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How much Does it Cost to Develop an App Like Careem & Uber

By Shrikant Srivastava
August 28, 2018 10. min read
Last update on: July 16, 2020

When you look into the On-Demand Economy, you will find a picture of growth where businesses who are working on the on-demand model are highly successful and have over time become the investor’s favorite.

Now, an On-Demand ecosystem is made up of a number of different categories like – Ride Booking, Food Delivery, At-home Services, and even Job on-demand, amongst others.

Out of all the different categories, the one that has been a recipient of constant demand and fund influxes is on-demand taxi app development. A doing of the constant surging of gross booking valuations for years on end.

In fact, the graph below shows that the revenue of the ride-hailing industry has been on a consequent rise. In a report by Statista, it was stated that the revenue of the ride-hailing segments amounts to US$216,810 million in 2020, showing an increase of 13.7% CAGR. Moreover, it is expected to grow at a rate of 18% YoY increase.

Ride-hailing industry revenue

As for the users, there are currently 1141.5 million users worldwide and are expected to by 14.5% YoY increase. Additionally, the user penetration rate for 2020 is 15.4% which is also expected to grow to 20% by 2023.

When you look into the market of the on-demand taxi booking apps, you will find that a major part of the world is dominated by Uber and Lyft. But when you move towards the Eastern nations like the Middle East, the one name that will come out as the market leader is Careem.

Top Industry Leaders

The rate at which Careem has grown in the MENA region since 2012 has made it popular enough for businesses to enter the space. A movement which has led to queries coming in for ‘How to develop a taxi booking app like Careem’.

However, I feel that it is important to first discuss why one should even think to create an app like Uber. So, let’s look at some benefits of creating your own Uber app.                                    

Benefits of developing an app like Uber for business

Easy Management

Managing the whole fleet manually can be a lot more challenging than it seems. But it becomes easy through a single portal. Just think about the way you might be managing your fleet now without an app. It might involve a plethora of phone calls, confusion, mayhem, and complications. In situations like this, much of the time gets wasted over futile verbal communication. This is why creating an app like Uber for your business is fruitful. By integrating your business with on-demand services models such as Uber, your processes will become more efficient in terms of ease of use and speed.

Helps is tracking

To make your services more desirable, it is always advised to integrate tracking technology once you decide to develop an Uber-like clone application. Tracking the drivers and the rides is possible with the GPS functionality integrated into the app which ensures security. 

Higher ROI with minimal investment

If you create a simple taxi app like Uber, there are a lot of possibilities waiting for you to expand your business. It becomes easy for you to expand your business network without having to invest in any more transportation vehicles. All you need to do is just build an app like Uber and the drivers who would join your app would be responsible for bringing their own vehicle – just like Uber. You will receive revenue in the shape of commissions.

Talking of development, let us now get back to looking into how much it would cost to make an app like Uber or Careem and splyt for your audience.

Before we start with how much does the Taxi app development cost, there is one thing that we need to hit upon – When you get into the development of an Uber-like on-demand taxi booking app, you don’t invest in the creation of one app but three.

And as a result, the answer to how much does it cost to build a taxi app becomes a three-part answer.

Here is what we are talking about –

Components of Uber-Like App Development

Like almost all the apps falling in the on-demand category, the on-demand taxi booking apps also have three components – Customer Side, Driver Side, and Admin Panel.

When we talk about the development process of on-demand taxi app development or how to make an app like Uber in Android or iOS, it is very important to understand the different types of apps that would come together to form one single on-demand app.

Let us look into the different elements now –

Passenger App

This is the app screen that the passengers interact with. It has all the elements starting from entering the mobile app to setting a location, booking the ride, calculating the fare, contacting drivers, making the payment, and finally giving them rating and reviews.

features- passenger module

Registration

An important feature of the app is to allow users to login/sign up with their existing IDs and social media accounts.

Taxi type selection

Allowing the users to choose the vehicle type they want to ride is will instantly increase the demand for your app, just like it did for Uber.

Booking

This, of course, enables the users to book the rides with your app any time and anywhere.

Push notifications

Push notifications are a great way to make users aware of the on-going discounts on the app and other relevant updates.

Feedback

It is a must-have. This allows users to share their experiences of your services with other users, which is a great promotion tool in itself. Plus, you will also get to know about the room for improvement.

Ride history

This feature helps riders to check their riding history, in case they want to take the ride with the same driver.

Price calculator

Another must-have feature is a price calculator, otherwise, how would the users know how much the ride would cost them beforehand?

