Summer vacationers could save HUNDREDS by booking airport parking now
Summer holidaymakers could save HUNDREDS by booking airport parking now – Heathrow charging £540 for those who pay on arrival
- Booking in advance or choosing off-airport parking can save a lot of money
- Comparison sites can do a lot of the work and find the cheapest spaces
- We look at the most and cheapest options for major UK airports
Holidaymakers going abroad this summer should book their airport parking now, as it could save them hundreds of euros.
Comparison websites such as Airport Parking and Hotels, Parking4Less and Airport Parking Shop can do much of the work on your behalf in finding car parks near or at the airport you are departing from.
Some services offer a “meet and meet” facility where you drop off your car at the airport, hand over the keys to someone who then picks up your vehicle and parks it in a safe location a few miles away. You then walk straight to the departure terminal.
Plan ahead: Comparison websites such as Airport Parking and Hotels, Parking4Less and Airport Parking Shop can do a lot of the work on your behalf
When you return from your vacation, you then contact the parking company, which returns your vehicle to the same drop-off point as the one from which you left and gives you the keys to your car.
The main alternative is ‘drop-and-go’ where you park the car about ten minutes from the airport and take a lift to your terminal via regular bus service or vehicle pick-up.
Any inconvenience with these options is outweighed by the savings you can expect to make compared to using official short or long term airport parking.
Those who simply show up at an airport without booking in advance can pay up to £410 extra for a week at a busy airport like Heathrow.
But while you save money by shopping ahead, the best deals are quickly picked up. Booking now, even if your summer vacation is a few months away, means you could pay almost half the price for a similar service.
For example, drive to Gatwick for a week’s holiday and you can pay £315 to park your car.
Book ahead for a week from July 11 and you can pay as little as £86 with a meet and greet service from Ace Parking.
Book it in July and you could pay £136 or more for an equivalent deal.
Beware of parking scammers
Nick Caunter, managing director of comparison website Airport Parking and Hotels, says: “Of course it’s not just about saving money – you also want to make sure your vehicle will be kept safe. during your vacation.
He adds: ‘So find out if the car park operator is a member of a police-approved secure parking scheme – and can show you a ‘Park Mark’ logo. Such a logo guarantees proven safety standards. For example, adequate lighting and camera surveillance.
All airports should provide lists of approved parking operators. Motorists should be aware that parking is an unregulated market, so there are cowboy operators.
Some have been known to take vehicles for a spin or simply park them on the side of the road, leaving them vulnerable to theft.
Motorists should be aware that parking is an unregulated market, so there are cowboy operators
Regardless of the supplier, it is important not to leave any valuables inside a parked vehicle.
Keep track of your mileage if you use a meet and greet service – to see how far you’ve traveled while you’re away.
When opting for a drop-and-go service, check how far you park from the airport and how often the buses pick up passengers.
You might consider adding half an hour to your travel time to ensure you don’t have to rush through check-in and passport control.
If you’re traveling a long way to an airport to catch an early morning flight, it may be more convenient – and cheaper – to stay at a local hotel where you can park your car while you’re away. Holiday Inn, Travelodge, Ibis and Hilton are among those offering such a service.
Another option is to park in the driveway of an owner who rents it through services such as Park On My Drive and Your Parking Space. Some owners may be willing to drop you off at the airport as part of the deal.