How Much Does an ANPR System Cost? (2022 Guide)

Elliot Blackler February 9, 2022 9 min read

When it comes to vehicle access control solutions, ANPR is rapidly becoming one of the most popular options to businesses across the UK and the world. 

Here at Nortech, we have been working in the UK security industry for over 25 years and aim to always be up to date with popular, emerging and proven security methods. We specialise in all areas surrounding both human access control and vehicle access control.

We have an exceptional track record with deploying and recommending access control systems for a range of business types, sizes and areas around the UK. ANPR is one of the areas that we have a lot of experience in and have helped countless businesses with their vehicle access control across the years.

In terms of costs, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) costs can vary dramatically depending on a lot of different factors.

Understanding the technology, how it is deployed and some of its benefits can help you determine costs and the overall value of installing ANPR.

In this article, we will be diving into different factors and variables that affect ANPR cost, by the end of the guide you should have a much clearer picture of ANPR system costs and the technology as a whole.

In sum, we'll cover:

  • Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Cost Variables
  • Estimating an ANPR System Cost 
  • Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Summary

Short on time? Download our Nortech ANPR Comparison


Factors Affecting Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Costs

Although ANPR was actually initially created as a way of cataloguing and tracking vehicles for police and law enforcement forces, it has evolved and developed into a more viable business case for vehicle access control.

Let’s look at a few of the factors that have an impact on the overall cost of deploying an ANPR system for your business.

The Complexity of the Job 

One of the first factors to consider when you are working on how much your vehicle access control solution will cost is the complexity of the job. 

We can contextualise this by looking at a couple of examples from car parks. The ANPR system that a small business park with one entrance and exit with one level of parking would cost vs a larger business or area needing to be covered, such as a multistory car park with several entrances and exits.

The small car park would need probably one camera and one exit and entrance barrier that would allow for ingress and egress through the two barriers (one on each side).

Whereas the multistory would need one system for each entrance and exit, each with its own barriers and setups. 

To put this simply this can be how many systems you need, the amount of entry or exit points, the volume of vehicles, their entry/exit speeds and where you are installing the systems.

The complexity of an automatic number plate recognition job will have a huge impact on the overall cost of a system and means that every job will have its own valuation and no two applications are exactly the same.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Type 

Despite what a lot of people tend to think, there are actually quite a lot of different versions and types of ANPR technologies that can be deployed.

There are a lot of similar, but different types of ANPR that effectively do the same thing, but have different applications and setups.

If you have dealt with some kind of newer technology in the last few years you will know there are always multiple versions of a technology type, so the actual ANPR system you choose to install will have an impact on the cost of the installation.

In sum, there are two main types of ANPR Camera; dedicated ANPR cameras and video cameras with license plate recognition software bolted on. 

Whilst dedicated ANPR cameras are normally more specialised and expensive up front, the added features can bring down the equipment requirements for the whole system and prove to be cheaper in the long run. 

The table below helps summarise the different cost factors: 

  ANPR Camera Video Camera
Connectivity Can operate as a standalone camera, improving reliability and reducing thee need to rely on a server connection, removing added server expenses.  Connection to server required for processing, stability of performance depends on connection to server.
Technology  Standalone functionality and in-built software means that dedicated ANPR cameras are a one-off cost Real-time and recorded video of vehicles, with processing occurring on server level or the cloud. Typically includes annual software license costs.
Camera Cost Usually a more expensive one-off cost, but no software server setup or annual license costs.  Lower camera cost per entrance, server and software costs can make it a more expensive option in the long run. 

The ANPR Camera itself can have a huge impact on the other equipment costs needed to complete the system. 

For example, new builds or remote sites will need to consider potentially expensive costs to connect ANPR cameras. Having a camera that has the ability to function as standalone could drastically reduce the connectivity footprint required and hence bring down costs. 

ANPR Lumo PDF Comparison

Parking Application Use Case 

Another factor determining price could be how it is meant to be used;

For instance, a company may use the system to confirm that someone has paid for their parking, whereas another ANPR application may have pre-authorised vehicles that can be automatically granted access when they approach the entrance or exit.

Having conditional ANPR systems means that a certain action is needed to be performed to be let in or out. The simplest example of this is taking a ticket at entry and paying and depositing it into the machine on exit. 

Having a payment requirement would require either added software or physical payment machines which would in turn drive up the cost of the ANPR parking system. 

Location

As with anything in business, where you are will have a big impact on the cost of the overall deployment of the system.

This can be where you physically are, as in the town, city or even country, or the actual geographical features of your area too, this will factor into the costs.

For example, if you are trying to set up your ANPR system in a really remote region, you will be paying a premium to get the ANPR system setup due to the added infrastructure work needed to support connectivity. 

If you are installing your automatic number plate recognition system in the centre of a big city, then you will probably be incurring additional costs too due to higher installation prices in metropolitan areas. However, electrical infrastructure is usually much more mature and hence less of a cost. 