Payment

Make sure to provide multiple payment gateway options to the users, i.e., debit/credit card, net banking, etc.

Calling

Incorporating the calling feature will help the riders call the drivers from the app, if the need arises.

In-app messaging

In-app chat facility is something that improves the overall experience of riders and drivers alike. They can share real-time information with the help of this functionality and enjoy better.

Driver App

This app element revolves around the Drivers/ Captains (Careem’s nomenclature for drivers). While both passengers and drivers share a number of common elements, there are a few extra features in the Driver part of the application. Some of those extra elements are – Navigation, Ride Estimation, Active or Inactive option, Reports on trip stats and payroll, etc.

features- driver module

Active/Inactive status

Under this feature, drivers can choose to display their status and let rides know of their availability

Profile editing

It will allow drivers to update their profile, i.e., information regarding the vehicle they are driving, years of experience, etc.

Calling

Incorporating the calling feature will help the drivers call the riders from the app, if the need arises.

In-app messaging 

In-app chat facility is something that improves the overall experience of riders and drivers alike. They can share real-time information with the help of this functionality.

Activity alert

It helps drivers know of any new booking in their vicinity, so that they can accept or reject the ride.

Navigation

An indispensable feature is the GPS navigation. Otherwise, how would the driver ever locate the rider? Or the booked destination?

Estimation

Just like it is important for the riders to know the cost of the ride, so should the drivers.

Reports

Under the reports feature, drivers can have information regarding trips and earning on a daily basis.

Admin Panel

admin panel

The admin side of the on-demand taxi booking app is usually a web application, which is used to save, manage, and then review all the activities happening on the app. Here are some of the features –

Vehicle Management

The admin can access all the information related to the vehicles registered with the company.

Billing and invoice

With this feature, admin can easily see the daily earning made on the platform and number of rides taken every day. This helps in further analysis.

Compliant Control

Remember the feedback that users drop? It is all displayed in this section. So, that the admin is aware of the experience and satisfaction of users with the app.

Role Management

The admin here can manage everything related to assigning rides and everything between the drivers.

Vehicle tracking system

The safety of the users and drivers is prominent. So, this feature helps the admin to keep track of the vehicle.

Promotion and discount management

It is from here that the admin manages all the discounts, coupons, and promotions going on within the app.

Between all the three app components, there are a number of shared features that help answer how much it would cost to develop an app for iOS or Android.

The next section of the article is about those features and the approximate time it would take to answer how to make an app like Uber in Android or iOS.

Taxi Booking App Development: App Features and Development Hours

1. Registration

The creation of the user profile or registration is a must-have element of both the Driver and Customer side of the application.

While in the case of the customer log in, you will be focusing your attention on getting the information related to their name, phone number, and email address. The data which you will be collecting from the Drivers will be a lot more extensive.

Besides the general contact information, you will have to ask for the driver’s photo id, their license, driver license copy, etc.

To collect the information, you can integrate social media connections and email registrations when you build an app like uber.

Development Timeline: It takes a taxi app development company somewhere around 120 – 150 hours to develop the signing in and profile creation functionality in uber like app development.

2. GPS

The next feature which also lays the base of on-demand taxi app development is – GPS.

Taxi booking apps revolve around these three usages of the GPS facility –

Identify Device Location

One of the most useful features of on-demand taxi booking apps is that users don’t always have to enter their information in the app, the app is able to fetch their precise location using the Map functionality.

In the case of the Android-based Uber Clone app, Google Location Services API is what developers use to pin the user location. And, in Apple, CoreLocation Framework is used. Also, iOS makes use of the Wwi-fi functionality and Bluetooth Beacon to better location tracking.

To Give Driving Directions

For showcasing turn by turn driving routes, there are platform-specific APIs offered by both Android and iOS. While Google gives direction using their Google Maps Android API, Apple provides the same facility through MapKit.

Development Time: It usually takes somewhere around 120 – 150 hours to integrate GPS functionality when you build an app like Uber.

[Extra: How to Develop an Uber Clone App using Location Based Services]

3. Messaging/Push Notification

The passenger and driver need to be connected with each other to know about the ride status, know the estimated time of arrival, send updates in case there are any delays or the ETA increases, etc.

Now the one way to make the connection is to incorporate a calling facility within the app. Doing this can increase the time which users spend in the app, something which is frowned upon by modern-day buyers who prefer a quick in and out time.

The other way to notify both driver and the commuter about the trip status is through Messaging or Push Notifications mechanism. What happens here is that the commuter gets a pop-up notification of the ride related task on their smartphone, whether or not the app is running on their device actively or not.

