Are you considering fitting pay and display machines in your car park? While some businesses are able to offer free parking to customers, others need to monetise their parking. There are also many sound reasons for charging a fee, aside from the need to earn revenue. It can serve to discourage the abuse of the car park, something that is especially useful for any business located near a shopping centre, attraction, or station. Such revenue also allows the owner of the site to maintain it, offering an incentive for customers to park there.
Installing pay and display parking systems offers a method of payment that is simple and convenient for both company and customers. If you’re looking for a practical and efficient way to manage payment, this is one of the best. The revenue gained from charging customers will soon pay for the cost of installing and running the machines.
Using a pay & display car parking system facilitates the movement of vehicles as they enter the site; if customers have to pay a guard on entry, a queue can quickly build up. It also avoids the need to have a staff member constantly on site during operational hours, although businesses will need to consider the cost of employing someone to perform periodic checks on cars to ensure that they display a valid ticket.
Which type of machine should you install?
There are three main types of ticket machine, used for both long- and short-stay parking:
- Adhesive tickets. Customers are issued with a ticket indicating when the ticket expires. This is displayed inside their windscreen.
- Receipt. Customers receive a two-part ticket, the first part is displayed inside the vehicle and the other serves as a receipt.
- Number plate. This discourages customers from handing over their ticket to other motorists when they are leaving the car park and have time remaining on their ticket. Upon making payment they are required to type in their registration number. Such practices are common in long stay car parks, as customers may have overestimated how long they will need to park for.
Pay and display parking systems also offer such useful features as remote monitoring, enabling attendants to keep an eye on them from a distance. Machines that accept payment in cash are made extremely secure in order to protect revenue from theft, and can also be programmed to limit the number of notes that can be accepted. A final level of protection can be supplied in the form of exit barriers to prevent customers leaving without payment. Barriers are usually placed at the entry of the each car park also.
Methods of Payment
Traditionally, pay and display machines have only accepted payment in coins. However, this is not always a practical option for customers, who are often faced with the realisation that they don’t have enough coins, or the machine doesn’t give change. These days, people want alternatives, and machines offer a practical way of providing this. You can install machines that accept contactless card or mobile payment, issuing a ticket for customers to display.
Number of Machines
The larger the car park, the more machines it will need. Look at other car parks for an idea of what will work best for yours. A single machine may serve for smaller car parks, although a second will allow customers to avoid waiting to pay, and provide extra security should one machine break down. Larger single-level car parks should have at least two, and multi-storey car parks should have one on each level.
A Wise Investment
There is no doubt that a car parking system can incur an expensive initial cost. However, this should be balanced against the benefits mentioned above. You should also bear in mind that unlike many other business investments, pay & display machines will bring in an income as soon as they are installed. Besides, it is the most efficient way of managing any car park.