Location is often an overlooked factor when it comes to pricing up services or installations, but it is something that you should always be aware of.

Having accurate and updated information is important to making a decision for your business security, so always ensure you factor in these variables and consider your location too.

Factors Affecting ANPR Cost Summary 

Regardless of what factors you think will affect your costs, it is important to do your research and ensure you have a good idea of what you are doing before you make a business decision. 

If you need help or want more information about automatic number plate recognition systems feel free to reach out to our expert team who will be happy to help discuss your options or give recommendations to fit your business needs.

 

Average Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Cost

To provide a quick answer, there is no such thing as a standard ANPR cost because there are a huge amount of variables and factors that need to be considered when determining the price of installation. 

With this being said, thinking of an Automatic Number Plate Recognition system as a sunk cost is the completely wrong way to look at it. One of the best things about ANPR systems is that they continue providing a return on investment in several ways after they are installed. 

In the next few sections, we will be looking at factors that will change your ANPR cost, types of ANPR, and some of the benefits of deploying ANPR technology for your business.

 

Whats factors prove ROI of an ANPR System? 

Due to the different applications of these ANPR systems, it is hard to cover all of the factors in one go. With this in mind, we are going to cover some of the overarching benefits when it comes to Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology. 

Around the Clock Security 

With the push towards access control in both human and vehicle settings, businesses expect a certain level of security in their locations and when it comes to vehicle safety. 

An ANPR system allows for around the clock security, and with the ability to pre-authorise vehicles staff and other permitted visitors can automatically get through the system, be that a gate, a barrier or monitored entrance. 

This reduces the potential financial impact of theft, and paired with a robust barrier or gate can also bring down the insurance premiums for areas dedicated to storage. 

Automated Vehicle Access

Having a system that can be easily updated, changed and managed is important when it comes to security and vehicle access control. 

As we have mentioned above, you can pre-authorise vehicles making a much smoother point of ingress and egress for your users.

An ANPR system is a key step towards automated vehicle access control, removing the need for a manned gatehouse to manually verify vehicles and approve visitors. 

Easy User Experience

As a follow on to the above point, if the system is managed correctly the user experience will be much better and more seamless interaction. 

With the increase of reliance on contactless payments or interactions, people have a certain level of expectations when it comes to their experience with technology.

Potential Revenue Source

A common theme when businesses install ANPR systems is the reduction of costs amongst other benefits. 

However, some businesses are now starting to extract even more value out of their parking real estate by charging non-authorised vehicles for the stay, whilst automatically granting approved and visitor number plates free parking. 

The ability to turn what is often a cost centre into a profit driver is becoming an increasingly popular option. 

No Equipment Needed 

One of the best features of an ANPR system is the fact that the drivers do not need any technology attached or equipped to their vehicles.

As the name suggests, Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology uses the licence plate to scan the vehicle and determine either its pre-authorisation or temporarily stores its data until a condition is met (such as paying a parking ticket).

 

Estimating the Cost of an ANPR Camera System

We have only scratched the surface of factors that could affect the overall cost of a deployed automatic number plate recognition system and each business case is different.

This is not to say that they are overly expensive, just that it is hard to give an exact price when each business will have slightly different usage, deployed technology and factors that will come into play.

To give a very rough estimation we can break down the different areas that would be involved in the installation of an ANPR system:

Hypothetical Camera Cost Range:

Video Camera Cost (Not including server & software) - £470 - £700

Specialised ANPR Camera Cost (One off) - £1000 - £3000

Average Installation Cost Range:  £700 - £1000

Barrier or Gate Installation Cost Range: £1500 - £3000

If you want a more accurate cost analysis for your business and a quote for deploying an automatic number plate recognition system at your location/s get in touch with our team who will be happy to discuss it and break it down with you.

 

How Much Does Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Cost? Summary

Hopefully, by this point, you have a much better understanding of the importance of ANPR technology when it comes to protecting your business and keeping your staff, visitors, and stakeholders safe when visiting your property.

Although ANPR is technically one type of technology, there are a lot of applications and use cases, as we have seen in this guide. Having more information surrounding a topic will help you make better decisions when picking the right security options for your business.

Whether you have heard of ANPR or not, these Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems are one of the major technologies shaping vehicle access control, and they will continue to have a huge impact on how to secure different locations with advanced vehicular security.

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We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll break down access control, the benefits, and drawbacks as well, including expert insight based on over 30 years experience in the industry operating as an independent British company. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

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Elliot Blackler

Elliot is the in-house content specialist at Nortech and runs all aspects of the resource hub. He's passionate about UK manufacturing and how modern content marketing can help bring light to complex industries.

Elliot works extensively with the Nortech team to shine a light on the access control industry for both installers and end users. Always keen to improve, feel free to email him on new content suggestions or feedback!

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