Car Parking is a lucrative opportunity for anyone with vacant land near an urban area, In this article we will look at various scanarios for those who have under performing car parks.

At Electro we work directly with our customers to design and install all equipment and advise on the business decisions based on our experience. As you will see below a busy car park can make an owner a solid recurring income and cover its costs in under a year.

 

First of all, taking control of your current car park using barriers doesn’t mean that you absolutely must charge people using traffic barriers. You don’t, and we can ensure that your existing customers will not be disadvantaged in any way, in fact you will have more space available for them and it will become much easier for people to visit you. Proper control however does mean that if you have valuable parking spaces that are currently being abused by non- customers, then you will have an option to charge people to use them. If they come into your premises to see you, then you can allow free parking. It’s a win/win for you. You either get another visitor, or you get paid for your parking. Why should you provide free parking for other shops and businesses in your area?
We’d like you to consider what options are available, and also touch on how much each of your parking spaces is worth.


What’s the potential?
Let’s get straight down to business. The answer is very logical and when put simply, it all depends on demand. If your car park is in the middle of a busy area with demand for parking spaces then it is worth a considerable amount of money. Typical City Centre car parking spaces may generate in excess of €2,000 per space per year. Typical provincial town centre spaces will generate around €1,500 per space per year. The further out of town you go, the less it may be worth, except that if you have the only car park in the middle of a small area that has very few parking spaces, then the potential rises again.

 

Let’s put that in perspective. A small 50 space car park in a provincial town should generate around €75,000 per year, each and every year. Now it gets interesting doesn’t it?
“I don’t want to charge for parking, I want my parking spaces for my customers.”
That’s not a problem, but you will already know that putting up signs does not work, and most of the people you will confront using your car park will claim that they are regular customers in your premises. Its confrontational and doesn’t achieve anything except annoy people and damage your personal reputation.

 

“Typical City Centre car parking spaces may generate in excess of €2,000 per space per year.”
What’s the problem?
“Other people are using my car park!”


One of the most frustrating and costly things that any business or organisation has to suffer is maintaining a car park which is then abused by freeloaders.  Provision of suitable car parking is very important to any business and is one of the most important factors when choosing a place to visit. If your car park is not easily accessible, then people will drive past or go elsewhere and you have missed an irreplaceable opportunity. Most uncontrolled car parks are abused to some extent, and are used to provide free parking facilities for local staff and shoppers, often being used as a Park and Ride facility while catching a bus or sharing an onward lift. The fact that you are suffering isn’t important to those who abuse your car park. It’s not that it’s deliberate, they just don’t see that they are costing you both revenue and custom.

 

You are not alone. Lots of hotels, bars, supermarkets, stores, shopping centres, churches and general businesses suffer in the same way, but it’s remarkably easy to fight back and take control of your car park. The Electro Group has successfully installed car park control systems for 30 years, and we are the most experienced company in this field by far. 

 

It’s not just about making money, it’s also about control.
When you mention a ticket controlled car park you immediately think of dedicated car parks generating a cash revenue, but that may not always be the case. Perhaps what you want to achieve is control of your car park to ensure that your customers have a space to park. Doing this ensures more

customers, which in turn allows more sales, and in turn generates more profit. This is very simple to achieve, and can easily multiply the number of customers that enter your premises. Of course if you happen to make some revenue from people who simply use your car park as a convenience, then that is a bonus.


Let’s talk about the money.
A suitably located car park in a provincial town will generate around €1,500 per space per year. Put into perspective, with a 100 space car park that is €150,000 cash each and every year. Of course not all car parks will generate these sums. A busy car park in a city centre can easily gain up to €2,500 per space per year, while a less busy car park in a lesser location may only generate €500 to €700 per space pear year. In a town centre, the average stay will be around 1 hour, allowing each space to be used on multiple occasions per day.


