How Much Does It Cost to Build an App Like Uber
How much does it cost to build an app like Uber?
That’s the question we hear a lot.
Uber app development costs between $100,000 to $170,000 for one platform (iOS or Android).
The more platforms and features you add, the higher the development cost.
Want to know how we calculated the cost?
This guide uncovers the truth about Uber-like app development cost calculation. Here is a quick preview of what’s in the article:
- How Uber works & how it impacts Uber startup cost
- Key aspects affecting the cost to create an app like Uber
- Cost breakdown of critical Uber features
- How back-end and design impact taxi app development cost
- Uber app development cost calculation formula
- How Addevice can assist in building an app like Uber
If the question ‘how much does it cost to build an app like Uber’ keeps you up at night, dive into the article to find the answer.
How Does Uber App Work?
Functionality is the main factor that influences Uber-like app development cost. What looks for end-users like a single app is a combination of different services.
Let’s take its functionality, for example.
Depending on the location, users of Uber can enjoy different types of rides:
- UberX – standard ride option where user books a vehicle for up to 4 passengers
- UberXL – offers rides for up to 6 passengers
- Uber Black – luxury taxi service
- Uber Black SUV – premium rides for up to 5 users
- Car seat – cars with seats for children
- WAS – riders in cars accessible for wheelchairs
But Uber doesn’t stop there. Uber has long become an adjective in the on-demand ride industry. The platform consists of different services and sub-companies, such as Uber Eats and Uber Rent.
So, how much does it cost to build an app like Uber?
Well, it depends, and we’re going to overview all influential factors.
The Number of Apps Needed
When you decide to create an app like Uber, you might not even suspect that you’ll need to create three different apps. Surprised?
Here’s what we mean:
- Driver app – as the name entails, this app is designed for drivers. They should be able to accept trips, check trip details, get paid for their services, and track all the payments.
- Passenger app – this is an app for riders who use it to book drivers, find matching drivers, pay for services and rate drivers.
- Admin panel – this is the part of the app that you’ll use the most. Admin panel allows you to control your app, moderate passengers and drivers, view reports and analytics.
The above apps won’t work without the backend, which will also add up for Uber-like app development cost.
Key Aspects That Impact Uber App Development Cost
If we haven’t lost you at the previous part, there are a number of other factors that influence Uber app price. While some are related to the app and its features, others have more to do with the business side of things and the development option you choose.
Let’s review aspects impacting the answer to the ‘how much does it cost to build an app like Uber’ question.
1. Vendor type
Uber app development requires deep technical knowledge and hundreds of development hours. When you consider it not as a pet project but as a business idea, you’ll need the help of professional developers.
Possible options include working with a freelancer, hiring an in-house team, or outsourcing app development to an app development company:
- If you decide to work with freelancers, be ready to face challenges that might arise in the middle of the app development process. Usually, you don’t have full control over the development process and there is no quality guarantee. While the option might seem cost-effective at first, the reality might bring you down to the ground and force you to start development anew.
- In-house developers are on payroll. You must pay a salary whether you have tasks for them or not. And we haven’t mentioned the challenges of the hiring process, office costs and all bureaucratic issues. For a big company, it may not be a problem. But for a startup with a tight budget and deadlines, hiring in-house developers might not be a smart decision.
- Outsourcing app development to a third-party company may become the best decision if you don’t want to waste time and time, need a quality guarantee, or don't want to deal with hassles and bureaucratic moments. All you need to do is to find a vendor and the company will take the burden off your shoulders. Platforms like Clutch, Manifest, and GoodFirms are a good starting point for vendors research.
2. Number of supported platforms
What is your preferred mobile operating system? And what about your target audience? The worst mistake you can make is to assume that your users primarily use Android or iOS. Before making any platform-related commitments, analyze your target audience and what platform they prefer. Your findings might surprise you.
If you skip this step and make a wrong assumption, you might be betting your money on the wrong horse. Or rather investing your money into development for a platform that won’t bring you the required chunk of users.
Why not just develop an app for both platforms?
That’s also an option if your target users are equally distributed between both platforms and ready to invest heavily into development without prior MVP testing.
Features and their complexity are the main cost-driving factors when it comes to app development. The more features you add, the more you’ll have to pay.
We’ll review all the key features and their costs in the next chapter of the article. Keep reading or jump right to that section.
There are various technologies that you can use for your application. Aside from a traditional technology stack, you might want to use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to improve recommendations inside your app. All these technologies double or triple Uber app development cost.
5. UX/UI design
You can’t judge a book by its cover. But in the world of mobile apps, digital products are judged by their look and feel. User-friendliness doesn’t stop with great-looking screens. It’s a combination of the right information structure, interface layout, page hierarchy and even user flow. You can’t create a great UX and UI design without knowing your target audience. Audience analysis also increases Uber-like app development cost, just like the creation of logos and other branded elements.
