Last Updated on January 21, 2022

Traveling via car and visiting new places is fun until your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. In such a scenario, you can do one of the two: either try to fix the issue yourself or call for help. Often, people need their vehicle to be towed to the nearest repair station. But how would you do that? Searching online may find you some road assistance services but they may not be very useful. This is when a towing or road assistance mobile app comes in handy.

Feeling stuck and anxious in a situation where your car breaks down is pretty normal. But instead of worrying or requesting people for help, you can simply use a tow truck or road assistance app and get professional help immediately. These apps offer truck towing as well as vehicle repair services to people at any time and any place. All you need to do is choose the service you need (dead battery, flat tire, towing, etc.), share your exact location, and confirm the request in a few mobile taps. A tow truck to take your car to the nearest garage or a professional mechanic will arrive at your destination.

With the rise in popularity of on-demand app solutions, customers are looking for advanced services that offer augmented ease. If you are a tow truck driver or wish to join the on-demand app bandwagon, you can develop your own roadside assistance mobile application. This will help you effectively serve your customers in need.

In this blog, we look at the various aspects of launching your own on-demand tow truck or road assistance mobile app as well as understand the cost involved.

What Is Roadside Assistance Business?

Roadside assistance business primarily means helping people who are traveling by road and require backing if anything goes haywire. For instance, if a person is traveling by his car and suddenly the car’s tire gets perforated. There is where a roadside assistant will come and provide professional repair services in exchange for a specific amount of fee. In the current times, the roadside assistance business has taken a new surge and become a potential area of investment for smart investors.

Roadside assistance is not just limited to car assistance. In fact, it has a vast scope based on different concerns and places. Nowadays, the most common mode of transport is road transport. And with thousands of vehicles running every day on the road, some of them are bound to get into trouble and require roadside assistance.

How Does A Towing or Roadside Assistance App Works?

roadside assistance app working
The working of a road assistance app is pretty straightforward. At first, the users need to sign up for the app and set up their profile. If they already have an account, they can simply sign in and enter their precise location. After that, they can select the required road assistance service and send requests to the nearby service providers.
Once the requests are sent out, a suitable service provider in close proximity will accept them and dispatch his mechanic or a towing truck to the user’s location immediately. The users can avail the service and pay securely from within the app itself.

Automobile towing 7 Roadside Assistance Industry Market Statistics

Roadside assistance services offer all kinds of on-site help to drivers to make the vehicle operational again. From minor mechanical or electrical repair to towing of the vehicle and even fuel delivery, these services include everything.

The road assistance market is growing every day, given the number of aging vehicles on the market. According to stats, the global vehicle roadside assistance market is predicted to grow at a staggering 3.92% between the year 2020 and 2027, reaching the market value of over USD 30 billion by 2027.

Automobile Towing in the US – Market Size 2012–2024

automobile towing in US market stats

 

Moving on, the global vehicle roadside assistance market is categorized into different principal regions: Latin America, North America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and the Asia Pacific. Considering this region-based categorization, Asia Pacific is most likely to emerge as a highly viable and lucrative region for roadside assistance business during the timeframe of 2019 to 2027.

Market Revenue and Forecast, By Region, 2019-2026 (USD Mn)

Region 2019 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 CAGR (%) (2019-2026)
North America 3,955.7 4,435.6 4,610.6 4,793.5 4,985.0 5,185.2 3.94%
Latin America 1,684.1 1,869.1 1,936.2 2,006.1 2,079.0 2,155.2 3.59%
Asia-Pacific 3,583.9 4,027.5 4,189.5 4,358.8 4,536.2 4,721.7 4.02%
Europe 5,076.7 5,635.4 5,838.2 6,049.3 6,270.0 6,499.8 3.59%

The global vehicle roadside assistance market is categorized as follows

Based on – Service

  • Towing
  • Fuel delivery
  • Tire replacement
  • Battery assistance
  • Jump-start or pull-start
  • Replacement key service/ lockout
  • Trip routing or navigational assistance
  • Other mechanic services

Based on – Provider

  • Motor insurance
  • Auto manufacturer
  • Automotive repair clubs
  • Independent warranty

Based on – Vehicle

  • Passenger vehicle
  • Light commercial vehicle
  • Heavy commercial vehicle

In 2019, the revenue generated from the towing service was USD 7,440 million, reaching a market share of 35%. It is further anticipated to grow by a CAGR of 3.81%, reaching USD 9,987 million in 2027.

