Vehicles broke down and people got stuck at uncomfortable and desolate locations is not an unheard situation across the world. Sometimes vehicles run out of fuel, they have flat tires at other times, or the engine simply refuses to start. When people find themselves in such dilemmas, they need immediate roadside assistance. Uber has developed a tow-truck application named HONK that has helped innumerable people who were stuck on lonely expressways and other locations where assistance is hard to render.
So, before we begin looking at how much it would cost to build a tow-truck booking app, it is inevitable to pass through the three essential criteria.
Reduce waiting time to enhance customer satisfaction: Any on-demand tow-truck application creator should build an app that has the lowest waiting time. This is because those who use these services would be in a hurry, and they have no time to waste to go through an unwieldy and tortuous app. An app with the least amount of waiting time enhances customer satisfaction and improves business prospects. Customers around the world have spent more than $6 billion on roadside assistance services, say reports.
Analyze problems and provide solutions: Before developing a tow-truck booking app, we need to put ourselves in customers’ shoes and analyze the types of issues they could face when they got stuck with a broken vehicle. Once all the possible problems explored, their solutions have to be incorporated in the app to ensure a satisfying customer experience.
Keep it simple: As customers who’ll use your app will be in an emergency, the tow-truck booking app you are providing them should have easily accessible features. The focus should be on delivering solutions that can provide convenient and straightforward services to stranded customers. A simple & efficient app is an excellent platform to improve the business services in this age of mobile application competition.
Features to consider before building an Uber-like tow-truck app
Live geo-tracking: An Uber-like on-demand tow-truck app must have this feature for users to see and track the nearest tow truck available in real-time. This helps in knowing the estimated time of arrival (ETA) of a tow-truck assistant.
Interact with driver: After booking a tow-truck service, you can talk or chat with the driver for details such as his time of arrival or the replacements, if needed.
Review past performance/Work history: An app should include the ratings and reviews of a driver given by previous customers in terms of various service and performance parameters. Details of jobs previously attended by the driver will lend him credibility and assure you of getting professional service.
Main screen: The main screen should be designed that allows users to choose from various types of vehicles as per the availability of the vehicles.
Scheduling service: This feature helps users to schedule tow-truck services for a set period. This section should also incorporate prices and payment details.
Requesting service: A ‘REQUEST NOW’ button under this feature will enable users to request a service immediately.
Service provider profile: This feature will contain a detailed description of the tow-truck service provider, such as name, mobile number, and address.
Fare details: Users can view rates such as the base fare and fare per kilometer after choosing a service from the services on offer.
Wallet service/Fare integration: This feature provides users with payment gateways to pay for the service they have requested. An on-demand tow-truck booking app must have multiple payment gateways to let users pay with their credit, debit cards, or any other e-wallet gateway such as Google Pay and Apple Pay. The app will also automatically calculate the estimated fare by considering factors such as distance traveled and service provider’s standard charges.
Location: Users can enter their location for availing the tow-truck service with this feature.
Discount coupons: This feature can be added to retain old customers and add new ones for availing various services. Satisfied users can refer their friends and family to leverage a specific tow-truck service provider and can earn discount coupons.
Live tracking: With the help of this feature, users can check the vehicles being used for towing in real-time and also the services they have already availed.
Invoice: This feature will help users to get the details of service delivery, including booking ID, total fare, date and time, and tax.
Edit/Cancel booking: Under this feature, users can either cancel the service requested or change the location address.
Notifications: This feature will help both the customer and service provider to receive notifications for smooth interaction with one another.
Advanced features in tow-truck apps
Accept/Reject requests: Service providers can accept or reject service requests based on their availability. This feature helps both service providers and users as the vehicles may have been already consumed by other bookings, allowing other tow-truck service providers to accept users’ emergency calls.
Flexible web panel: This feature in a tow-truck booking app helps users to avail services with a few clicks on their phone easily.
OTP verification: Fake requests can be eliminated with this feature as a one-time-password notification on their mobiles verifies both users and service providers.
Customer care support: This is a must-have feature in all on-demand tow-truck booking apps for solving users’ queries. Chatbots can also integrate to offer a quicker query-resolving platform.
Security: An on-demand app development for tow-truck booking app must be protected by a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate to keep financial data and other details protected from hackers and fraudsters.
Team structure for developing a tow-truck app
A robust and all-inclusive tow-truck app cannot be established without the expertise and knowledge of a highly-skilled development team. Such a highly-skilled team required that comprises professionals project manager, backend developers, front-end developers, UX/UI designers, testers, quality assessment professionals, and Android and iOS developers. Hire Mobile App Developers to develop the optimum tow truck app.
Cost to develop a mobile tow-truck app
A tow-truck booking app can be further refined and divided into customer-side and driver-side & their features are as below:
Fare estimation and calculation
Setup customer profile and bank details
ETA – Estimated Time for Truck Arrival
Verification via SMS and email
Reviews and ratings
Real-time truck status
Cash and card payments
Communication with customer
Driver support chat
Once you’ve chosen the company for developing your tow-truck app and the features you want to include, you can decide whether the app should serve on multiple or single platform. The functions determine the flexibility of an app, and they must be given plenty of attention during the development process.
The time taken to develop each feature on the user side would be as follows:
|Core functionality||User login system, service booking facility, payment integration: 160 hours|
|Fare estimation and calculation||32 hours|
|Customer profile and bank details||48 hours|
|ETA - Estimated Time for Truck Arrival||40 hours|
|Verification through SMS and email||8 hours|
|Review and ratings||16 hours|
|SOS panic button||16 hours|
|Cancel/edit booking||24 hours|
|Current truck location||24 hours|
|Total effort||368 hours|
The features that need to be incorporated on the service provider side would be as mentioned below:
|Core functionality:||Driver registration, fleet tracking, user management, booking, reporting - 160 hours|
|SMS verification||8 hours|
|Auto offline||16 hours|
|Profile activity/trip history||40 hours|
|Interactive map and navigation system||24 hours|
|Service type||24 hours|
|Billing and payment details||30 hours|
|Total effort||302 hours|
The cost to develop an Uber-like tow-truck booking app varies in regions. In the US, developers will charge anywhere between $50 and $200 per hour, while it would be between $20 and $100 per hour in Europe. Meanwhile, developers in India will charge about $10-$30 per hour for a similar app with all the features mentioned above.
Therefore, a rough estimate for developing a tow-truck booking application for a single platform, either Android or iOS, can cost between $10,000 and $20,000. And for developing a cross-platform application, you may need to shell out up to $45,000.