How to spot and tackle car park abuse

Your car park is the gateway to your business. Getting your parking right helps to create a strong first impression for visitors to your site. However, issues on your car park can have the opposite effect, making parking trickier for legitimate guests, damaging the perception of your brand and undermining your revenue-generating potential.

It can be difficult to tell that your car park is being abused, and often problems have time to truly bed into a site before anything is done about them.

We’re explaining how you can spot abuse on your car park and what you can do to help combat it.

A busy car park with parking abuse
A busy car park with parking abuse

Spotting poor parking behaviours

Issues on your car park can creep onto the site without you necessarily realising. Keep an eye out for:

  • Cars parked right on the edge of your site; this can be an indication of someone who isn’t planning on using your services but just needed somewhere to leave their car.
  • Your business being quiet while the car park is busy.
  • Your car park is full at what you would expect to be peak trading times, but revenue doesn’t increase.
  • You have a high capacity, but revenue from paid parking isn’t what it should be.

These are visual checks you can do that might indicate that you have a problem with poor parking behaviour and your site being abused. To truly identify the size and impact of the problem, you need to delve into your data.

How can data help you spot car park abuse?

Your car park is an incredible source of data and insight into customer and motorist behaviour. By accessing this information, you can identify if you have a problem with abuse. For example, ANPR data can reveal how long visitors have stayed on-site and what the capacity of your car park has been during specific days and times.

This data can be used, alongside knowledge of your business, to see if there is an issue. For example, if your car park was at capacity during a time when the store was quiet, or if the length of time a car is parked is significantly more or less than the usual amount of time it takes a customer to use your facilities you might have an issue with abuse.

What happens if parking abuse goes unchallenged?

If parking abuse is ignored, then several problems can emerge on site.

Firstly, the number of spaces available for legitimate customers are restricted. This can cause visitors to your site to leave, either parking elsewhere (and generating revenue for someone else) or going to a competing business instead.

If your car park is near a residential area or another parking site, customers might choose to park there instead. This can be problematic for a community as roads suddenly become harder to traverse with additional parked cars on them. This can cause issues within a community which are levelled at your business, doing further harm to your brand reputation.

This leads to the final problem, a drop in customers and footfall. This can contribute to a downturn in sales and revenue, which in its simplest terms, can put a business in serious jeopardy.

How to fight back

It isn’t all doom and gloom. If you think your site might be a victim of unauthorised parking, there are ways to fight back against those plaguing your site.



You might have an inkling that your car park is being abused but not know where to start in dealing with the problems on site, you’re not alone. Our team of experts can work with you to identify the problem behaviours on your site and put the right measures in place to help get your car park back on track.

  • Effective monitoring, payment and enforcement can all help to transform the flow of traffic, the revenue generated and tackle abuse. ANPR cameras monitor when motorists enter and exit the car park, allowing you to see those who are overstaying their welcome or identify if people are making use of your car park for a quick stop somewhere other than your business.
  • More options for payment can help to increase compliance and increase the revenue you can generate from your parking.
  • Making surplus spaces available for pre-booking. This allows you to provide spaces for motorists to use, without them exploiting your car park in the process. This is also an effective way to create an additional revenue stream for a business.

Dealing with unauthorised users

If you're suffering with unauthorised users or parking abuse, our ANPR parking solution is for you. Click below to read more about how to deal with unauthorised users on your premises.

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