Developing a Cab Booking App: Tips and Costs

Are you ready to jump on board the booming cab industry? Developing a cab ordering app is your golden ticket to profit like a boss.

We'll give you all the juicy details about the benefits of the cab booking app development, the must-have features that will make your users swoon, and the development cost. We'll also provide some eye-catching statistics and growth trends to show you just how lucrative this industry can be.

Reading time: 10 minutes

Table of contents

Key takeaways

  • The global ride-hailing and taxi market is projected to reach $332.5 billion by 2023, due to convenience, affordability, and the popularity of mobile apps.
  • Uber, Lyft, and Bolt are the top 3 cab ordering apps that have extensive features like various payment options, real-time tracking, and expanded services.
  • There are 2 types of cab ordering apps — aggregator taxi booking apps and dedicated taxi booking apps.
  • Necessary functions for passengers are user registration and verification, fare estimation, ride booking, GPS tracking in real-time, driver information, in-app communication and payment options.

Statistics of the global cab ordering app market

The ride-hailing and taxi market is rapidly growing. It is forecasted to reach $332.5 billion by the end of 2023, according to Statista.

Cab booking apps have become increasingly popular in the United States: in 2018, 36% of adults in the US reported that they used cab booking and ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, according to Pew Research Center.

The popularity is growing because the services are cheaper and more convenient than regular taxis, and more people now use mobile apps. As a result, companies in the taxi industry are investing in technology and expanding their services to meet this demand.

Top 3 cab ordering apps

Understanding the competition, identifying user expectations, learning from successful apps, and staying up-to-date with the most recent technologies and trends — all of this is crucial if you want to create an app that will win users’ hearts. Therefore, be sure to research the most popular cab booking apps before developing your own one. By analyzing successful cab booking apps, you can gain valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t.


Founded in 2009, it is among the most well-known and widely used cab ordering apps globally. At the moment, the app is presented in more than 900 metropolitan areas worldwide. Uber enables users to book rides, track the ride in real-time and view information about the driver, all while offering various payment methods. Uber has also expanded its services and now provides food and package delivery services, and even electric bike rentals.

Uber logo


Previously known as Taxify, the app entered the market in 2013. Now it’s known as one of the most popular cab ordering apps in Europe and Africa. With Bolt, you can book a ride, track your driver, and pay for the ride via the app — just like with Uber. But Bolt also has a unique feature — “Quiet Mode,” which allows riders to indicate if they prefer a silent ride or if they’re open to chatting with their driver.

Bolt logo


Founded in 2012 and based in San Francisco, Lyft is Uber’s biggest competitor in the US. The app offers a unique “Round Up and Donate” feature to its users. Riders can round up their fee to the nearest dollar and the difference can be donated to a charitable organization that they choose. In certain cities, Lyft has also expanded its services to bike and scooter rentals.

Lyft logo

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How does a taxi booking app work?

A cab booking app can operate in 2 modes: driver and passenger. The driver mode allows drivers to accept ride bookings, get information about the passenger, use live map navigation, and receive payments. In the passenger mode, the app users can book a ride, view driver profiles, track the car, and pay for the ride right in the app.

There are 2 types of cab ordering apps: dedicated taxi booking apps and aggregator taxi booking apps.

Dedicated taxi booking apps

Such taxi booking apps enable passengers to book rides directly with the companies that develop and own these apps. In such an app, a passenger receives access to vehicles owned and operated by the company and can choose from a range of vehicle types and sizes to suit their needs.

Aggregator cab booking apps

On the other hand, aggregator taxi booking apps work by connecting passengers and drivers from various taxi companies. Examples of aggregator taxi booking apps include Bolt, Ola, and Didi. These apps are essentially intermediaries between drivers and passengers, allowing customers to choose from drivers from numerous taxi companies.

