Creating a Parking Finder App: Tips + Features + Best Apps

Finding a parking space is one of the most annoying and time-consuming tasks in the book. This is even worse when you need parking at the last moment. The solution is a parking finder app. In fact, according to a report by Market Research Future, the global parking management market is expected to grow, at 12% of CAGR between 2017 and 2023, and reach approximately USD 7 Billion by 2023.

Being one of the best mobile app companies, we are enthusiastic about apps and mobile technology, so we love to read about new apps. Recently, we came across the Rover (P2P marketplace for parking) and the SpotHero parking app that raised a total funding of around $68 million. If you’re an entrepreneur and planning to develop a parking spot finder app or IoT based parking management system, read this blog and find 4 expert tips to expand your business and recommended parking app features from our expert.


We all have had that conversation at some point in time where we either say or hear “Sorry, I can’t come to that place. It’s very difficult to find a parking space there”.

This is where parking apps come into the role. These apps perform the cumbersome task of finding near-by empty parking spaces and app users just need to reach there and park.

Parking spot finder apps earn by charging a nominal fee from the user for finding the empty space and a commission from parking owners. In fact, the Rover parking app (a peer to peer parking marketplace) has a monthly subscription plan, which, as reported by TechCrunch, was tested in July 2019.

With an increase in the number of vehicles on the road, we observed an increase in demand for parking apps that you can see in the graph from Google Trends.

Parking spot finder app

Looking at this increasing demand for the best parking apps, we had a quick discussion with our technical expert, who has given guidance during the development of 15 parking apps.

While discussing, he shared some important pointers that you should keep in mind while planning to build an app for parking.

4 Tips to Keep in Mind While Creating a Parking Finder App

  1. Carry out in-depth market research

    Before making any new business decision, the first step is to do thorough market research. The same goes for a mobile park app.

    You need to find out heavy traffic or busy places where people are facing trouble in finding parking locations. Places like malls, cinema halls, local markets, stadiums, and other such places do face such issues.

    After surveying, you will find out which locations need a car parking app and which don’t as they are pretty free most of the time during the day. The best parking apps are those that show empty parking spaces among many taken ones. It would be pretty useless to have a mobile app for car parking that shows parking spaces in an idle parking space.

    This is why market research is a must before diving into app development.

  2. Focus on parking app design

    The main purpose of a mobile parking app is to make it hasslefree for the users to find a parking space. If the app design is complicated to use, it sort of loses the purpose. The parking app UI and UX design should be easy on the eyes. The utility of the parking finder app should be understood clearly. An app with an enhanced user experience will retain the users into using it every time they are in need. The app should work with a minimum number of simple steps.

    Searching for a parking slot in nearby and distant places should be done with just a few taps. Basically, the app should be like a smart parking solution for users. So, consider this tip while developing your own parking finder app.

  3. Start small, expand gradually

    Do not go for the big fish if your bait is small. In the parking business, you start small and then grow slowly. Begin by partnering with people who can lend their individual garages and lots when they’re vacant. Pavemint is one such Airbnb for parking that partners with individuals. This way, the people earn a passive income, and app users get a place to park.

    You should also interact with parking providers in the city and inform them about your street parking app idea. Partner with as many parking spots in the city as possible and then gradually move to other cities.

    When you have collaborated with most of the city parking providers, the parking spots app will be able to display more options to the users.

  4. Provide information

    Parking mobile app shouldn’t just provide information regarding parking spots and locations and empty slots, they should inform about other related services also.

    A regular on-street parking app shows details like photos, regular parking fees, and hours unless it is a free street parking app. In fact, you could also provide information like nearby restaurants, stores, gas stations, and car washing services.

    Certain AI-based Uber for parking apps also informs the users about the cheapest time to park or if there will be an increase in parking spots charges at other times of the day.

    Information like whether the parking slot requires you to park yourself or has valet parking is also mentioned. You can also check out our blog on how parking spot apps startups helping people save time through its on-demand services.

