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How Much does it Cost to Create a BlaBlaCar Clone?

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Yuri Musienko
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BlaBlaCar is a free ride-sharing platform, which is very popular in Europe. It has a user-friendly design and a wide range of features that meet the needs of both passengers and drivers. Later, we’ll tell you how much the creation of a BlaBlaCar clone costs, what tech stack is necessary for it, and what team of developers to look for.

What the development cost depends on

The complexity of the project and the developer’s location have the greatest impact on the cost of the development of such ride-sharing platforms as BlaBlaCar. As for the complexity, this is about the number of features and the depth of their development. In terms of this criterion, all projects are usually divided into simple ones — takes up to 400 hours to develop (design + coding), moderate – 400 to 800 hours, and complex – 800 to 1500 hours and more.

Developer’s location is important because salaries of designers, programmers, and management personnel in IT may vary greatly in different countries. Specifically, a specialist’s average rate in the USA is $95 per hour, Western Europe — $67 per hour, Eastern Europe — $32 per hour.

Here is how much the development averagely costs depending on these two factors:

Cost of a BlaBlacar clone development

Cost of the creation of a BlaBlaCar clone

The creation of a clone of such a platform as BlaBlaCar consists of several stages: preparatory stage, design development, direct coding, testing, deployment, and promotion. Here is their brief description and estimated cost (time  rate in the USA / Europe).

Cost of the market research

If you simply clone BlaBlaCar and release this clone to the market, this project hardly will turn out to be successful because it’s unlikely that people are going to go to your platform if they are already using the original or another ride-sharing service. Therefore, before proceeding directly to the clone creation, you need to explore the market to understand what project your target audience needs exactly.

The cost of such research depends on its depth:

  • Top-level report — $100-1000. A similar analysis gives answers to basic questions: what the market size is; if there are competitors (their main pros and cons); what the market trends are. Besides, a top-level report usually includes a summary of the development history of the chosen niche in general and/or in a separate region (country).
  • Complete market report — $1,5-8 thous. (medial average — $3,5 thous.). Research of this depth implies a more detailed description of a sector, competitors, trends, and target audience. In particular, this report contains a detailed analysis of the current state of the market and all competitors, market forecasts, analysis of trends and their impact on the niche, competitors, and target audience. In addition, complete market reports usually include descriptions of several users’ preferences and behavioral patterns.
  • The detailed market report on the product — $15-35 thous. (medial average — $25 thous.). Similar research gives full-length information about the niche, competitors, target audience, trends, legislation, promising startups, and the like. Besides, these reports also describe promising sub-niches, the focus on which has the biggest chance of success.

Cost of a clone’s design development

User flow in a ride-sharing service.
User flow in a ride-sharing service.
The cost of the design creation of your BlaBlaCar clone is about to be low if you’re planning to enter a market where there are no major players like BlaBlaCar. In this case, you only need to copy the architecture and appearance of the original and adapt them to the chosen niche, country, and target audience. This is going to take from 20 to 50 hours for development or from $640 to $1600 if the web designer’s rate is $32 per hour.

If you’re planning to enter a highly competitive market, then it won’t be enough to duplicate BlaBlaCar’s design. You will need to conduct research and understand what appearance of a ride-sharing service will be suitable for your niche and target audience. You also have to find out what the users like about the design of BlaBlaCar and your other competitors and what they would like to change, remove, or add.

Here are the main development stages of a unique design and their cost:

  • Frame development — from 14 to 140 hours or $448 to $4480. It includes the development of several options of frames for a BlaBlaCar clone, their testing on the target audience, choice of the best option and its optimization.
  • Creation of interface design — from 14 to 210 hours or $448 to $6720. It includes the creation of a prototype of the design of all service screens. In the simplest form, prototypes consist of blocks and blank fields, which will contain text, icons, images, and video later. In a highly detailed prototype, all these blank fields contain the corresponding content.
  • Creation of a functional prototype — from 7 to 200 hours or $224 to $6400. Development of an interactive prototype of a clone’s design, where all buttons, transitions, links, and other elements are working. Due to that, it’s possible to understand how it all will work and look like. Moreover, you can show it to the target audience and receive more accurate feedback.

