Choosing the right parking barrier system for your business is essential to efficiently manage parking spaces, enhance security, and provide a seamless experience for your customers or visitors. It’s important to understand the differences between an automatic or manual parking barrier system before making a decision about your investment. To help you, take a look at our informative guide about what differentiates one parking barrier system from another and how you can weigh up which one will be best for you.

A quick look at some benefits

Before we dive into the different types of parking barrier systems out there, let’s highlight some of the benefits to installing one for your business.

  • They effectively manage the flow of vehicles which reduces congestion
  • Prevention of unauthorised vehicles entering restricted areas
  • Barrier systems act as a deterrent to potential thieves and vandals
  • They are an access control method which enables smooth entry for authorised personnel and governs the entry of unknown vehicles
  • Parking barrier systems can be integrated with ticketing or payment systems, allowing for potential revenue generation
  • A positive customer experience – finding spaces, car security, easier entry and exit
  • Increased safety with features such as obstacle detection and potential to stop reckless drivers
  • They can help optimise parking space utilisation, ensuring that each spot is used efficiently.

And a few key features…

  • Parking barrier systems can be tailored to fit the specific needs of a business, including branding and aesthetics, enhancing the overall look of the parking facility.
  • Option of remote monitoring and control features, allowing businesses to manage parking operations and troubleshoot issues from a central location, where needed.
  • Access control options (staff cards, keypads, license plate recognition) and integrated payment systems.

Firstly, assess your needs

It goes without saying that the first port of call is to understand your parking requirements. Consider factors such as the number of parking spaces, peak hours, the type of vehicles using the car park, any special access requirements (e.g., disabled parking) and what the business/premises is used for. This will help you narrow down the types of parking barrier systems that you can do more research into and the right supplier to install them.

Working with your budget

Establishing a budget for a parking barrier system means not only considering the initial cost of manufacturing and installation but also ongoing maintenance and support expenses. Some systems may only require occasional maintenance and zero technical support, whilst others might need regular servicing or a specifically trained member of staff to operate or monitor them. Knowing what your budget is at the beginning will mean you don’t waste time researching systems outside of that. Obtain quotes from different vendors and compare features, prices, and additional services offered.

Know your barrier types

With a variety of parking barrier systems available on the market, it’s valuable to take a look at some of them to familiarise yourself with terminology and their different appearances and functions. Here are a few examples:

  • Swing Gates – Suitable for medium-security requirements, such as hospitals, schools, and office building and can accommodate a wide range of vehicles
  • Bollards – Provide high security and are ideal for access control in sensitive areas
  • Sliding Gates – Suitable for limited space but require more maintenance
  • Rising Arm Barriers – Commonly used in car parks and can be integrated with access control systems

Do you need access control?

You will likely know whether access control is something that your car park requires already. To help you define the entry and exit methods that align with your requirements, here are some examples to investigate:

  • Proximity Cards or RFID Tags – Convenient and commonly used
  • Keypads – Suitable for smaller installations with limited user
  • Auto number plate recognition (ANPR) – Offers seamless access for registered vehicles
  • Ticketing Systems – Ideal for public parking facilities
  • Free exit induction loops – Vehicles automatically detected to trigger the barrier to open

Durability, maintenance, installation and training

Choose a system robust enough to withstand the outdoor conditions most common to your local area. Enquiring about the maintenance requirements and ongoing support from any potential suppliers will help you establish whether they are the right fit for your needs and value for money. In addition, check if your supplier provides installation services and adequate training for your staff to operate the system effectively, if that is a requirement for your car park. Importantly, the supplier of your parking barrier system should be able to ensure that it complies with any regulations, especially regarding accessibility requirements.

Have your customers at the forefront of your mind

Your chosen parking barrier system should always be easy to use for both customers and staff. Intuitive interfaces and clear instructions are vital and prevent traffic jams, frustrated customers or the potential for people abandoning their vehicles to get help.

Crucial Engineering – Here to help keep your business secure

At Crucial, our clients come to us for expert solutions for their security needs. We have an award winning team of engineers who are helping businesses every day by installing high quality parking barrier systems. If you are looking for a parking barrier system and need some friendly but specialist advice, contact us today and we will be happy to talk through your options with you.