Want to Validate Your Parking Finder App Idea?

Contact us. Talk to our experienced travel app developers who have built more than 4400 mobile applications.

Why Parking Owners Need a Parking Finder App?

  1. Real-time data and insights of parking lots

    One of the greatest reasons to adopt the parking management system is to track the real-time data and the insights of parking car lots. Over time, smart parking solutions can produce real-time data, which uncovers correlations and the insights of users and car parking lots.

    However, these trends can prove to be inevitable to lot owners as to how to make adjustments and improvements to drivers. By adopting a parking management system, parking owners can lessen their work to a greater extent, which they could not do ever before.

    The best thing about the smart parking management system is that it is easy, convenient, and economic for parking owners to get real-time data and insights about the lots. Moreover, the software helps parking owners in handling all these things at their fingertips.

  2. Decreased management cost

    With innovative parking solutions, you as a parking owner can monitor the whole parking procedure through automation. And, it provides less manual activity, which saves on labor cost and resource exhaustion.

    Moreover, as we have already mentioned that the smart parking system includes the use of low-cost sensors, real-time data, and parking management app that allow users to monitor available and unavailable parking spots that decrease the number of laborers at the parking lots.

    However, the main goal is to simply automate and decrease time spent manually searching for the optimal parking space or lot.

    So, as a parking owner, you do not need to hire the number of staff as through this smart parking management software, you can decrease the management cost or we can say that you can cut the staff cost. This is one of the greatest reasons why you as a parking owner need to take a plunge to start with parking management solutions.

  3. You can generate automatic reports

    After analyzing the real-time data of vehicle parking lots, being a parking owner, you can comprise the data in terms of the report, which is automatically generated by the parking management system. Also, you don’t need to spend a lot of time to make the report from a plethora of data. With the parking management system, you will be able to generate the report on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. It makes lessen your work, and you can make most of your parking business by implementing parking lot management software.

    • Moreover, smart parking management solutions enhance the customer experience and revenue generation.
    • With this, you as a parking owner can get visible, and measurable improvements to the service you provide in your parking area.
    • It also makes easier day-to-day management, including payment and space management.
    • It is also based on comprehensive data gathered and analyzed by smart parking management software.
    • It also helps you to improve your parking service year-to-year.

    The parking management system is an intelligent system, which is used for optimizing parking programs by parking owners, plus delivers convenient solutions for drivers. However, the parking management system includes ticket dispensers either at the entry or exit gate, a decentralized payment collection system, and an exit ticket reader.

    These were a few tips that could do wonders for your parking spot finder app and your business as well. Now let us talk about top parking app features startup should consider before developing own app.

  • Must-have Features in your Parking Finder App

    Parking spot finder app

    1. Reliable communication mode

      Every smart parking management system requires a reliable and safe mode of communication. This helps to solve the problems of the driver while finding the parking space. The app must have two attributes for the driver’s safety:

      • Technical support
      • Notifications via messaging
    2. Effective control system

      The control system feature provides the drivers with information like ‘where to park’ and other notifications. The control system also provides up to date info regarding price, payment methods, and car parking processes. This feature is a must in your parking spot finder app.

    3. Data security

      Most apps like these utilize user data. So, security must be the top priority of any app that wishes to be the best parking app. User data should be protected from unauthorized third party usage and data leakage. This way, the app retains the trust of the users.

    4. Easy to access navigation

      Parking spot finder apps have a GPS tracking system that assists the user to easily find a parking space. This navigation system should be uncomplicated and user-friendly. In fact, they have a street parking map to make it as simple as possible.

      While making an app for a car or bike parking, all these features can’t be missed. Yet, there are some features that will make your app even more appealing. Let us read about a few of them.

    3 Recommended Features for your Car Parking App Development

    1. Reserving parking space in advance or recurring reservations

      This is a feature of a few parking apps like the ParkMe app. With this feature, a user can book or reserve a parking space ahead of the time when he actually needs it. This will reduce the last-minute rush for the user and the owner will have booking benefits.