Whichever way you look at it, your car park is a lot more valuable than you may have thought. Supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and pubs all have parking facilities. We don’t suggest that you have to change your car park into a commercial operation. What we do ask is that you recognise just how valuable that asset is, and take control measures to ensure it works for you. We can easily ensure that every car that enters your car park either visits your premises, or pays for using your car park. Simple. You wouldn’t dream of letting someone use your building for nothing, so why not extend this to the car park?

What options do I have?
Our vast experience in car park control allows us to offer lots of options, and one will be ideal for you. Below we show several examples, but please bear in mind that our systems are fully modular, and can be tailored to suit virtually any situation. Every single one is bespoke, and created to exactly meet your individual needs.


Example A.
A local supermarket (or any type of store) is located close to the town centre and has an 80 space car park. However, by 9am each day, half of these parking spaces have been used up by staff from the local businesses who park free all day, leaving a base figure of 40 available spaces. The location makes the car park attractive to town shoppers who park in the car park and walk the short distance to the main shopping area, returning 2 hours later. Assuming that there are 20 people doing this on a regular basis, your 80 space car park can only allow for 20 of your customers at any one time, and sometimes (Holidays and festive periods) there are no spaces at all left for your shoppers.


Example B.
A hotel or restaurant car park has excess spaces during the day but is busy for meals and accommodation at night. The solution is that we set your tariff to suit this pattern, and can even include a capacity counter that will reserve parking spaces for different times of day, and have an overnight tariff that suits you and your clients. You may want people to be able to arrive with you and buy lunch. You can have ample spaces and can validate their tickets with every visit.
Local businesses may want to have a reserved parking space. That’s also easy, and we can set up a pass that allows them to come and go as they please for a set weekly, monthly or annual fee.

Example C.
You may want to reserve parking in your car park solely for your clients. In this case we use a lower cost system, and instead of issuing tickets, we add an intercom and small access control system at the entry.  On approach staff show their card and the barrier opens. Visitors stop at the barrier and use the intercom. When authorised the reception staff can open the barrier remotely. With this system you can also sell passes to use any excess parking spaces, paying for the cost of the system.


These are three simple examples, but with over 30 years experience we have numerous ways to control every eventuality. These even include options such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition, or induction loops to allow free entry/exit at pre- determined times of day. If you have a parking concern, Electro can deal with it, view our Car Parking page to see all the different options available to you.

 
How can we change?
Simple. We install automated barriers at the entry and exit of your car park. People are well used to barrier operation, and in fact it is seen by many as an advantage to park their “valuable” car within a controlled and more secure area. As a driver approaches, they stop and take a ticket which allows entry. If that person visits your store they can get their ticket validated with either free parking or for a reduced amount. It’s up to you. You can even select that if they make a purchase over a certain value, their parking will be free. This ensures that your customers are not being penalised, indeed they are rewarded when they shop or even browse with you.
Non Shoppers are different. If they don’t want to come into your premises before leaving the car park they go to an automatic Paystation and pay a fee from the standard tariff to park. The ticket is validated, and they are able to leave the car park using the validated ticket. You will quickly discover that most people don’t mind paying a small amount to gain a parking space when it suits them. Indeed, they are happy to park and pay and not feel guilty about parking in a previously “Private” car park.


Of course some people will still try to abuse the system, and in the case of a supermarket may park all day, then on their way home call in for a packet of Polo mints to get their ticket validated! We know every trick in the book and can guard against it. This one is probably the most common one, and all that happens is that when the ticket is validated, it is validated for a time that is sufficient for them to carry out their business with you. As an example they stay 7 hours, the validation is for one hour, and therefore they still have to pay for the other 6 hours according to whatever tariff you have set.

The Details
Generally we will need to have an entry and exit barrier array. These don’t have to be together and can be at different ends of the same car park. It is worth noting that at this point you may lose a couple of parking spaces in order to gain this control, but the advantages far outweigh this.
If spaces are not properly lined out, there is a reduction in the number of cars that will fit in the area. All of these details and more are items that we can discuss with you during a free no-obligation survey.

 

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