Growth Rate Comparison & Market Revenue by Service (2019-2026)

Service Revenue 2026 CAGR (%) 2019 – 2026
Towing 9,549.1 3.54%
Jump Start/Pull Start 3,652.3 3.65%
Fuel Delivery 1,503.0 3.70%
Lockout/ Replacement Key Services 2,152.5 3.75%
Trip Routing/ Navigational Assistance 2,357.0 3.81%
Battery Assistance 2,412.3 3.69%
Winch 1,025.5 3.82%
Trip Routing/ Navigational Assistance 2,357.0 3.81%
Tire Replacement 5,240.5 3.85%

Reasons Behind the Popularity Of Towing/Roadside Assistance Business

  • The road assistance and towing business have surged in popularity. And this can be accredited, in large parts, to the sudden increase in the number of vehicles in the last decade.
  • Too many vehicles on the road have also increased the number of subsequent accidents, causing the vehicles to break down.
  • Additionally, busy and hectic schedules have caused many people to skip regular vehicle servicing sessions. This has again contributed to the need for road assistance apps.

Benefits for Users – Increasing Demand for Towing Assistance App

Feature-filled
Towing and road assistance apps have a host of useful features including real-time tracking, in-app calls, payment integration, and ratings and review facility that ensure a seamless user experience.

Quick and immediate assistance
Upon confirmation from the service provider, the users can expect to receive assistance within 15 to 20 minutes, especially in metropolitan cities. Thus, users no longer need to wait for several hours to get the repair service.

Security
Although all towing apps come with in-built payment gateways, these payment methods are fully secure to protect confidential user information. Thus, users can quickly and efficiently make payments without worrying about security.

Affordability
Booking a service provider through these apps falls much cheaper than looking up someone on the internet and calling them directly to get the required assistance. Also, users can get a price estimate before booking the service so they can have a fair idea about the cost in advance.

Service priority
Most towing and road assistance apps follow a priority list for the services of immediate need. For instance, services like fuel delivery, tire change, vehicle towing, battery replacement, and spare key service are given the highest preference.

Popular Towing & Roadside Assistance Apps

1. Urgent.ly

Urgent.lyUrgent.ly is a leading global digital roadside assistance platform that delivers the quickest and safest roadside assistance services. It has a network of over 200,000 drivers that offer services like fuel delivery, tire change, jump start, key replacement, etc. The app also provides a Roadside-as-Service solution to various companies in the transportation-focused industries for significant mobility solutions, such as ride-sharing, electric vehicles, and autonomous vehicles.

2. OnStar

onstarOnStar is a highly innovative app solution that lets you take complete control of your vehicle. Right from seeking roadside assistance services, such as a towing facility or help with a flat tire to location sharing with your entire group, the app does it all. It also comes with an Emergency Services feature that offers instant access to trained and certified advisors who even provide medical assistance in case of an accident.

3. AAA

AAAThis is one of the most popular roadside assistance apps that deliver immediate assistance for all kinds of roadside troubles. This includes fuel delivery services, battery replacement, flat tire, lockout services, and more. The app also lets the users find AAA-approved auto repair facilities as well as the cheapest gas prices near them.

4. Blink Roadside

Blink RoadsideBlink Roadside is a global mobile-based roadside assistance service that boasts a vast network of over 75 million professionals. It offers a full range of roadside assistance services, including vehicle towing, spare tire installation, jump-starts, fuel delivery, spare key facility, and roadside winching.

5. Waze

wazeWaze is an innovative road assistance service app that enables users and drivers to reach their destinations securely and swiftly. With a vast network of over 115 million people, the app shares real-time traffic and street information, helping users beat the worst traffic and seek out alternative routes.

6. StrandD

stranddStrandD is one of India’s most sought-after roadside assistance apps that follow a policy of pay-per-use. The app guarantees immediate response on call for all kinds of services, such as towing, vehicle accident, tire damage, lost keys, fuel problems, dead battery, or any other mechanical failure.

How to Develop A Towing/Roadside Assistance Mobile App?

roadside assistance app uiThe first step to developing a good towing mobile app is choosing an experienced and reliable tow-truck app development company. Also, you need to decide on the features that you need in your app. After all, it is the set of features and functionalities that determine the success of the app. Here are some basic and advanced features that you must incorporate to develop a fully functional app.