    2. Provide comparisons (distance and price)

      Suppose a user needs a parking space in a certain area. If your app provides a comparison list of parking spaces available in that area with their price and distance from the user, he will easily be able to choose the space that is near to him and fits his budget.

    3. Push notifications

      Nowadays, all apps have this functionality. After a user searches for a parking space, he should get notified when and where there is a parking slot empty. The app can send alerts when the parking time is about to be expired to save the user from additional charges.

      Before you start developing your app, you should see who are your competitors and learn from them.

    Best Car Parking Apps Available in the Market

    Name Of The AppFeaturesPlay Store LinkApp Store Link
    • Real-time guidance and dynamic routing
    • Find My Car
    • Find and compare rates, hours, addresses, and more
    Play storeN/A
    Best Parking
    • Search for “parking near to me”
    • Reserve a parking space and pay online
    • Compare each price and save money
    Play storeApp store
    • Search for one or more parking lots
    • Book parking in advance by making prepaid payments
    • Turn-by-turn navigation to the location
    Play storeApp store
    • Check daily the rates for lots and street parking
    • Parking timer to avoid overstaying
    • Information on selected parking spots and street parking
    Play storeApp store
    • Find one or more parking spaces
    • Get turn by turn directions straight to the assigned space
    • See parking space availability in real-time
    Play storeApp store

    Want to Build the Best Parking Finder App for Your Business?

    Want to validate your car parking app idea? Discuss your unique idea with our professional app consultant now.

    1. Parker- Find Available Parking

      Parker app was first introduced on iOS apps in Amerca. It slowly expanded and announced the release on the Android app store in 2011. The app started its services in Studio City, California, and select locations of the Marina District of San Francisco and now has expanded to cities like Scottsdale, Los Angeles, Norwalk, St. Petersburg, Clemson University, and Oregon Health and Science University.

      This best parking app has unique features like turn-by-turn route navigation that automatically directs you to an open parking space destination. It like a feature called “nearest parking to me” or “parking near-by me”. This app to find parking saves your car’s location and gives directions to the destination.

      Top Features of the Parker parking finder app:

      • Real-time guidance and dynamic routing
      • Helps you find parking space where you parked the car using “Find My Car”
      • Find and compare prices, hours, addresses, and more
      • Push notifications about upcoming parking expiry meters and restrictions
    2. Best Parking- Find Parking

      Best Parking is a product of the Arrive company, a leading provider of solutions for the last-mile of mobility. They are providing their services to big brands like Ticketmaster, Honda, and GasBuddy for finding friction-free parking. They claim that over 40 million people have used their web, app, voice, and API-based solutions to find and book parking.

      Best Parking is a parking finder app that helps you find parking in many major cities like New York City (Manhattan), San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, Toronto.

      The main features of Best Parking- Parking finder app are as below:

      • Search for “parking near to me” and find parking spaces at your budget pricing
      • Find and reserve parking space and pay online
      • Compare each price and save money
      • Link your favorite navigation app with BestParking and get turn-by-turn directions to the destination
    3. SpotHero- Booking Parking in US Cities

      The company started out in Chicago, Illinois, and is now serving over 300 cities across the United States of America. It was founded in 2011 by Mark Lawrence and Jeremy Smith. They began as a peer-to-peer parking marketplace, which allowed people to could rent out their own private parking spots, now they have expanded and partnered with parking companies and garages.

      SpotHero is a digital parking reservation service. The drivers can use this parking finder app to help them connect with the nearest parking. The drivers can look for a location to park in their cities and can reserve also in advance. They can pay via credit card within the app itself. They run a website, app as well as a parking developer platform.

      Some of the main features of the SpotHero parking finder app are as below:

      • Search for one or more parking lots by simply entering a location, time, and date
      • Book parking in advance by making prepaid payments
      • Turn-by-turn navigation to the location
      • Mobile pass parking with QR code for quick service
    4. ParkWhiz- Find and Book Parking Anywhere

      ParkWhiz is a parking finder app also owned by Arrive parent company that runs BestParking. ParkWhiz was founded in 2006 by Aashish Dalal and Jon Thornton. They have a network with around 4,000 parking facilities in over 50 major cities and 35 states in the USA.

