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How Much Does a Parking Lot Access Control System Cost?

As we become more mindful of security and who has access to an area, organizations have begun expanding their control systems beyond entries, stairwells, and elevators to include parking lots. After all, this is typically the first point of entry onto a property; using a parking lot access control system to help control who enters and exits makes sense.

Security gate systems are found just about everywhere, including apartment and condo communities, private businesses, government complexes, banks, and housing developments. Installing an access control system is less expensive than hiring a security guard, and you have incredible options as to how secure your system needs to be, from a simple gated drive to a full perimeter control, as well as multiple monitoring options. Pricing varies widely, based on a number of factors, including the type of gate, means of access, software, and level of security.

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Types of Parking Lot Gate Systems

With slight variations, there are four main types of parking lot gates.

  • Slide gates mount inside your fencing. They typically have a steel construction and slide horizontally along a metal track via wheels attached to the bottom of the gate. When a driver enters a code or swipes their badge, the gate slides open to allow access to the parking structure.
  • Barrier arm gates may feature a single arm or multiple arms across the entrance. As far as security, these gates offer little, as pedestrians easily pass through, but they do allow you to monitor vehicles as they enter and exit the parking lot or garage. Access may be granted via code, badge, payment, or a security guard.
  • Swing gates are more often found in gated neighborhoods and apartment complexes, less often in parking structures. These swing open like a door, via a motor attached to a pivot arm.
  • Vertical lift and fold gates lift upward, similar to the gate at a railroad crossing. These gates require quite a bit of overhead clearance, particularly if you choose a style broad enough to also bar admittance to pedestrians.

What Does an Access Control System Include?

The gate bars access to non-authorized people or allows you to simply monitor who enters and exits your parking facility. You need at least 6' between the control pad and the gate to provide ample room for the gate to operate after the driver swipes their badge or enters their code.

The control pad operates the gate and lets customers enter the facility. At a minimum, it includes the numbers 0 through 9 and the * and # signs, such as you see on a telephone keypad. It may also include a badge or card reader. For maximum security, it's best to either assign discrete codes to each user or require badge access, as a universal code makes it impossible to know who accessed the parking facility. Universal codes also easily shareable and impossible to revoke should an authorized person ever become unauthorized. If you have someone monitoring the gate, you may also choose to add an intercom system to your control pad.

Access control software is how you monitor who enters and exits your parking structure. The detail provided depends on the features you choose, but typically includes the driver's name as well as the date and time he or she entered and exited the garage. The software also allows you to grant or revoke access quickly and easily.

How Much Does a Parking Lot Access System Cost?

Pricing varies widely, depending on the type of gate you choose, the number of authorized users, your level of security, the vendor, and more. Full-sized gates, such as slide and swing gates, cost more. Barrier gates offer lower security but come with a reduced price tag.

Installing the gate itself starts at around $2,500 and goes up to around $12,000. That price doesn't include the actual control system that operates the gate, which also starts at around $2,500 but can top $100,000 for a large, comprehensive system with the latest technology. Expect to pay between $4,000 and $6,000 for a simple, single-gate, keypad entry system. As you add gates, include badge access, and incorporate computerized monitoring, prices begin to climb.

In addition to the gate and operating system, you need to look at service costs. Some vendors include an annual or biannual service visit, but some charge extra. Review quotes carefully to ensure that what you're comparing truly is comparable.

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Author: Ashley Smith


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