6. Quality assurance & testing
Quality assurance is an integral part of the development process. During this stage, QA engineers test the app and all its features in different environments. The goal is to hunt down all possible bugs and release an app that won’t turn users away because of problems with user interface, functionality, performance, or poor cross-platform compatibility.
Cost to Build an App Uber- Like: Features for Passengers
Answering the question ‘how much does it cost to build an app like Uber’ is impossible without analyzing its features and their development cost.
Let’s review some of the key features that you’ll need to create for the riders-facing part of your app and how much money you’ll need to spend on each.
Registration & login
Customer registration is the most essential of all features. Make sure that the registration process is straightforward and doesn’t take a lot of time. The best option is to allow social login by integrating your app with such popular social media platforms as Facebook and Instagram. Adding Google to the equation is always a smart idea.
Development time: 60-150 hours
Users should be able to edit their personal data, such as phone number, credit card information, profile pictures, and so on, depending on the final set of features.
Development time: 50-60 hours
Geolocation, routing & direction
Applications like Uber heavily rely on GPS technology. Geolocation is used for a number of tasks, such as tracking the driver's location, automatically detecting users’ location, tracking car movement, determining the distance between a user and a driver, and identifying pickup location.
You can speed up the development process by integrating your app with Google Maps SDK for Android and MapKit for iOS.
Development time: 120-500 hours (depending on the final features set)
Working on your Uber-like application, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and determine the payment strategy for your app. For example, Uber relies on complex algorithms to calculate the ride price, including the base fare, type of vehicle, cost per minute, cost per mile, safe ride fees, and so on.
You can integrate your app with a number of solutions, such as Stripe, Braintree, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
Development time: 100 hours
Push notifications is a must-have feature for any mobile app. You can use notifications to keep users up to date with the latest updates of your application, discounts, special offers, and overall company changes.
To build the features, you’ll need to use Apple Push Notification Service (APN) for iOS app development and Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) for Android app development.
Development time: 80-120 hours
Calling or texting the driver right from the app will help users find the booked car or help drivers find the pickup location. That’s a useful feature that can save time when emergencies occur.
Development time: 60-120 hours
Scheduling rides in advance
This is one of the advanced features introduced by Uber later in development. The feature allows users to book rides in advance with a timeframe spreading from 30 minutes to 30 days.
Developing an MVP, you can go without this feature. But you’ll probably need to consider adding it during later development stages.
Development time: 120-160 hours
Booking rides for others
This is another advanced feature that allows booking rides for other users. After the ride is successfully booked, the app sends a notification or SMS to both the rider and driver.
Development time: 300+ hours
Splitting a fare
Users may prefer to split the ride fare when sharing a ride with someone else. You’ll need to think out the algorithms of such payment and implement functionality to support it.
Development time: 120-150 hours
Penalty-free ride cancellation
Uber allows riders to cancel a ride within 2 minutes without paying any penalties and cancellation fees. This is a nice-to-have feature that will be useful in cases when users need to cancel a rider or delay it.
Development time: 30-60 hours
Uber App Features for Drivers
An app for drivers is another part of Uber-like app development that you’ll need to take care of. Creating such an app can significantly add up to the app’s price.
Let’s review some of the basic and advanced features that you’ll need to create for drivers.
Signup and sign-in are two must-have features for taxi booking applications. Just like for passengers, you can integrate the drivers’ app with social media and Google to speed up the development process.
Development time: 90-150 hours
All driver’s information will be stored in a personal profile, where drivers should be able to update personal data, upload and change profile photo, and so on.
Development time: 50-70 hours
Push notifications are used to notify drivers of any changes within an app, such as new taxi requests, changes in the status of the order, payment processing, and so on.
Development time: 80-120 hours
Ride cost estimation
Just like passengers, the app should also provide drivers with automatic ride cost estimation. This is one of the must-have features that allow drivers to decide whether to accept a booking request or not.
Development time: 20-40 hours
This feature is useful as it allows passengers to rate drivers based on their experience. You can use this information for a number of purposes. For example, if a driver always gets low ratings, it might be a red flag that something is wrong. Based on the number of such reviews, the admin can even ban a driver. Also, drivers with the highest reviews would get more rides.
Development hours: 20-40 hours
Both the passenger and driver are interested in getting from point A to point B in the shortest time possible. An app can assist with the task by providing route optimization recommendations based on the analysis of traffic data received in live mode. That’s why an app should be connected to maps services.
Development time: 30-70 hours
Drivers should be able to choose the inactive option if they are not available for rides and switch to the active status when they are ready to take new orders. This way, your app will understand what drivers are available and ensure faster service for passengers.
Development time: 30-60 hours
A dashboard with all rides and earnings allows drivers to view historical information and check how much they’ve earned with your application. Adding filters, such as filtering by time period, highest or lowest earnings will make the feature even more useful for drivers.
