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 Work?
A towing or roadside assistance app works by connecting drivers in need of assistance with nearby service providers. Here’s a breakdown of how such an app typically functions, presented in tabular form:
|1. User Registration||Users download the app and create an account, providing necessary details like name, phone number, vehicle type, and payment information.|
|2. Location Access||The app requests permission to access the user’s location to provide accurate and timely assistance.|
|3. Service Request||When in need, the user opens the app and selects the type of service they require (e.g., towing, flat tire, fuel delivery, jump start).|
|4. Location Verification||The app confirms the user’s current location and asks for any additional details about the situation.|
|5. Service Provider Matching||The app searches its network of service providers to find the nearest available one that can fulfill the user’s request.|
|6. Confirmation & ETA||Once a service provider is matched, the user receives a confirmation along with an estimated time of arrival (ETA) for the provider.|
|7. Real-time Tracking||Users can track the service provider’s location and progress in real-time on the app’s map interface.|
|8. Service Completion||Once the service provider arrives and completes the job, the user can confirm the service completion in the app.|
|9. Payment||The app automatically processes the payment using the user’s pre-registered payment method.|
|10. Feedback & Rating||After the service is completed, the user has the option to rate and review the service provider, which helps improve the quality of service in the future.|
|11. History & Records||Users can view their service history, including details of past incidents and payments, within the app.|
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 global roadside assistance market size was valued at $28.9 billion in 2022.
- It is projected to reach $47.6 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 5.2% from 2023 to 2032.
Key Market Players:
- Some of the top companies operating in the market include Agero, Allianz Global Assistance, Allstate Insurance Company, ARC Europe SA, AutoVantage, Falck A/S, Paragon Motor Club, Roadside Transportation LLC, SOS International, and Viking Assistance Group AS.
Growth Rate Comparison & Market Revenue by Service (2019-2026)
|Service||Revenue 2026||CAGR (%) 2019 – 2026|
|Jump Start/Pull Start||3,652.3||3.65%|
|Lockout/ Replacement Key Services||2,152.5||3.75%|
|Trip Routing/ Navigational Assistance||2,357.0||3.81%|
|Trip Routing/ Navigational Assistance||2,357.0||3.81%|
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
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.
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.
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
Urgent.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.
OnStar 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.
This 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 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.
Waze 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.
StrandD 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?
Developing a towing/roadside assistance mobile app involves several steps, from ideation to deployment. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:
1. Research & Analysis
- Market Research: Understand the current market, identify competitors, and analyze their strengths and weaknesses.
- Target Audience: Define your target audience. Understand their needs, preferences, and pain points.
2. Define Features & Functionalities
- User Registration: Allow users to sign up using email, phone number, or social media accounts.
- Geo-Location: Integrate GPS to locate the user and provide services nearby.
- Service Request: Users should be able to request specific services like towing, tire change, fuel delivery, etc.
- Service Provider Profile: Profiles for service providers with ratings, reviews, and service details.
- Real-time Tracking: Users can track the service provider’s location and estimated arrival time.
- Payment Integration: Secure payment gateways for users to pay for the services.
- Chat & Call Feature: Allow users and service providers to communicate.
- Push Notifications: Notify users about the status of their request, promotions, etc.
- History & Invoices: Users can view their past requests and invoices.
- Ratings & Reviews: Users can rate and review the service provider.
- Wireframing: Create a blueprint of the app’s user interface.
- UI/UX Design: Design the user interface keeping user experience in mind. Ensure it’s intuitive and user-friendly.
- Choose a Platform: Decide whether you want to develop a native app (iOS/Android) or a cross-platform app.
- Backend Development: Set up servers, databases, and APIs.
- Frontend Development: Develop the user interface of the app.
- Integrate Third-party Services: Integrate payment gateways, GPS services, etc.
- Functional Testing: Ensure all features work as intended.
- Usability Testing: Check the app’s user-friendliness.
- Performance Testing: Ensure the app works smoothly under different conditions.
- Security Testing: Ensure user data is protected and transactions are secure.
- Launch the App: Once everything is set and tested, launch your app on platforms like the App Store and Google Play.
- Marketing: Promote your app through social media, PPC campaigns, content marketing, etc.
7. Post-Launch Activities
- Feedback & Updates: Regularly collect feedback and make necessary updates.
- Maintenance: Regularly check for bugs and fix them. Update the app as per the latest OS versions and trends.
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.
- User-Friendly Interface: Ensure that the app is easy to navigate. The user should be able to request a tow truck with just a few taps.
- Real-time Tracking: Implement GPS tracking to allow users to track the tow truck’s location in real time. This helps in reducing anxiety and provides an estimated time of arrival.
- Multiple Payment Options: Integrate various payment gateways to offer flexibility to users. This includes credit/debit cards, mobile wallets, and cash-on-delivery options.
- Offline Mode: Ensure that some basic features of the app, like calling the driver or customer support, work even without an internet connection.
- Multilingual Support: If you’re targeting a diverse audience, offer the app in multiple languages.
- Regular Updates: Technology and user preferences evolve. Regularly update the app to fix bugs, improve performance, and add new features based on feedback.
- Legal and Compliance: Ensure that the app complies with all local and national regulations related to towing, payments, and user data protection.
- Safety Protocols: Ensure that all drivers undergo background checks and training. The app should also have features like sharing ride details with a trusted contact for added safety.
- Service Options: Allow users to choose the type of service they need, such as flat tire assistance, fuel delivery, jump start, etc.
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.
Urgent.ly is a significant example of multi-service aggregator app. Using these, the stranded drivers can easily available all kinds of roadside assistance from their chosen service providers.
How to Make Money with Roadside Assistance Apps?
Monetization models are strategies that businesses use to generate revenue from their products or services. For a towing/road assistance app, there are several effective monetization models to consider:
1. Subscription Model:
- Users pay a monthly or yearly fee to access premium services.
- This provides a consistent revenue stream and can be tiered to offer different service levels.
2. Commission-Based Model:
- Users have to pay a fixed amount for every service booked.
- This can be based on the type of service (e.g., towing, tire change, jump start) or the distance covered.
3. Freemium Model:
- Offer basic services for free and charge for premium features or faster response times.
- This can attract a large user base and then convert a portion to paying customers.
4. Advertisement Model:
- Display ads within the app.
- Partner with related businesses (e.g., auto repair shops, car dealerships, insurance companies) to display their ads.
5. Featured Listing:
- The service providers pay the admin a fee to feature in the top sections of the app.
Features To Include In Roadside Assistance App
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 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.
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.
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
This feature enables the customers to see the exact location of the drivers in real-time.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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 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
The 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:
|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|
|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 alerting for monitoring||Nagios|
|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 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.
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.