There are two ways your partnered mobile app development company would incorporate the functionality in your take on the Careem car booking app –

  1. For Android – Google Firebase and For iOS – Apple Push Notifications
  2. Nexmo, Plivo, and Twilio can be used to send texts on the users’ devices.

Development Timeline: While it takes near about 36 – 40 hours to integrate Push Notifications in an Uber Clone App, the SMS Integration time lies in the range of 20 to 30 hours.

4. In-App Payment

One of the best selling points of an Uber clone app is the ability to send and receive payment from within the mobile app along with the benefit of viewing the ride’s cost estimate on the app screen.

To enable in-app payment in your on-demand taxi booking app, you will have to make use of third party payment gateway integrations. There are a number of integrations that are most commonly used by taxi app development companies. Here are the ones we rely on –

  • Stripe
  • Braintree
  • Paypal Mobile SDK
  • Google Wallet and Apple Pay

Development Hours: It takes somewhere around 100 to 120 hours for the taxi booking app builders to integrate payment within the app.

In order to develop these features in the estimated development hours it is very important that a robust technology stack is followed by the taxi booking app builders.

The Tech stack of the Uber clone app should be based upon all the latest technologies and frameworks that would support a pleasant, secure user experience for all the associated stakeholders.

Here is the Technology Stack for Uber Clone App –

techstack

Now that we have looked into all – Elements of an on-demand taxi booking app, the features that are involved in an Uber Clone App and the development hours it takes to build them, and the tech stack to make an Android app like Uber with robust functioning, it is time to look into the part we roped you in here for – The Cost to Develop an App like Uber a.k.a Uber App Development Cost

How Much Does it Cost to Develop an On-Demand Taxi Booking App?

When you create an app like Uber, you develop three apps: One for the riders, One for the Drivers, and One for the Parent Company.

Now when you pay for the Careem app clone, you pay for these services –

  • Number of User Stories
  • Functionality Count of your Careem Car Booking App
  • Mobile App Design
  • Native App Development
  • Backend Development
  • Web App Development
  • Quality Assurance
  • Product Management

Now the cost to develop an app like Careem or Uber will be based on the development hours that will go into the above-mentioned processes, which in turn varies from one geographical location.

While the development hours would fall in the range of $100 – $200 in the Western Nations, the count would decrease when you get an app developed from Eastern nations like India.

If you are getting your Careem-like app developed from us, the leading on-demand app development company, the cost of a basic functionality on-demand taxi app development would come somewhere around $25,000-$40,000 and a feature-rich app would fall in the range of $100,000 to $150,000.

*To get an in-depth look into the process of how we came at this cost estimate, head on to this page – How much does it cost to develop and maintain a mobile app.

Uber-like app revenue model

Now that we have crossed the threshold of Uber-like app development cost, it’s time to move to greater things.  If you have been long fascinated as to how Uber manages to earn billions of profit every year, then let’s unlock this secret, shall we? 

Price surge model

Under the price surge model, Uber instantly increases the per-mile cost when it witnesses the high demand in a certain area. Moreover, prices can also increase if there are complications with the weather. Now the question is, how is the new price decided? Well, it depends entirely on the number of available drivers and the number of requests made by people who want to travel. The model is working so incredibly for the company that it has applied for a patent on surge technology.

Subscription

One of the most popular app monetization strategies is the subscription. From Netflix to Spotify to Tinder, every business has come to adopt this specific model because of its profitable properties. This is why it should be adopted as the revenue model for an Uber-like app.

So, this was it for figuring out the Uber app development cost. Though we have provided you with a number, there are still a lot of factors influencing the Uber app development cost. All in all, it would really do you good if you could invest in the development. One thing you should always keep in your mind is to carefully choose the features for Uber-like app development because that’s what will make your app a hit among users.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How to create an Uber app with cashless payments?

When you contact a proficient taxi app development service provider company, the experts there would brief you with certain options. One of them is the in-app wallet. Uber also has the in-app wallet through which users can pay for their rides while also receiving cashback, rewards, and more.

Q. Why Should You Integrate Geolocation into an App?

Well, geolocation comes among the key features of a taxi app. It allows the admin to keep track of the vehicle. Moreover, it helps in connecting the drivers and riders by updating them of each other’s real-time location. This makes the experience all the more excellent and services more effective. However, one thing to keep in mind is that it adds up to the cost of building an app like Uber.

Shrikant Srivastava
Shrikant Srivastava
VP Technology
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