Tips for Developing a Towing Assistance App

To ensure a reliable and successful product, it is inevitable that your app passes through the below-mentioned criteria.

Decrease the waiting time for customers
All on-demand road assistance apps should be developed with the lowest waiting time. All users requesting roadside assistance would be in a hurry and obviously won’t have the time and endurance to wait for long hours. An assistance app with the least waiting time will not only improve customer experience but also promote brand loyalty.

Analyze problems and offer suitable solutions
Before developing any towing assistance app, you must put yourself in your customer’s shoes and identify the kind of problems they could face in case of a vehicle breakdown. This will help you come up with pioneering solutions that ensure a satisfactory customer experience.

Keep it simple
Any customer using your app will be in an emergency. Consequently, they won’t have the patience to go through cumbersome and time-consuming booking procedures. So it is important to keep your app’s interface simple and uncomplicated. This will make sure that the already stranded customers will not have to go through the additional struggles of navigating a complex app.

Business Models for Towing/Road Assistance App

Roadside Assistance Centre: With this business model, you can easily offer your top-notch on-demand roadside assistance services to shipwrecked customers quickly and efficiently. It also helps to streamline your business operations by managing all the staff, booking, and payments through a powerful dashboard.

Single Service Aggregator
This involves developing an app like Uber for Tow Trucks. It helps to manage any one of the high-demand service verticals such as tire replacement, towing, refueling, mechanical repairs, etc. from within the app.

Multi-Service Aggregator
Urgent.ly is a significant example of multi-service aggregator apps. Using these, the stranded drivers can easily available all kinds of roadside assistance from their chosen service providers.

How to Generate Revenue From Your Roadside Assistance App?

Subscription Plans
The app admin can offer both, customers and service providers, different subscription plans in exchange for a small fee. Based on their plans, they are provided various app facilities and discounts.

Commissions
This is a common way to generate revenue where the admin receives a commission fee every time the customer pays for a booking. The commission amount can either be fixed or vary as per the service type.

Featured Listing
Featured listing is a very popular monetization technique. In this, the service providers pay the admin a fee to feature in the top sections of the app. In other words, the admin recommends the particular provider’s services to the customers for an extra charge.

Sell Advertisement
The admin can allow the third-party service providers to display promotional adverts for a specific fee. This fee can be calculated based on factors like clicks, impressions, etc.

Wait time fee
At times, the service provider has to wait for some time as the user’s vehicle cannot be towed right away. In such a case, the user is charged a waiting fee. And the admins can keep a specific percentage of this fee to themselves.

eCommerce Integration

Features To Include In Roadside Assistance App

towing road side assistance app

Multi-Language System
This is an important feature if you wish to scale your business globally. It enables users to interact with the app in their regional language and thus, access it with ease.

Push Notification
Push notifications help to update the customers about the status of their booking. It enables them to know if their booking request has been accepted and the time it will take for the service providers to reach them.

Referrals System
Having a referral system in place is an excellent way to increase your app reach. Using this system, the admin can offer reward points to those who invite their friends and family members to sign up for the app.

Coupon Codes
This is a fruitful marketing tool where the admin can provide free coupon codes to avail discounts to loyal customers. This drives the users to use the app more frequently.

Live Tracking Ability
live tracking in roadside assistance app This feature enables the customers to see the exact location of the drivers in real-time.

In-App Navigation
This is a helpful feature that helps the service providers to find out the exact location of the customers and reach the destination without any hassle.

In-App Calling and Message
In-app calling and chatting facilitate seamless communication between the users and the service providers. The two can interact with each other from within the app and clarify any queries about the service that they may have.

Share Vehicle Info
This feature allows the users to share all the other important vehicle information with the service providers. This includes the vehicle’s make, model, year of manufacture, and registration number. These details help service providers to get the most suitable tow truck or a professional mechanic to repair the user’s vehicle.

Security Compliance
The app should follow all security guidelines and meet the necessary compliance standards. It should offer secure payment gateways so that the users can easily process payments from within the app.

Analytics
Analytics reports enable the app admin to get a detailed view of the customer’s and service provider’s activities, the number of bookings made through the app, most visited location, commission earned, etc.

CRM Integration
Having a robust CRM is indispensable to ensure a successful app. With an efficient CRM system in place, the app owners can easily and quickly resolve all customer queries and provide an improved user experience.

