the price for developing a parking finder app? Well, of course, they would have. 

However, before we start talking about the SpotHero app development cost, let’s look at the smart parking management market.


According to Market Research Future, the global parking management market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 12% between 2017 to 2023, amounting to $7 billion. Country-wise, North America is estimated to possess the largest market share, followed by Asia-Pacific, which is predicted to grow at a faster pace. 

The reason pertaining to this difference in market share is said to be the technical advancements in that particular region along with the early adoption of parking management.

According to a prnewswire report, the smart parking market will reach $11.2 billion by 2027 from $4.1 billion in 2021.

Top Parking Finder App Players

Top App Players for Parking Finder

About SpotHero Parking Reservation App

What is SpotHero?

SpotHero is a parking reservation and inventory service provider company serving millions with its on-demand mobile app (Android and iOS) and website. The company partners with garage owners, vacant lots, and valets to provide parking spots to drivers across the United States. According to Time, “By allowing users to reserve a spot rather than circling dense city centers, apps like SpotHero can help stem congestion and pollution.”

SpotHero app market size

SpotHero app market size

SpotHero app in the news

  • SpotHero partnered with Waze in order to help drivers cut travel time, alleviate congestion, and help them find parking faster. Waze is a traffic and navigation application that helps drivers see the traffic conditions of regions and when you combine both, you get the best of both worlds.
  • SpotHero in August 22 2019, has raised $117.6M million in series D round. It is funded by 30 investors. Alpha Partners and OCA Ventures are the most recent investors
  • To our no surprise, the United Center of Chicago chose SpotHero to be the official parking partner. This is a sign of this platform’s exponentially increasing popularity.
  • According to a survey conducted by SpotHero in February 2022, 1,000 U.S. adult drivers revealed that COVID-19 drastically changed Americans’ mindset on driving. The survey found that nearly 75% of drivers plan to avoid public transit by driving to work at this stage in the pandemic.

Problems solved by SpotHero

Locating vacant parking space

SpotHero has saved the day of many users by navigating them to the nearest vacant parking space. What used to happen is that people would be unaware of vacant parking spaces if they were out of sight. But, with the help of the SpotHero application, they can look up these vacant lots near them and utilize them.

Parking costing big bucks

Due to the low availability of spaces, parking used to be on the expensive side of things. Moreover, there were not many discounts to avail of before. With the advent of the SpotHero app, things took a technical turn for good. 

One of the many benefits of a parking finder app like SpotHero is that users were able to land interesting deals and discounts with the monthly subscription facility. For this facility, SpotHero charges a 15% commission with $0.99 for each recurring transaction. The hourly parking cost commission of SpotHero for reservations under $10 and above is 20% plus $0.99.

Low availability of parking lots

Users would fail to find any spot, let alone an ideal. This shortage of parking space leads to roadblocks and traffic. SpotHero came up with a solution to this crisis by partnering with garage and lot owners to rent the property for parking so they can get cash on their idle parking lot.

Multiple parking rules

Every individual parking has its own set of rules i.e., some charge per hour, some per day, and some by a standard time window. There was nothing stopping the autonomy of the parking owners from charging whatever they saw fit. In cases like this, a parking finder app significantly simplifies things by allowing the user to choose multiple options. 

Basic Features of the SpotHero app

The cost of SpotHero, like car parking app development, depends on numerous factors. The mobile app development cost of on-demand apps tends to be higher than the other categories of apps. While you must not miss out on the advanced parking app features, here are some MVP features for a parking app like SpotHero.

User panel features


This is the most basic and obvious feature of any app. With this functionality, users will be able to log in via their social account or email credentials.


GPS tracking is probably a parking app’s most basic and anticipated feature. If an application doesn’t have this feature, how would a user navigate to the nearest vacant parking spot or find the location of the parked car? Well, they won’t. This is why GPS tracking is an indispensable feature to have. 

Via location tag functionality, the users will be able to mark the place where they have parked their vehicle, improving the user experience as a whole. Additionally, they will be able to share that location with others via messages or social media.

[Read: The Essential Guide For When to Add Geolocation in Your App and How]

Search option

Another basic yet high-priority feature is the search functionality. Your app must be very easy to navigate and facile enough for the users to use all its functions. So, providing this search functionality allows the users to search for a particular location, a city, or a parking facility’s name in general.

Option to enter arrival and departure time

Under this function, users can set their arrival and departure time- meaning for how long the spot will be occupied. This way, users will get optimized parking places within the specified time.