Must-have features of a cab ordering app

Whether it’s commuting to work, running errands, or traveling to a new city, cab booking apps have become an indispensable tool for modern-day commuters. However, with an ever-increasing number of apps in the market, it’s crucial to have all the necessary features of a taxi app that meet user expectations.

Functions for passengers

User registration and verification. In order to access the features of a taxi app, users must sign up and verify their identity. This process is essential for maintaining passenger security.

Ride booking. The core feature of a cab ordering app is to allow users to reserve a ride. This includes selecting their pickup and destination locations, choosing a payment method and the type of car.

Real-time GPS tracking. It helps users to track their ride and see the approximate time of arrival. This function gives users peace of mind and lets them plan their time more efficiently.

Bolt taxi booking app screenshot

In-app location tracking in Bolt

Driver information. Users of the taxi booking app should be able to view the driver’s name, photo, vehicle details, as well as the current location in real-time. This feature ensures transparency and builds trust between the user and the driver. It also enables users to verify that they are getting into the correct vehicle.

Uber taxi booking app screenshot

All the information about ride in Uber

Fare estimation. Provide users with a fare for their ride in advance. The estimation is typically determined by the pickup and destination location. This helps avoid any surprises when it comes to payment.

Payment. Implementing various payment options, including credit card, debit card, and mobile wallet will make your app more competitive. It is important to ensure secure payment processing through a reliable payment gateway.

In-app сommunication. This feature allows users to communicate with the driver directly in the taxi booking app, without having to share personal information such as phone numbers. It also ensures that any special requests or needs are communicated clearly.

Ride history. The app should maintain a history of past rides, payment history, and ratings. With this feature, users can easily monitor their rides and payments, simplifying the management of their expenses.

Push notifications. Implement notifications to alert users about ride confirmation, the car location, and arrival time. This feature ensures that users are informed about the status of their ride and any updates related to it.

Uber reminders

Notifications in Uber

Feedback and ratings. Users should be able to rate their experience with the driver and share comments on their ride.

Functions for drivers

Some of the above-mentioned features are mostly common to both drivers and passengers: registration, in-app communication, ride history, and push notifications. But there are also features that are specific to drivers:

Earnings tracking and management. Drivers can view their earnings history, track their ride history, and withdraw their earnings directly from the app. This feature provides drivers with transparency and control over their earnings and helps them manage their finances effectively.

Bolt taxi app dashboard

Earnings management in Bolt

Ride acceptance preferences. Drivers are able to set ride acceptance preferences based on factors such as distance, passenger ratings, or surge pricing. This helps drivers receive only the ride requests that best fit their driving style and liking.

Live map navigation. This feature helps drivers by providing them with real-time traffic updates, alternative route suggestions, and turn-by-turn navigation. These tools optimize the driving route to ensure that the driver will come to the needed location as soon as possible.

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Tips to build a successful taxi booking app

If you are considering developing your own cab booking app, these tips can be helpful in improving the user experience:

Consider adding the rewarding system for drivers. This can encourage them to provide excellent service and build a positive reputation for your app. You can offer bonuses or incentives for drivers who complete a certain number of rides or receive positive ratings from users.

Add features that will distinguish your app from other competitors. These are unique and useful features that will make your target audience choose your app over competitors. For example, the possibility of ordering a truck or limousine.

Offer a variety of payment options to users. Offering a variety of payment methods can make your app more convenient and accessible to a wider range of users. Besides traditional payment methods such as credit and debit cards, consider implementing mobile wallet payments or even cryptocurrency payments.

Lyft taxi app payment screen

Lyft payment methods

Provide incentives and rewards. You can offer various referral bonuses, loyalty programs, or discounts — this will help you build a loyal customer base. Your passengers will most likely continue using your app and recommending it to others.

Ensure that the app has safety features. Safety is a top priority for users of a taxi booking app. To ensure their peace of mind, your app should have safety features such as an SOS button, emergency contact information, and driver background checks.