Add-on Features to Enhance the Capabilities Of Roadside Assistance App

online roadside assistance mobile app

Customized UI
A key to creating an intuitive user experience is presenting users with highly relevant content. A customized UI will give the users a delightful experience while interacting with the app, driving them to use it more frequently.

Payment/Bill Estimation
As per some pre-saved parameters, the users can immediately get an estimate of how much the road assistance or towing service is going to cost them.

Cryptocurrency Payments
Cryptocurrency transactions use blockchain technology. In such transactions, both parties have to approve the dealings which diminish the risk of any disputes and chargebacks. Also, adding cryptocurrency payments offers another alternative to the users to complete the payment, thereby enriching the user experience.

Subscription models for Customers and Providers
This a great feature as well as a significant monetization strategy. Using these, the app owner can offer different subscription plans to the customers as well as the service providers. Each subscription plan comes with a specific fee and set of features.

Team Structure Required To Develop A Roadside Assistance App

A robust and feature-rich towing mobile app cannot be developed without using the knowledge and expertise of a skilled development team. So, make sure the app development company you hire has a comprehensive team that comprises the following professionals:

  • Project manager
  • Front-end and back-end developers
  • UI/UX designers
  • App testers and quality assurance experts
  • Android and iOS developers

Technology Stack Of On-Demand Roadside Assistance App

technology stack for mobile appThe on-demand towing app development solution should be developed using a robust technology stack. Some of the most popular technologies used for the development are as follows:

Purpose Technology
For Payments Stripe & Braintree (split fare option), PayPal’s Card.io
For hybrid cloud model Terraform
For distributed storage & analytics for complex data Hadoop
For both caching and queuing Redis with Twemproxy & Celery workers
For crunching data streams Storm and Spark
For Web standards for graphics & visualization SVG, Canvas 2D, and WebGL
For building data products JavaScript and React
For web front-end applications JavaScript
Libraries and frameworks React+Flux, D3, and Mapbox
For data streaming Kafka
For Virtual Machines Packer, Vagrant, Boto, and Unison
For Safety Configuration Puppet
For Inventory Management Clusto
Programming Languages Go, Java, C, C++, Python, and Node.js
For Rendering, State Handling, and Building React.js, Standard flux, Gulp.js, Browserify
For iOS Objective C and Swift
For Android Java
For alerting for monitoring Nagios
For webserver Express.js
For App Provisioning Docker, Mesos, Aurora
For Routing and Service Discovery HAProxy, Ringpop, TChannel, and HyperBahn
For front-end web server NGINX
For interface definition languages Thrift and Protobuf
For Development and Deployment Phabricator, OpenGrok, Jenkins
For build, manage & develop on virtual machines Packer, Vagrant, Boto, and Unison
For documentation Sphinx
For searching and visualizations Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana
Other PostgreSQL, Riak, Cassandra, Hive, MapReduce, HDFS, Elasticsearch

What Is The Cost Of Developing A Roadside Assistance App?

It is important to determine the cost of developing a towing and road assistance app before jumping into its development. However, there is no simple answer to the question. There are various aspects that regulate the associated cost. Here, we will look at some of the most notable factors that affect developmental cost.

  • Type of the app
  • Platforms for which the app is built (iOS, Android, Windows)
  • Design and functionality
  • Number of web pages
  • Attributes and infrastructure

Apart from these, the cost of app development also depends upon the location of the app development company. This is because different regions have different labor charges that affect the overall cost.

Mostly, all app development companies charge on an hourly basis. And these hourly rates vary from one place to another. For instance, in the USA, the app development cost is $50 – $250/ hour whereas, in Eastern and Western Europe, it is $30 – $150/hour. In contrary to these rates, the labor charges in India are highly affordable, ranging between $10 – $80/hour. This makes India a feasible country for outsourcing towing app development requirements.

Taking India’s labor charges into account, the cost to develop a towing app with the basic features and functionalities should cost around $10,000 – $25,000 for a single platform (Android or iOS). However, for a cutting-edge app with advanced functionalities, the cost can easily reach up to $40,000.

Wrapping Up

On-demand roadside assistance apps have eradicated the hassle involved in finding vehicle towing and repair services in case of an emergency. An increasing number of brick and mortar shops are opting for the online platform to expand their customer base. If you want to invest in the swiftly growing roadside assistance market, the time is ripe. You must get in touch with a reputed app development company to build a robust app and make your way into this booming market.

Author

CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.