The booking option is like a personal virtual valet for app users. They can pre-book a parking spot, so there is no risk of “no parking,” i.e., unavailability of the lot. They can search for the cheapest parking spot available under their budget, so they do not have to spend more than they wish to just for one-time parking.  

Multiple payment gateways

It is always smart to offer app users multiple payment options, which comes in handy when customers need different payment gateways that they trust and feel comfortable with.  When you add multiple platforms to your payment gateway, you could really reduce the bounce rate to a minimum and increase the user engagement.

Manage parking history

This feature lets the users go through the places where they had parked their vehicle, and they can manage their parking history and book the same spot again.

Feedback and ratings

Adding this feature is important as it lets users share their experience on your app and any specific spot. This helps users decide which spot they should choose compared to others based on the reviews and ratings. 

Admin panel features


In this tab, the admin manages all the data related to the number of requests in a day, preferred spot and location, charges, information of drivers, and more.

Manage users and drivers

Profiles of all the drivers and users registered on the applications are managed and monitored by the admin on this panel.

Accept/reject users

Admin here can choose to accept or reject any request from the users and drivers, which partially depends on the parking requests aligned for any particular spot.


Under this section, the admin can monitor and track the parking costs and bookings of every parking spot tuned to the app.

Managing earnings

The admin can control and track all the data related to subscriptions, in-app purchases, and transactions made within the app.

Discount and offers management

The admin can curate and manage the app’s offers, discounts, and customer loyalty programs.

Manage Reservations

All of the reserved parking spots are controlled and tracked by the admin. By keeping track of such activities, the admin can eliminate the possibility of blunders like double parking.

Driver panel


This is the same as what we discussed in the user panel. Here, drivers can log into the app using their email ID or social media accounts like Facebook.

Personal details

Here drivers can input their basic information, such as name, gender, vehicle number, etc., along with a copy of ID proof to prove authenticity.

Add/reject user booking request

Drivers can accept or reject any user request, depending on the number of parking requests.

Contact customers

This feature allows the users to get in touch with the drivers to cross-check the vehicle’s location and get updated about their location. This way, drivers can drop the vehicles as per the users’ chosen location.

Payments collection

Drivers are able to accept and collect all the payments made by the users against parking and pick and drop service. This information is later transferred to the admin panel as well.

Check reviews and ratings

It is useful for the drivers to check how satisfied their customers are with their services, and this provides a chance for improvements in the services delivered.

on demand app development company

Advanced features of parking-finding apps

Price comparison

Now, incorporating a price comparison feature is prominent for what we have discussed above (searching for the cheapest spot). This way, users could compare the prices of multiple parking spots and choose the one they deem fit.

Push notifications

Push Notifications are undoubtedly an ultimate tool to keep users engaged and updated with your app. An efficacious push notification strategy is all you need to increase the retention rate on your app.

Multiple cities option

Providing access to the users of searching through different cities for parking so that they can reserve a spot is something you should think about while investing in on-demand parking finder app development.

Waiting list tab

With the choice of selection, you have to give something else to manage the demand. Say a particular spot is popular among the users, and they will all select it. Now, what they need is a waiting list, where they will be able to see when that spot will become available for parking.

Live-traffic information

With the help of a heat map embedded into your parking app, the user can see the busiest routes and the places where there is traffic. This way, they will carefully select the spot for parking their vehicle and not land amidst a traffic jam.

SpotHero UI/UX strategy: Key to a higher retention rate

SpotHero UIUX strategy

Design with a minimalistic approach

The user might be overwhelmed if you’ve got too much happening on the app screen. SpotHero design follows a minimal design strategy. The app uses grid patterns to show information. There are few but crucial app elements that don’t hog the screen in an irritating way.

The color pallet of the app is very carefully chosen, which is in harmony with the underlying theme of the app- minimal. The colors are soothing and not in the face at all.

Color pallet of SpotHero app

SpotHero App Color pallet

Filter Option

The app flow is very easy on front of the user experience (as shown in the image above). Due to this, the application can be used by anyone, anytime. We can see that the app has used the filter option to its optimal potential. To enhance the user experience even more, the app shows autogenerated relevant keywords in a non-threatening way that significantly saves users time.

Tech Stack used for SpotHero

SpotHero Tech Stack

A Parking app tech stack primarily consists of four categories, namely, Utilities, Application and data, DevOps, and Business tools.

