February 09, 2022 – Vicki Pero - Blog, parking, parking industry, Marlyn Group, Zephire, Business, Deposits, Fees, Parking Permits

Are Parking Permit Deposits a Good Idea?

A long standing and common practice in the parking industry is to collect a deposit each time a new monthly parker is issued a card or other form of permit. You may have a program like this in place. Originally, the intent was to incentivize parkers to return the card for reuse when closing their accounts. As the cost of credentials has decreased – and in many cases, operations have moved to virtual permits – it’s a good time to evaluate if it’s beneficial to keep deposits in place or switch to a one-time fee that will help to offset other monthly parking program costs.


Evaluating Deposit Program Costs

Several Zephire clients have determined after analyzing their permit deposit programs that the costs of managing the program outweighed any benefits gained. The best way to analyze this within your operation is to identify all costs involved in issuing a permit, collecting a deposit, and returning the deposit on a per parker basis. Some costs are obvious, like the card itself, and postage for mailing. There are others though that can really add up like labor costs to carry out these processes and fees for issuing refund checks or credit card refunds. These days, deposits may not be cutting it when it comes to program costs incurred.

To help you determine if deposits or fees are best for your organization, we’ve created a tool to help you capture all of your costs, and you can download it here.


There’s More to Consider Than Cost

Part of the decision-making process when evaluating permit deposits is also to consider other aspects of the program. How recently was it implemented; is it meeting the needs of key stakeholder groups; and is it part of City Code are all examples of questions to consider. It’s also helpful to consider if there are other changes occurring within your parking program that would make an additional change to the credential charge structure too disruptive at this time. Answering these questions will help guide your team in determining if deposits or fees are the most beneficial option for your organization’s unique needs.

We've created a tool to help you answer these questions and more that you can download here.


Whichever option works best for your organization, Zephire’s flexibility will help you automate the collection and management of fees and/or deposits on your parkers accounts. Want to check out Zephire for yourself? We’d love to talk to you. Click here to get started.


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