Automatic Gate vs Manual Gates: Pros and Cons

Are you interested in upgrading the access control for your property but not sure if a manual or automatic gate is best for you? We’re here to walk you through the pros and cons of each and help you make the right choice! 

Automatic Gates



Added convenience is the key motivator for investing in an automatic gate. With an automatic gate opener, you can open, close, and lock your gate from the comfort of your car—or even from the convenience of your home. You also have several options for operating the gate including automatic sensors that open when a car approaches, a keypad with an access code, or a smartphone app connected to your gate opener. That means no more getting in and out of your car in cold weather or darkness to open your gate! 

Added Security 

Another great reason to invest in an automatic gate is added security for your property. Manual gates with a simple lock mechanism can easily be picked or broken, leaving your home exposed. Additionally, you may forget to close or lock the gate some nights. But an automatic gate system does the closing, locking, and monitoring for you. You can even set a schedule for the gate to automatically close and lock at the same time every day. Rolling security codes, heavy-duty locks, and video monitoring also give you peace of mind knowing your property is always secure. 

automatic gate

Increase Property Value

Installing an automatic driveway gate means investing in the security and curb appeal of your home, thus increasing your property value. Buyers want to see a property that is safe as well as beautiful so show them your property is worth the investment! The upfront cost of an automatic gate system is well worth the resale value you will secure if you eventually sell your home. 


Higher Cost 

With greater convenience and security comes a higher price tag. If you need a fully automatic gate system—including fencing, gate, and gate opener—you are looking at upwards of $5,000+ to upgrade your entire property. However, if you just want to add an automatic gate opener to your existing fence and gate, system and labor costs will likely start at $1,000. Although this is a greater investment, most property owners find the added convenience and security worth it. 

More Maintenance 

Unfortunately, when dealing with technology—especially technology installed outside and exposed to the elements—you have to consider maintenance. For an automatic gate, annual maintenance is recommended, especially once your automatic gate system reaches 5+ years old. Maintenance helps catch early signs of an issue and prevent any sudden malfunctions with your automatic driveway gates. 

automatic gates

Need for Power 

Because electricity powers most automatic gates, you have to ensure your automatic gate system is in a good location to receive constant power and even access to the internet. This could be a problem if you live in a remote area. Along this same line, if your property loses power, your automatic gate also loses function. However, most automatic driveway gates do have a way to open manually in the event of an emergency. 

Manual Gates


More Affordable 

Manual gates have simple installation needs—no electricians or gate opener technicians are needed—so installation costs are significantly less. You have to pay less in materials and labor, and most companies can get your manual gate installed in one day. 

Easy to Use 

Because manual gates only involve a simple latch or lock mechanism, you don’t have to worry about having trouble getting the gate to open and close. You will not have to troubleshoot technology or reconnect to the internet, which can happen when operating an automatic gate. This ensures manual gates are always simple and easy to use. 

gate installation

Less Maintenance 

With no technology to update or opener mechanics to monitor, you do not have to invest in yearly maintenance with a gate company. With a manual gate, you can perform maintenance yourself by periodically lubricating moving parts, cleaning debris out of the tracks, and checking to make sure pests or elements are not degrading the material. 


Less Secure 

When a gate does not close and lock automatically, you have to worry about remembering to lock it yourself. This means less security for your property on nights you get busy and forget to secure the gate. Manual gates also do not have modern security measures like access control and video cameras which are integral to monitoring who accesses your property. 


The biggest issue with manual gates is the inconvenience of manual operation. Every time you access your property, you have to get out of your car to unlock and open the gate, return to your vehicle to drive through the gate, then get back out of your car to lock the gate. At times when you are in a hurry, this becomes a frustrating and time-consuming process. 

gate installation

Fewer Product Options

Although manual gates are available in swing, slide, and bi-fold varieties, most gate companies will likely recommend a manual slide gate. Manual swing and bi-fold gates tend to be heavy and difficult to operate manually, giving you fewer options when it comes to choosing the best gate for your property. 

Questions to Ask Before Making Your Choice

What is your primary motivation for installing a gate?

When installing a gate, most property owners are looking for added security, convenience, or curb appeal. 

How much traffic will the gate have?

Areas with a lot of traffic may benefit from automatic gates that provide convenient access while keeping your property secure. 

What kind of gate do you need?

The primary gate types include sliding gates, swing gates, and bi-fold gates. Although each variety is available in manual or automatic operation, heavier or more complex gates are easier to operate with an automatic gate system. 

Let ECA Gate & Lock Help You Make the Best Choice

When it comes to upgrading the security and convenience of your property, only you can make the best choice when deciding between manual vs. automatic gates. But ECA Gate & Lock is here to answer your questions and make the installation process easy! We are a fence, gate, access control, and locksmith company based in Duluth, GA, and serving the Metro Atlanta area. We would love to recommend our favorite gate systems when you contact us

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