Choosing a Parking Access Control System

Today, we look at a few ways to put your automate your parking setup.

The options we consider are:

  • Gated parking entry with pay station
  • Pay station with enforcement sweeps
  • Mobile only with enforcement sweeps
  • Mobile only with ALPR (automated license plate reading)
1. Gated parking entry with pay station


This setup has very low violation rates. As opposed to metered parking with enforcement sweeps, no one can sneak in for a few minutes and park for free.


This setup has two fragile and expensive hardware components: parking gates and payment machines.

Parkers are known to drive through parking gates, which demands expensive repair and leads to lost revenue for days. Maintenance can be costly and require overnighting new parts or paying for a maintenance contract with a parking operator.

Parking pay stations jam and break down often, for reasons like credit card jamming to screen damage and intentional destruction. Plus, parking payment machines are notorious targets for credit card skimming.

Score: 7/10

2. Pay station with enforcement sweeps


No parking gates or barriers for drivers to damage makes maintenance a lot simpler.


The parking lot owner still has to deal with maintaining a parking machine and employing a company to do regular enforcement sweeps of the parking lot or garage. Depending on the desired frequency of the sweeps, this could be a pricey option.

Score: 6/10

3. Mobile only with enforcement sweeps


Everyone has a smartphone. As consumers move away from cash, this option makes more sense. Plus, solutions like AirGarage allow parking owners to implement systems like dynamic and surge pricing for events, increasing revenue.

Mobile only solutions


With this system, cash is not an option.

Score: 8/10

4. Mobile only with ALPR (automated license plate reading)


The mobile only solution is almost perfect, but still requires enforcement sweeps. Plus, customers and visitors to pull out a phone and start a parking rental every single time they park. AirGarage is the first parking company to offer Automatic Rentals, which uses a camera system to automatically charge customers via license plate when they enter and exit and ensure visitors are validated to park.

Enforcement is easy and cameras report users who didn't pay directly to AirGarage for immobilization.


Initial camera setup can be expensive, but AirGarage is offering free setup for a limited time.

Score: 10/10

Think AirGarage could be a fit for you?
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