Development time: 70-120 hours
A direct line of communication between drivers and passengers is what will make your app stand out among the competition. Thanks to the feature, drivers will be able to get in touch with passengers for directions or in case of emergencies.
Development time: 50-100 hours
This nice-to-have feature allows drivers to navigate to places with the highest demand for taxi services.
Development time: estimated based on various factors
Uber Features for Admins
In addition to two applications for passengers and drivers, you’ll also need to build the control center of your application – the admin panel. This is the place where you can control the whole application and its users. You can implement various features based on your business needs, but you’ll need to pay more with every new feature.
Here are some of the basic features that you might need to implement:
- Admin profile (super admin that can manage other admins)
- Adding and deleting admins
- Managing admin privileges
- Drivers’ verification
- List of drivers
- Updating drivers’ data
- Configuring price rules for rides
- Passenger management (booking history, payment history, profiles)
- Driver management (booking history, payment history, profiles)
Advanced features may include advanced analytics, the ability to filter data, a revenue dashboard, and all functionality that your business might need.
Development time: 300-600 hours
Back-End Development to Create an App Like Uber
Back-end development can cost a few times more than the development of all features together. Applications like Uber use a complex back-end that connects the driver app, passenger app and the admin panel.
Back-end application is responsible for information exchange between all parts of the platform. It should be designed with scalability in mind to avoid situations when you have to change the whole app architecture because scalability wasn’t a part of the development process.
Usually, backend is responsible for such tasks as:
- Users’ authentication and authorization
- Algorithms controlling ride cost, driver recommendation system, etc.
- Data and file storage
- Management of payments, subscriptions, premium status, etc.
Development time: 2,500-3,500 hours
Costs to Design an App Like Uber
The app development process doesn’t start with code creation. It starts a lot earlier with the creation of UX and UI design. You’ll also need to create designs for passenger and driver apps.
Design for a passenger app:
- Wireframes (UX) – 70-100 hours
- Mockups (UI) – 50-70 hours (for one platform)
Design for a driver app:
- Wireframes (UX) – 40-60 hours
- Mockups (UI) – 50-70 hours (for one platform)
How Much Does It Cost to Build an App Like Uber
Below is a table providing an approximate estimation of features in hours needed to create all three parts of the app for one operating system (iOS or Android)
|Registration & login||60-150|
|Geolocation, routing, direction||120-500|
|Ride scheduling in advance||120-160|
|Booking rides for others||300|
|Splitting a fare||120-150|
|Penalty-free ride cancellation||30-60|
|Ride cost estimation||20-40|
Please note that the above table represents a very approximate calculation of the time needed for Uber-like app development. The final number will depend on various factors, such as the number of features, their complexity, design complexity, quality assurance services, and so on.
Location to which you outsource app development highly influences the cost you’ll need to pay. For example, the average hourly development cost in the USA is around $150-200. In Europe, you can find companies providing the same services for $50 per hour.
Multiplying the number of hours needed for development by 50, we can get the Uber app development cost.
Uber app development cost ranges from $100,000 to $150,000 for one platform (Android or iOS). If you decide to add another platform, it will multiply the cost at least by two times.
How Addevice Can Assist with Uber-Like App Development
If you need help to build your own Uber app, the Addevice team will be glad to assist.
The first thing you should do is stop thinking about Uber as the only app in the industry. The best decision you can make is not to try to copycat the giant platform but to come up with a unique app idea.
That’s what one of our clients did. DriveHop offers on-demand drivers to get you and your car home safely after you’ve been out drinking with friends. The main goal of the app was to make the roads safer, offering such features:
- Ensure the safety of passengers
- Journey tracking
- Checking rates before ordering
- Online payment system
- Automatic driver registration with license
- Rating system
Our team created the MVP of DriveHop in under six months that allowed our client to test the idea in real life.
Table of contents
Taxi app development costs between $100,000 to $170,000 for one platform (iOS or Android). This development cost includes basic design, standard features, and back-end application. However, this is not the final cost as every case is unique and many factors influence Uber app development cost.
Uber is a complex app that consists of a few parts: an app for passengers, an app for drivers, an admin panel and a robust back-end application. The more complex your app, the higher the cost. Number and complexity of features, design and level of its customization, and even where you outsource app development all affect its cost.
The whole world is open before you when you decide to outsource app development. The only difference is the cost of development and the quality of provided services. For example, the USA is notorious for being one of the most expensive outsourcing locations, with prices starting at $150-200 per hour. In Europe, you can find developers for $50 per hour with no quality sacrifice. Armenia stands out because it offers the best outsourcing environment with good prices, quality, and a vast talent pool.
6 to 9 months is the usual development time of Uber-like MVP. If we talk about a full-fledged project for a few platforms, the development can take from 9 months and more. It all depends on what you want to create, which features you want to add and team’s size that will work on your application.