Airport Parking Index: UK’s cheapest airports for parking in 2024 unveiled

Whether you're jetting off on a holiday or just dropping off loved ones, airport parking can be a minefield. From valet options to long-stay parking, knowing the best option for you can be another stress to add to your holiday planning. To avoid the accelerated prices and those last-minute hunts for a parking spot, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about airport parking so you can head on holiday on the right foot.

To explore this further, we recently carried out an in-depth analysis of the parking options across the UK’s 15 most popular airports to create our first Airport Parking Index - a comprehensive guide for travellers looking for affordable parking options whilst on holiday.

Comparing the costs

Holidays often involve significant expenses, one of the most painful being airport parking. A necessity for many of us, airport parking can cost as much as your holiday travel itself if you're not careful.

Parking at an airport in 2024 can cost you an average of £47.49 per day, with weekly rates averaging around £234. However, prices vary significantly across the country. For the budget-conscious traveller, Belfast International and Luton Airport were found to be the most affordable airports, charging less than £10 for an hour's parking and only £30 per day. 

On the flip side, London City Airport stands as the priciest option. Here, parking can run as high as £18.50 per hour - more than double that of Belfast International (£7 an hour).

Check out the full breakdown for an hour’s stay, and for a whole day, here: 

Average cost for an hour's short-stay parking



Cost of parking per hour





Belfast International



East Midlands









Bristol, Liverpool John Lennon,  Manchester



Stansted, Leeds Bradford









Edinburgh, Glasgow International



London City


Average cost for a day's short-stay parking

Ranking Airport Cost of parking per day
1= Belfast International, Luton £30
3 Newcastle £35
4= Gatwick, Liverpool John Lennon £38
6 East Midlands £40
7 Heathrow £42.40
8 Leeds Bradford £49
9 Stansted £51
10= Bristol, Glasgow International £55
12= Birmingham, Manchester £58
14 Edinburgh £61
15 London City £72

For the week-long getaway

When heading abroad the average Brit is found to go away for eight and a half days, therefore we wanted to find out how much a week-long parking is going to cost you. 

Of course, booking in advance is a smart move to save cash, however, for those turning up on the day, it was found that Belfast International still comes top as the most affordable option, charging Brits a mere £90 a week. In contrast, London City continues to take the top spot for the most expensive, charging holiday-goers a staggering £504 - nearly half of what it costs the average Brit for an entire nine night abroad holiday in 2024 (£1,094 including flights, accommodation and food)! 

Ranking Airport
Cost of parking per week
1 Belfast International £90
2 Liverpool John Lennon £95
3 Glasgow International £140
4 Leeds Bradford £149
5 Newcastle £155
6 East Midlands £185
7 Luton £210
8 Edinburgh £220
9 Gatwick £230
10 Heathrow £230.30
11 Stansted £280
12 Birmingham £292
13 Bristol £330
14 Manchester £406
15 London City £504


Drop-off charges: A hidden expense?

You might think dropping someone off should be free, right? However, in 2024, it appears that's not the case, with a staggering 87% of the UK’s most popular airports charging for this brief stop.

In fact, out of the 15 airports analysed, only Birmingham and Luton offer free drop-off for family and friends. For others, the average charge for a quick 10-minute goodbye is around £5, increasing to £7 for people travelling to Stansted - so if you're getting a lift from a mate, consider giving your ‘taxi’ an extra fiver on top of their petrol money.

Maximising your savings

Now we must make it clear that these costs are for those of you looking to rock up and pay on the day. For those willing to put in an extra five minutes of planning, you could save up to 78% off your parking rates if you book a spot in advance.

To avoid those pesky unexpected costs, also consider these tips ahead of your holiday this summer:

Grab a lift and minimise drop-off time:

Try to get a lift from a friend or family member where possible. Although it can be a big favour to ask, the cost of petrol plus drop off charges, or even a taxi ride, will often work out cheaper than paying for parking the entire length of your holiday. And let's not forget, by doing so, you’ll also avoid the pain of lugging your suitcase from the long-stay parking to the terminal.

If you are able to get dropped off or are giving someone else a lift, remember to keep it brief. Although it’s the cost of a coffee for a 10-minute drop-off, the longer you wait the higher the fee.

Explore alternatives:

The ‘official’ airport parking isn’t always the only option, try looking for alternative nearby parking that doesn't carry the premium airport price tag. Comparison portals like Holiday Extras are a great way to explore other parking available outside of the airport. Offering meet and greet options, to hotel and parking deals, sites like this can be a great way to make sure you’re saving where you can, as well as adding on perks to make your holiday run as smoothly as possible.

Additionally, you can also explore driveway parking apps such as JustPark. These are super easy to set up, affordable and can even be closer to the airport than other nearby car parks.

Consider public transport:

It’s no secret that public transport isn’t always the most reliable option, however, for those of you looking for the most affordable route, catching the bus, tube or train, may be the best way to go. Even with rising rail costs, catching the train to the airport (where applicable) can be cheaper than parking, especially for those whose nearest airports top the list for the most expensive parking. Again, if you opt for public transport make sure to book in advance to save money where you can, and ensure you’ve got a seat! 

To steer clear of unexpected costs, follow these tips and you should be able to head on holiday with some extra spending money in your pocket.