Application & Data category had three crucial tools that helped in the successful development of the SpotHero app. Starting with ‘nginx’, it is an open-source and free web server capable of backing up some busiest sites of all. Then there is Backbone.js, a tool in the JavaScript MVC frameworks that offers structure to apps by providing models key-value binding and customer events and much more. Underscore is a JavaScript library helping programmers through the app development process.

Under the utility category, we have eight tools, namely, Google Analytics, Amazon CloudFront, Twilio SendGrid, Mailgun, Mixpanel, Optimizely, Mandrill, and Crazy Egg – providing immense help to the developers throughout their journey of app development.

For DevOps, we have ‘New Relic’, a performance monitoring tool that lets the parking app developers analyze the performance of the from the end-user experience to the embedded code.

In the business tools category, there are three tools – G-Suite, Zendesk, and Zopim, all performing their respective functions phenomenally.

How much SpotHero like parking app development cost?

As easy as it would be to give you a fixed amount answer for How much does it cost to develop a parking app like SpotHero, sadly is not feasible. There are numerous elements and factors that together make up the SpotHero clone app development cost.

To give you a rough idea, let’s discuss what are these factors that add up to the final parking app development cost.

Backend and frontend development 

In truth, the cost of SpotHero like parking app development depends heavily on the choice of frontend and backend development frameworks, technologies, and tools. 

There are two options that you can choose from, namely,  Monolithic vs Microservices. The cost of frameworks for the latter tends to be a little higher than the former, however, it is much more competent in terms of providing a highly scalable application.

Additionally, developers for some programming languages such as Go and R are very hard to find, which automatically increases the total cost of the application developed.

[Read: Complete Guide on JavaScript Frameworks for Frontend Development]

App-specific requirements

Every app is characteristically different from the other applications like it might belong to a specific category i.e., simple, mid-level, or complex app. Additionally, the type of application is also another major factor in the SpotHero clone parking app development cost breakdown. For example, an on-demand application tends to be more expensive than other types of apps say social media or entertainment apps, because it involves the development of three panels  – user, admin, driver in the case of SpotHero app.

Choice of platform

The two most widely-used and popular platforms have to be Android and iOS. You can go with Android app development or iPhone  app development, but if you want your application to land on both platforms, then cross-platform app development like SpotHero is something you should highly consider.

Size of the development team

If you choose a freelance developer, the cost to develop parking mobile app with obviously be lower than if you choose a parking mobile app development company. 

The thing to consider here before making a decision is that no developer can single-handedly develop an efficacious app that would perform flawlessly. On the contrary, a company would have a seasoned team of professionals familiar with every process and minute details of the development process. This is what enables them to deliver prolific applications.

Location of the company

It has been observed that the cost to develop parking mobile app varies from region to region. The parking app development cost is the highest in the Western countries, whereas if you start to shift from West to East the prices decrease significantly. 

However, to give you an idea of the total cost of developing a parking mobile app, we estimate that it will cost between $30,000 and $40,000. 

To gather more information related to app development like SpotHero cost, contact a trusted mobile app development company with years of experience and a legit portfolio.

Challenges linked with on-demand parking app development

There are a lot of hurdles in the way of app development companies or individual developers when they build a parking app. Let’s look at some of those in detail.

Accuracy of Information

This may not look like much but in truth, it is a huge challenge for developers to get all the data depicted on the app to be a hundred percent accurate and updated.

  • Price comparison filter

Despite being one of the crucial parking app feature, it’s difficult to manage the data generated when comparing prices in a way that delivers precise search results. It will create confusion between users and render your application a defective software.

  • Avoid double booking

Among other things, the fear of double-booking is a nightmare for any startup that had just launched its app into the market. To avoid such omnishambles is something that must be a priority. Creating a system that can process this data and display the right information is what any on-demand parking finder app development company should do.

  • Location tag

This feature is rather an amenity for the users, as it allows them to track their vehicles. In a worst-case scenario, say this feature for some unknown disabilities stops working, then it would be a matter of concern for the users to manually locate their parked vehicle. A situation like this is fraught with possibilities of you losing users because of this glitch. So, making sure that this facility is working perfectly in every way is an ongoing challenge.

Collaboration with organizations and cities

  • Parking Providers

Though it was a good initiative, collaborating with different parking providers can become a little tricky as they all have their own rules and regulations with their own way of managing. So, finding the right solutions to by-pass the clash of interests is something that needs good strategizing skills.

  • Individual spot owners

Convincing individuals to rent and loan their spot to other drivers was an anticipated challenge. To overcome this, an app must be able to provide them with the assurance of security by providing relevant information about the driver. Measures like these have enabled SpotHero to spread its empire. 