Cost of the creation of main features

Passenger panel — 900 hours or from $28800. This is a set of features, which will help a user to find a car with a driver for a trip in the needed direction. Here is a list of features that will make it possible to carry it into effect:
  • Sign up / log in. It’s usually implemented through email, a phone number, or accounts on social networks. If your service is going to be paid, a user also has to specify his bank card data at the signup stage.
  • Geolocation of a car and a person. Allows understanding where the user is at the moment and where the driver (car) and other passengers are. It will simplify the search for a driver and improve the user experience.
  • Search for a driver and booking. Passengers should be able to choose a route, transport type, and find out other things like the driver’s driving experience; if it’s allowed to smoke in the car or bring a pet.
  • Notifications. They will help a passenger to be informed of all important events related to the trip. In particular, your BlaBlaCar clone can remind a passenger of a planned trip, notify of a new message, change of route, or update of an online platform.
  • Real-time communication. It will help to specify details of the trip, agree on the meeting point, change of the meeting time, and the like.
  • Payment.  If the drivers will have the possibility to take money from passengers, it’s better to implement such a feature inside the app. To do so, you’ll need integration with PayPal, Stripe, or other gateways.
  • Cancelation. Both passenger and driver should have the possibility to cancel the booking / trip because of urgency and other circumstances.
  • Reviews and ratings. Helps to single out good drivers.
Driver panel — 400 hours or from $12800. Some features for a driver panel can intersect with the passenger panel features; for example, sign up, geo targeting, push notifications, and messaging. At the same time, there are several unique elements for drivers:
  • Verification of a driver. Before a driver is admitted to the system, he has to prove his identity, availability of a car, and driver status. All that can be done online; for instance, with the help of screenshots or video. Identity is usually verified through a bank card.
  • Publication of offers. Such an advertisement has to contain further information: driver’s full name and driving experience, characteristics and photos of a car, a trip route, cost per 1 km, trip time, etc.
  • Indication of the driver status. A user should have the possibility to make himself visible on the passenger's map when he's ready to pick him up.
  • Real-time navigation. Due to this feature, the drivers will have access to such data as traffic of the chosen route, alternative routes, repair works, weather, speed limit, and the like.
  • Calculation of a trip cost. It’s a calculator, which calculates a trip cost based on the cost per 1 km.
  • Reviews and ratings. Drivers also should have the possibility to rate their passengers and answer their reviews.
  • Reports. They show the statistics of trips and revenue.
Admin panel — 200 hours or from $6400. In a nutshell, it’s a central node, which connects the back-end to the driver's and passenger's interfaces. Admin panel gives a summary of all processes and allows managing the system, users, routes, and finances. You can create it from scratch or by a template of an admin panel. Here are the main features of this panel:
  • Control panel. Allows administrators to track key statistics and indicators of a ride-sharing service and manage some main moments: passengers’ and drivers’ profiles, notifications, finances, routes, analytical and marketing tools.
  • Driver management. This feature allows to verify new drivers, approve their accounts, handle payments or ban drivers if they have poor reviews or someone filed a complaint against them.
  • Passenger management. It’s all the same as in the case of drivers, except for verification and approval of new accounts.
  • Payment management. Allows you to set commissions, the minimum cost of trips, add new payment methods, and the like.
  • Reports and analysis. Allows the administrator to get a summary of all key business processes for recent periods.

Cost of additional features

Predictive analytics — from 100 hours or from $3200. You can create a set of analytical tools, which will help you predict your users’ behavior to optimize profitability, communication, user flows, marketing, routes of trips, and many other things.

Machine learning algorithms — from 200 hours or from $6400. Artificial intelligence can be used to automate the communication with users on standard requests, optimization of the trip routes, traffic analysis, optimization of calculation of trip cost, demand forecasting, etc.

Integration with transport services — from 50 hours or from $1600. In BlaBlaCar, you can look not only for the drivers of private cars but also for the routes of buses and other local regular transport links. You can implement this functionality when developing your BlaBlaCar clone.

Chatbot for market of demand — from 100 hours or from $3200. You can develop chatbots, which would help clients to look for the necessary routes and book seats or provide the users with unique offers.

Voice commands — from 100 hours or from $3200. Let Google Assistant, Siri, Cortona, or Alexa help your clients to manage key features with voice commands.

Security — from 50 hours or from $1600. Getting into a stranger’s car is always a risk just like the other way around – when you invite a stranger into your car. So you must ensure that your users feel safe and have the opportunity to react to dangerous situations in some way. Here are several ways that famous ride-sharing companies use to solve that problem:

  • All drivers in Uber and Lyft are verified by several criteria starting with a driving license and ending with a criminal record.
  • Uber also has a feature «Share my trip», which forwards all data about the trip and driver / passenger to the chosen numbers of friends, family members, or colleagues.
  • On BlaBlaCar you can choose a «Ladies only» trip when only women can be drivers and passengers (trips of women with little children are also permitted). This feature is available to both passengers and drivers.
  • Many ride-sharing apps have «a Panic button», which sends an automatic notification about the trip and the necessity to intervene urgently to the administrator and / or local law enforcement agencies.
  • 24-hour online support can help as well. Thanks to this feature, the users will be sure that they’ll get help at any time of the day or night in case of an emergency.

What is necessary to create a BlaBlaCar clone

The architecture of a ride-sharing service
The architecture of a ride-sharing service.
Tech stack. You can use the following set of tools when creating your clone:
  • Cloud environment — Google, AWS, Azure.
  • Integration with social networks — SDK Google and Facebook.
  • Programming languages — Node.js, Java, PHP, and Ruby on Rails.
  • Mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) — Firebase, Parse, Oracle, and Red Hat.
  • Database — MySQL, SQLite, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB.
  • Analysis, reporting, statistics — Google Analytics or Mix Panel.
  • Payment services — Braintree, Stripe, PayPal.
  • Data backup — Amazon S3.blablacar clone
  • Geo targeting — API Google Maps and Google Places.
Development team:
  • Business analyst
  • Project manager
  • UI / UX designer
  • Android / iOS developer
  • Back-end developer
  • QA specialist
  • DevOps

Wrapping up

The cost of creation of a BlaBlaCar clone
The cost of creation of a BlaBlaCar clone (Eastern Europe)

Merehead does professional development of blablacar clone development. If you have questions, contact us for a free consultation.

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