Understanding options for carpark access control

How to select the right solution for your parking facility

Your business’s carpark is an important asset, not only for customers but for your employees too. And thanks to the pandemic, private car usage is more popular than ever, which means you’ll need a way to control your carpark access for the foreseeable future.

Understanding and responding to your requirements is crucial when selecting the ideal access control for your carpark.

For example, some businesses will have managing carpark revenue as a critical goal. In such cases, installing the “gold standard” of access control may be appropriate and deliver the ROI you need.

Yet for other facilities, the objective may be simply to ensure carpark availability for actual customers and staff, and not for the general public. When revenue is not a factor, you may be better off with a more simplistic – yet more suitable – access system that will fulfil the goals you have for your parking facility within your budget.

This news post takes a look at the carpark access control systems that are available, and offers pointers on how you can select the right solution to meet the current and future needs of your carpark asset.

Deciding on the ideal carpark access control

When the PARCsafe team are assessing your access control needs, we look for the answers to some key questions:

  • Who will need to gain access – is it your staff, clients or customers, the general public, or a combination of all three?
  • What is the main purpose for installing access control – are you looking to improve revenue, or is it entirely to control access?
  • When your legitimate customers park, will you expect them to pay or will they be offered free parking when buying your products or services?
  • Are your staff expected to pay for parking?
  • Will the carpark only be open during business hours and closed at all other times?

This information will form the basis for our design and the options available to you.

The five main types of carpark access control

Depending on your answers to the above questions, the PARCsafe team may recommend one of the following systems:

1) Token system

Option one uses boom gates that allow free entry into the carpark, but require a token to exit. This solution may be ideal for smaller carparks at medical centres and the like that are situated in high demand parking environments. The boom gates can be locked out-of-hours, ensuring that no one can enter the carpark during this time.

2) Ticketed system

Larger carparks may require a more comprehensive approach to access control, as well as earning revenue from parkers who stay for extended periods. A ticketed system gives you the infrastructure to charge for parking at any time in the future, as well as increasing your current rate of return. It also allows you to offer easy access for staff and preferred clients.

A tickets system can be installed with no more administrative work than the token system above, but requires a greater capital outlay and an increase to ongoing maintenance costs.

3) Ticketless system

A ticketless solution may be ideal for a high-volume carpark where access control and revenue are of equal importance. Retaining boom gates on entrance will provide a high accuracy read, and can be readily incorporated into carparks that have a high maximum free parking period (eg. shopping centres).

Number plate read malfunctions due to missing, damaged, or dirty plates will directly reduce potential revenue,  or increase the amount of administrative work.  The capital outlay for a ticketless system is similar to that of a ticketed system, and maintenance costs are also comparable.

4) Hybrid ticketed system with LPR

This system combines LPR (Licence Plate Recognition) for speed of vehicle throughput with the opportunity for revenue control via ticketing.

Printing the number plate on the ticket ensures that all vehicles that need to pay do so with minimal administrative input. Drivers can choose either to pay by plate or pay by ticket. With the Orbility Codex system, the option of paying via ticket is done by scanning, as the non-motorised scanner eliminates costly maintenance issues.

While capital outlay is slightly higher than the previous options, maintenance costs are approximately the same.

5) Hybrid system with pre-booking platform and app-based integration

The ultimate carpark access control experience, where the user accesses a booking platform which makes parking easy. By registering their license plate details online, they can enjoy a completely touchless and contactless entry and exit from the parking facility.

These web-based platforms can be designed and branded to suit the exact details of the carpark owner, making the journey a completely seamless one.

Transaction charges are generally applied to the system, while maintenance costs may be slightly higher due to software requirements.

Discover your options for carpark access control systems

Ensuring that your goals are met is key when choosing a carpark access control system. To discuss the available options for your facility, talk to an expert parking consultant today.

Contact PARCsafe to arrange a new online or face-to-face consultation on 1300 987 645 or get in touch online.