  • Partnering with cities

Every city has its own laws that one must not contravene so, building partnerships within the boundary of these laws is surely challenging but not impossible, and SpotHero is living proof of it.

spothero parking app

How does parking finding apps make money?

It is known that any application is deemed successful only when it attracts users, rendering impeccable user experience and of course,the one that brings digital bags of money. Speaking of SpotHero, its success and popularity are undebatable in every aspect. 

Now you must be wondering “how much money can you make from such apps?”. In which case, let’s look at the parking apps monetization model which SpotHero also follows, to conjecture how it acquires its profits and what can you do with your app to gain opportunities as does SpotHero.


To churn big numbers with your own SpotHero clone app, you can provide subscription membership to the users so that they can choose a monthly plan and pay for the services in advance.

This kind of revenue model is considered mainstream in the app market and multiple industries are using this model to accelerate more revenues.

Some of the apps are Netflix, Uber, Spotify, and a whole sea of other such apps. 

Reward Points

Another great way to bring in more revenue from an on-demand parking finding app is by offering reward points to the users. Though at first, this may seem a little invalid, it actually works wonders. By doing this, you can evoke a sense of loyalty among the users who are your constant customers, and another ripple effect will be enhanced user experience, which, eventually indirectly brings more revenue.


As mentioned above in the blog, SpotHero charges a fixed percentage of commission on each payment. So, you can also tread on the same path as SpotHero to increase your profits and revenue.


Encouraging your users to refer your application in exchange for more bucks for their money will be like killing two birds with one stone. To be eloquent, your existing customers will remain happy with referral rewards while your app will gain more potential users.

How to make your app a money-magnet?

Merely building a parking mobile app just for the sake of it is not what you strive for, is it? In that case, you need to do what others are oblivious of and seize the opportunities you are presented with. We have some useful tips in our basket that would help you make your app distinct from those existing in the market.

Make locating a parked car an easy task

Presenting the users with impeccable functionalities that help them locate their parked car has always been a driving force for the users that motivates them to use an app. To state a few examples, Find My Car Smarter is an application using a Bluetooth technology named ‘BlueTooth Smart’ which helps users save a vehicle location by turning on the GPS of their smartphones. 

By adding such innovative and utilitarian parking app features into your, your app is much likely to gain more users and hence, will extend your app’s popularity.

Think out of the box

Although there are numerous popular parking applications already crushing the market hard with their innovations and new ideologies, there is always some room left for improvement, isn’t there? 

What you are supposed to do is take your conventional glasses off and think of innovative ways that you can add to your best parking app services. By providing the users more bang for their buck, your app will definitely become a favorite than just a one-tap wonder.

Take inspiration from Chark.me that provides vehicle wash services to the motorists while they are parked along with providing cars with groceries, washed clothes, and deliveries. 

Once you are thorough with all the elements answering the question of what is the cost of developing an app like Spothero, your next step should be choosing the best on demand app development company like Appinventiv, which is capable of delivering impeccable mobility solutions accompanied by other related services.


Q. How does parking apps work?

A. An app like SpotHero is very user-friendly. All you need to do is sign up on the application with your email account or any social media account like Facebook. After this, you can search for the location where you want to reserve a parking spot. With multiple options provided to you on the screen, you can choose whichever you like, based on the price. By using the filter or price comparison option, you can see the price of all the vacant spots near you. When that is done, you can pay for your spot.

Q. What to Consider Before Building a Parking App?

A. A few things that you should think about before looking for the answer to parking finder mobile app development cost are:

  • Examine the parking management market in detail
  • Identify your targeted audience
  • Checklist all the features you want your app to have
  • Decide the services your app will provide
  • Develop a rough idea of your app monetization model.

Q. How to estimate the cost to build a parking finder app?

A. The price for developing a parking finder app entirely depends on factors such as the app category, app complexity level, technology used, type of platform, team size, location of the team, and so on. To know a ballpark figure, you should contact a competent app development company.

Q. What are the steps to develop a parking space app?

A. Here are the steps to develop a parking app like SpotHero:

  • Create a business plan for your parking application
  • Perform in-depth research about your competitors
  • Hire an experienced and expert app development team
  • Create an MVP
  • Design UX/UI of your app
  • Incorporate advanced features into your app
  • Make sure you regularly update it

Q. How does SpotHero make money?

A. The SpotHero parking app makes money via subscriptions, reward points,commissions, and referrals.

[Also Read: How Much Does it Cost to Make an On-demand Fuel Delivery App?]

Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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