A parking beat survey was traditionally carried out by enumerators recording parking data at regular intervals, often half hourly or hourly. Now, video methods are increasingly used because they are more cost effective than manual methods.
Both off-street and on-street parking trends can be assessed. Information that can be collected includes the use of pay and display parking and the use of parking permits. Parking demand in different areas or zones that are controlled and uncontrolled may also be assessed.
In car parks, parking beat surveys can record the occupancy of spaces at regular intervals to produce a profile of the use of the car park and ascertain when the car park is most heavily used. The parking beat survey can be used for existing or new developments to justify the level of parking provision.