Implement surge pricing during peak hours or high-demand periods. When there are a lot of people wanting rides at once, surge pricing can make you more money without stopping users from getting a ride. However, it’s important to strike a balance between generating revenue and providing affordable and fair prices to users.

Surgeapp application screenshots

An example of surge pricing implementation from Surgeapp

How to develop a cab booking app in 7 steps

Creating a cab booking app is all about cautious planning and implementation — this way you can be sure that it will be user-friendly and efficient. Take a look at our short guide on how to build a taxi app:

Step 1. Define and investigate your target audience and competitors

Before kicking off taxi mobile app development, take your time to determine the target audience. First of all, study the demographics of your potential users, such as age, gender, location, and income. With this data, you will be able to design the features and interface of your app to cater to your potential users. Then turn to the competitors and research other similar apps on the market to understand how you can stand out among them.

Step 2. Define key features of your app

Considering a minimum viable product can be useful for kicking off your project. The MVP approach is a great way to minimize the cab booking app development costs and time-to-market by focusing only on basic functions. Start with introducing the most essential features in your app — you will be able to improve the functionality and add some other ones later.

Step 3. Design a user-friendly interface

The intuitive and handy user interface is key to the success of your app. Make sure that it is easy to navigate yet elegant and visually appealing.

Step 4. Come up with the right technology stack

With the right technology stack, you have greater chances to build a robust and scalable app. Think of the frameworks and tools for developing your app. If you need to create a mobile app, React Native is our top pick. With this framework, developers will create an app that will function both on iOS and Android platforms. Allowing a single team to work on both versions simultaneously will save you money and time.

Step 5. Develop a robust backend and frontend

Invest in a strong infrastructure, if you want your app to run smoothly and quickly respond to user requests. A positive user experience will help you build a loyal audience.

Step 6. Test and iterate

Test your app rigorously before launching it — this will help you ensure that the app has no bugs and performs well. Conduct user testing to get feedback on the app’s usability and features. You can use the feedback to iterate and finally create a version that satisfies the needs of your target audience.

Step 7. Launch and promote

Once you have tested and refined the app, it’s time to launch it on app stores. Promote your app through social media, influencer marketing, and other digital channels. Use data analytics to track user engagement and identify areas for improvement.

See also  How to start MVP marketing when your MVP is done

Schemes to monetize a cab ordering app

The key part of a cab app for the business owner is monetization. Some ways are appropriate for specific cab apps, and some for aggregators. Even so, don’t be afraid to try new options and combinations.

Commission-based model

In this model, a driver is charged a fee for every ride they complete through the app. The commission size depends on several factors such as location, time of day, and the ride distance.

Advertising model

You can also sell advertising space within the app to third-party businesses. This provides an opportunity for local businesses to promote their products and services to users of the app.

Subscription model

Another option is to offer riders a subscription: by paying a flat fee they can use a certain number of rides per month. This can be beneficial for frequent riders who want to save money on their rides.

We implemented the subscription model in a video content marketplace app that we developed some time ago. The app subscription included one trial month — which can also be a great option to consider for a cab booking app.

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By partnering with other businesses, such as hotels, airlines, or event organizers, cab apps can increase their visibility and reach new customer segments. The model can ensure a higher revenue and potential revenue-sharing arrangements.

How much does cab booking app development cost?

The cost of a taxi booking app development varies depending on the app features, complexity and the number of platforms. For instance, it’s more expensive to develop an app for both Android and iOS than for just one platform.

Typically, the taxi mobile app development cost varies from $170 000 to $190 000.


In conclusion, a cab booking app development can be a profitable business opportunity in the rapidly growing ride-hailing and taxi market. The growth in the segment is driven by the convenience and affordability of the taxi services. It indicates that the demand for the apps will continue to rise in the coming years.

Looking to turn your cab booking app idea into a reality? Our experienced team will help you create a successful app that will exceed user expectations. Simply fill out the form, and we’ll get back to you with the project estimation in 24 hours. Don’t wait any longer, let’s start building your dream app together.

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