ANPR Vs Pay & Display: Which One Is Best For Your Carpark?

When it comes to your car park, choosing the best payment solution is an important choice to make. ANPR and pay & display systems are two extremely popular choices for car parks. Our blog dives into the advantages and disadvantages of both systems, so that you can make an informed decision going forward. Read on for more information.

ANPR Systems

ANPR systems have recently grown in popularity and are extremely effective parking solutions. ANPR or Automatic Number Plate Recognition is a method of parking where cameras read and record the licence plates of vehicles that are entering or exiting the car park.


  • No need for a ticket, or to display anything in your car
  • Charges and recognition are automatic
  • You don’t need a member of staff to be at the car park (reducing labour costs)
  • ANPR systems are accurate and reliable
  • These systems can identify vehicles that aren’t authorised to park and also track durations (automatically working out the charges)


  • In extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, the cameras may struggle and might not be accurate
  • Poor lighting, dirt and obstructed licence plates may also cause a problem
  • They can be more expensive to install than other parking solutions
  • Internet connection is required to store data, so ANPR systems need a strong wifi connection

Pay & Display Machines

Pay and display machines are another common type of parking solution, where a ticket is purchased for a set amount of time. The ticket is usually displayed in the vehicle or handed back when customers are leaving the car park. Pay and display machines are easy to use and usually facilitate cash or card payments.


  • Easy to use for most people
  • Charged for a set amount of time, no surprise charges or payments which can reduce the number of issues or complaints
  • They are relatively low cost to install
  • Very common and familiar to people, encouraging people to use them


  • Some pay and display car parks will have wardens to check the tickets that have been purchased
  • If pay and display machines break down, there may not be another way to pay. ANPR systems allow you to pay in alternative methods if the machines aren’t working.
  • Limited tracking of vehicles without a warden or member of staff present

So, Which Is Better?

There’s no straightforward yes or no to this question, which makes it difficult to answer. The most important things to consider when making your choice are the needs of your car park. ANPR systems are modern solutions that work well for large scale car parks, providing a safe and effortless parking system. Pay and display machines also have their perks such as familiarity and transparency.

Park Direct

Park direct offers both ANPR and pay & display parking systems for your car parking needs. Whichever parking solution you decide on, we are here to help with a seamless installation and management of your car park.

For further enquiries about any of our services, feel free to get in touch with us.

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