1. Thunderrise
  2. Blog
  3. How to Build a Mobile Taxi App like Uber
How to Build a Mobile Taxi App like Uber

How to Build a Mobile Taxi App like Uber


Probably, you won’t find a single person who has never heard about Uber. This is a startup that was born in San Francisco and rapidly gained popularity. Now it is available in 67 countries and pardonably considered to be the fanciest and the fastest developing taxi service.

Are you ready to adopt Uber's strongest sides? This article will not only tell you about this project but also will help to figure out, how to build a mobile taxi app and calculate Uber cost estimate.

How to Build a Mobile Taxi App like Uber

Success story

"How it all started?”, you might ask. Let’s find out the origin of Uber success.

It all started with a few persistent and motivated people and a seed capital. They developed some prototypes and started testing their idea of taxi on-demand service on practice. At the beginning they had only 3 cars in New York.

With all this they managed to raise $1.3m in seed round from a small group of investors. That was enough to establish in San Francisco, develop first versions of mobile apps with the backend, conduct initial drivers recruiting, and launch customer support.

In a year they raised $11m in the round A and managed to expand their business into other cities. Since that, they have raised $4.9 billion of further funding.

So the question “How much does Uber cost?” not the only thing that should concern you.

Do you have a question?

To be the next Uber

Nowadays everyone wants fast results and to be the next Uber or another successful startup. It's easy to understand, because everyone knows how much does Uber cost as a business - $ 50 billion! Uber price estimate is enormous and continue to grow. Many become blinded by such achievment and tend to think, if they have a good idea and develop mobile apps, and $1m offers will be offered everywhere. But to achieve the real success you should give up this thinking.

First of all, you should think about your business not as “just an app”, but about the service that you want to provide. And mobile apps can be not the most important among them. Every business requires strategic and financial planning, modeling and value proposition. And you can’t forget either about marketing, as you need to attract new users through promotion, or about customers support, as it is one of the strongest methods of client retention.

Now let's review how to create an app like Uber.

Do you have a question?

Uber like app development

To develop Uber clone you need to determine the core functionality. A distinct Uber like app should include:

  • GPS: map and route display
  • Registration and matching system
  • Notifications and communication means
  • Payment gateways
  • Info about drivers and cars
  • Rating

Let’s take a detailed look on each of these features.

GPS: map and route display

Apps like Uber use GPS to determine the current location of a driver and a client. Routing server, maps, and geolocation are required to lay the course and count the duration of the ride. We suggest the usage of native maps for each OS, like Apple maps for iOS and Google Maps for Android.

Registration and matching system

Uber like apps generally offer their users several registration ways and ask their phone number. However, drivers have to go through the more complicated procedure. They have to attend transport company office to provide all required documents and complete a registration.

The matching system allows customers to find the available driver fast and allows the driver to accept the orders. This system also has to consider the distance between the driver and potential client and check the driver's status (“Free” or “Busy”). When a driver receives an order he has to confirm through the app it within 15 seconds.

There are several ways to inform the user that his car has arrived. SMS and push notification are two the most common ones. The push notifications are easier to develop, however, the SMS are more reliable, as sometimes the user can simply not get the push due to bad internet connection, memory issue or if the notifications were switched off.

To implement SMS sending feature to your service you will have to integrate 3rd party telco. Uber uses Twilio, but there are similar providers to choose from:

Payment System

Apps similar to Uber use mostly cashless payments than payments by cash as it is faster and more secure. However, you always have to make allowances for requirements of specific markets. Offering several payment methods you can draw more clients to your service. You can pay for the taken cab in Uber with:

Uber has an association with Braintree (A Paypal Company) for Uber payment gateway. But it doesn’t mean that you have to. There are several alternatives like WorldPay, Stripe, and Payza.

You also should keep in mind that the integration of such service won’t be the only your expense. Such services require monthly/annual fee.

How to Build a Mobile Taxi App like Uber

Info about a driver and his car

People prefer to know whom they are waiting for. Thus users feel more comfortable and secure when they have information about the driver and the car (vehicle model, color, etc.). And the driver also will feel more comfort if he knows at least the name of his passenger.


It’s not quite obvious, but ranking system makes a considerable contribution to the service quality provided by Uber. After the ride is over, driver and passenger exchange feedbacks within the app. If drivers rank goes below the required level he won’t be able to work for Uber. This is how Uber maintains the high standard of service level and this is what certainly needed to be implemented in an app similar to Uber.

This works for both sides. If the passenger infringes the rules and pays no respect for drivers, then his rank also falls, and fewer drivers will be interested in giving him a lift.

How to Build a Mobile Taxi App like Uber

Let’s count

Let’s figure out, how much does it cost to develop a taxi app like Uber.

We believe that the best way to enter the market for startups like taxi booking app is MVP.

Taxi booking app development process doesn’t differ much from any other app. It starts with custom UX/UI design creation. Then you need to decide where to release in the first place. You might come up with such questions as “Should my app be available only for iPhone or Android devices too?” “Is it better to make a hybrid app?”

Do you have a question?

Personally, we suggest going with native development as you need high capacity and reliability. Here the native apps have more advantages than cross platform solutions. Learn more about the difference between native vs hybrid apps and prices in general.

The approximate timeframe to make an app like Uber is:

  • 200 hours for Design
  • 500+ hours for Development (one platform)
  • 400+ hour for Backend and APIs

So an MVP Uber estimate cost is $20 000-$30 000 or the budget can grow up to $50 000+. The total cost to develop a taxi app depends on company's hourly rate and your ambitions for business and how seriously you plan to work on your idea.

If you are thinking to hire taxi app developers we can offer your rich experience in the field of logistics and geolocation.

Just contact us and we will be your taxi app development company!