Federal APD, a manufacturer of parking control products, recently conducted a survey aimed at better understanding what drives parking behavior. A notable finding in this “American Parking Decisions” survey is that security is a consistently high factor for Americans; this is in addition to “traditional cost” and “location considerations.” In addition, the survey provides comparisons of the preferences of men and women, as well as across different age groups.
When asked to rank the top three most important considerations when making a parking decision, the majority of Americans indicated “cost” (34%), followed closely by “security” (29%) and “location” (25%). However, two different age groups—seniors over age 65 and Americans aged 25 to 34 years old—ranked “security” as most important, where all other age groups ranked “cost” most important.
“We have always known parkers primarily make a decision based on cost, especially in a down economy,” said Bob Kane, director of market development for Federal APD, which is based in Novi, MI. “But, [this] survey demonstrates safety is a close second that trumps the potential increased convenience of another facility’s location. Clearly, a secure parking experience is a critical factor for women and men, as well as Americans of all ages.”
To provide additional insight regarding the most important parking security factors, survey respondents were asked to rank their top three considerations among five choices. Most (38%) chose “a clear security presence with a guard at a desk or in a patrol car,” followed closely by “lighting in garage or stairwells” (35%) and, in third place, “visible security cameras” (17%). Other choices given in the survey were “operating elevators” (7%) and “operating call buttons to speak with attendant” (4%).
The survey also revealed demographic comparisons, including—
Greater Use By Men. More men use paid parking facilities than women. Of those surveyed, 47% of men and 36% of women said they will pay, or have paid, to park in the past.
Unity Through Security. An almost equal percentage of men and women (27% compared with 30%, respectively) ranked security as the most important factor when thinking about parking.
Younger Americans Want To Chat. While only 11% of all respondents chose “operating call buttons to speak with a live attendant at exit and entrance kiosks,” the 18 to 34 year olds chose this as the most or second most important consideration when thinking about parking security, above all other age groups.
Federal APD commissioned the survey in conjunction with Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) to learn more about what influences and considerations affect Americans’ parking decisions. The online survey was conducted among a national representative sample of 1,054 adults comprising 510 men and 544 women 18 years of age and older. Interviewing for this survey was conducted on March 25-26, 2010.