Parking Lot vs. Parking Garage: What is the difference?

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Difference between Parking Lot and Parking Garage

Parking lots and parking garages are both places wherein you can park your car, but aside from this basic similarity, they do have a number of significant differences. In this comparison article, we delve into the most important ones.

Parking Lot
Parking Garage

Definition

Parking lots are areas specifically intended for parking vehicles. Known as car parks in countries such as the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, these lots are often level, with a durable parking surface. Parking lots are common features in almost every urban and suburban area, where they are typically located in shopping malls, stadiums, churches and other venues where large groups of people gather.

The term “parking garage” refers to parking lots or car parks comprised of multiple levels. They are also called parking ramps or parking decks. These structures are buildings designed for automobile parking, with several floors or levels that can accommodate several cars, and are basically stacked car lots.

Structure

Most parking lots are paved with asphalt, although some are paved with concrete. There are also parking lots paved with gravel. Some of the newer lots are also paved with permeable paving materials. They may be just large enough to accommodate only a few vehicles, or they may be large enough for thousands of vehicles. They can be located anywhere, although they are usually located near buildings or residential and commercial areas.

In countries such as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and other Commonwealth of Nations countries, parking garages are usually called multi-story car parks. In some parts of the United States, parking garages are often called parking structure in order to distinguish them from "garages" in homes or gasoline stations. In other places in North America, the term "parking garage" is used to refer to indoor parking structures typically located underground.

Usage

In places where a large number of people drive cars, it isn't unusual for parking lots to take up more land area than the buildings they service. This is often the case for shopping centers and office buildings, although such places may use multi-story car parks or parking garages instead.

In many large shopping malls, car parks are built adjacent to the shopping center, allowing customers easier parking access in each floor. One particularly large shopping center, the Mall of America in Minnesota, actually has two large car parks attached to the eastern and western ends of the building. Other malls may have the parking lot located on the roof, with an elevator taking customers down into the center of the building.

Similarities and Differences

Parking lots

  • Areas specifically intended for parking vehicles
  • Known as car parks in countries such as the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa
  • Typically located in shopping malls, stadiums, churches and other venues where large groups of people gather

Parking garages

  • Parking lots or car parks comprised of multiple levels
  • Also called parking ramps or parking decks
  • Designed with several floors or levels that can accommodate several cars

Which system is more secure?
  • Parking Lot
  • Parking Garage
 
 

Discuss It: comments 1

  • Guest
  • Jay Hellman wrote on February 2011

Excellent brief narrative, but it would be very helpful to have some typical, ballpark dollar numbers per space associated with each type.

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