      It is one of a kind find parking finder app with a range of features. The app is free to download and has over 1000k downloads and a 4.6-star rating on Google Playstore. It is available on Apple AppStore too.

      Some of the features of the ParkWhiz parking finder app are as below:

      • Check daily the rates for lots and street parking or even airport parking
      • Use the parking timer to avoid overstaying, overpaying, or getting a ticket and get alerts in advance
      • Get real-time information on selected parking spots and street parking
    5. Parkopedia- Stress-free Parking

      Parkopedia parking finder app with over 1 million users worldwide is among the top apps. It is not only a parking finder app but it is also a provider of on-street and off-street parking data. It provides all sorts of digital parking services.

      Parkopedia was founded in 2003 by Eugene Tsyrklevich because he thought of the time when he couldn’t find parking in San Francisco. Now, Parkopedia has spread across 90 countries and covers over 15,000 cities, including China, Australia, New Zealand, and South American countries.

      Some of the features of the Parkopedia parking finder app as below:

      • Find one or more parking spaces using the current location or by entering an address
      • Get turn by turn directions straight to the assigned entrance or space
      • The premium upgrade allows you to see parking space availability in real-time where available
      • You may also find opening hours, up to date prices, payment methods, a lot more on the app
      • The parking finder app also has a filter feature that helps you quickly narrow down parking choices. Filters include street parking only, free, airports, credit cards accepted, covered, etc.

    Want to Develop a Parking Finder App?

    Get your free consultation now.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do parking finder apps make money? OR What are the monetization strategies of a parking spot finder app?

    We couldn’t discuss a parking finder app without mentioning it’s fees. The way that these apps make money is by taking a commission on transactions. They use this revenue to market your facility to an online and mobile audience. Every time a customer makes a payment, the parking finder app gets some portion of the payment as a transaction fee.

    How does the parking finder mobile app work?

    First, the driver or car owner needs to enter the vehicle plate number. Then he needs to look for parking spaces in the area that he wants and put time and date. then he books a spot. When he reaches the parking lot, the app will guide him to the assigned parking space to park the vehicle. The parking fee can be paid through the app itself or can be paid at the spot.


    We hope that now you are ready to build an app and give wings to your idea. If you think we have missed out on any tips or important features of a parking finder app, feel free to let us know. If you have an idea to build a similar app, you can discuss it with us. You can hire dedicated developers for building an app like ParkWhiz, Rover, or BestParking app at Space-O Technologies.

    We are an adroit mobile app development company with experience of developing over 3500 apps for both Android and iOS platforms 15 of which are parking apps. Some of our similar apps are Baloora and 2Placez.



    On-demand transportation service provider app with features like:

    • Book single ride as well as recurring rides for future
    • Special requests for senior citizens and children
    • Selfie confirmation photo sent at every pick up and drop off location


    A school-bus tracking app with features like:

    • Real-time tracking of school buses for parents and school admins
    • Notification alerts are sent to parents in case of emergencies
    • In-app payment gateway integration

    Have any query related to parking spot finder app cost, Indian app developers cost to develop parking finder app, how to make money with an app idea on parking, app development timeline? Just fill out the contact us form and our sales representative will get back to you shortly to provide a free consultation.

Author Bio
Bhaval Patel
Bhaval Patel

Bhaval Patel is a Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has 20+ years of experience helping startups and enterprises with custom software solutions to drive maximum results. Under his leadership, Space-O has won the 8th GESIA annual award for being the best mobile app development company. So far, he has validated more than 300 app ideas and successfully delivered 100 custom solutions using the technologies, such as Swift, Kotlin, React Native, Flutter, PHP, RoR, IoT, AI, NFC, AR/VR, Blockchain, NFT, and more.