Airport Parking Examined - Holiday Season 2023

The holiday season is upon us, and we all know what that means – it's time to dust off those suitcases and get ready for some well-deserved sun and fun. But before you jet off to hot climates and laze your day away at the beach, it's important to consider something often overlooked: airport parking fees. Those pesky little extras can add up, leaving you out of pocket before you've even left the tarmac. But worry not because we've got the most expensive parking fees right here, so you're in the know! 

Airport Parking Fees in the UK

When it comes to airport parking fees, it's fair to say they're a tad on the expensive side. Across these isles, the cost of storing your motor at the airport while you jet off on your jollies can set you back a pretty penny. 

We're talking fees that could have you rethinking that extra week in the sun or a fancy beachfront upgrade. It's a tricky landscape to navigate, with costs fluctuating based on factors like the time of year, how far in advance you book and even the time of day. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate the costs, but we'll have more on that later. 

For now, you're most likely wondering which airports charge an arm and a leg and the type of parking available, so let's take a look. 

Different Types of Airport Parking

When it comes to parking your shiny new BMW, Mercedes or any car at the airport, you're not short of options. In fact, it's a veritable smorgasbord, a buffet of choices that cater to every need, every budget and every whim. 

From the quick and easy short stay for those fleeting business trips to the long stay options for anyone lucky enough to escape for a couple of weeks in the sun, there's an option for all. And let's not forget the crème de la crème of airport parking: the valet service. For those who like a touch of luxury or perhaps fancies treating themselves, valet parking offers the ultimate convenience and service.

But remember, each of these options comes with its own price tag. It's not just about how long you're leaving your car, either. Factors like how close you are to the terminal, the level of service you're after and even the security measures in place can all influence the cost. 

When planning your trip, it's worth considering what's important to you regarding airport parking. After all, a little bit of planning now could save a lot of stress (and pennies!) later.

Who Has the Most Expensive Fees in the UK?

Okay, so just how much are airports charging holidaymakers to park? The answer isn't straightforward and depends on the type of parking. There are many kinds of charges across UK airports, including drop-off, short stay and long stay–and they can all be quite expensive. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, airports in London are the most expensive in the world, let alone the UK. London City Airport charges a whopping £915 for 15 days, while costs at Heathrow easily surpass £250 for a few days. Gatwick isn't much better, charging drivers £45 for 24 hours. 

Although, the South London airport is cheaper than Manchester, the latter costs £59 for a 24-hour stay. At London Stansted, you can expect to pay £133 per week, which is £7 more expensive than Dubai International Airport. 

So, there you have it. If you're planning to park your car at these airports, be prepared to shell out a pretty penny. But remember, it's always worth shopping around for the best deals and booking in advance to save some dosh.

Savvy Ways to Save on Airport Parking

There are plenty of clever ways to keep those airport parking costs down, so you can enjoy a bit more spending money on that European road trip you've been planning. First off, booking in advance can be a real game-changer. Many airports offer early bird discounts, so it's worth checking out their websites as soon as you've booked your flights.

Then there's off-site parking. These car parks are usually a little further away from the terminal but offer shuttle services to get you to your flight on time. They're often significantly cheaper than their on-site counterparts, so they're worth considering.

And let's not forget about public transport. Trains, buses, and even coaches can offer a cost-effective alternative to driving, especially if you're travelling alone or for a short trip. Lastly, consider car sharing or getting a lift from a friend or family member. It might not always be possible, but when it is, it can save you a pretty penny. 

Watch Out for Those Airport Parking Scams

Just when you thought airport parking couldn't get any more complicated, scams and overcharges rear their ugly head. From dodgy valet services (check out the scams where you don't see your car again, when you arrive back it's nowhere to be seen and no-one wants to take your frantic calls....) to sky-high drop-off fees, these are just some of the unscrupulous practices out there that could leave you feeling miffed.  

Remember to always check for legitimate credentials, read reviews of external companies offering airport parking and compare prices. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. And if you think you've been overcharged or scammed, report it to the airport authorities and your bank immediately. 

Park and Fly

Airport parking fees can be a bit of a minefield, but with a bit of savvy planning, you can navigate your way to a cost-effective start to your holiday. Parking on-site at the airport will always be the most expensive option, but you can find a spot within 10-15 minutes of the airport and hop on a park-and-ride bus to save some pennies for an extra cocktail by the pool once you've landed in your dream destination. 

Jetting off on holiday but don't have a car to park at the airport? Get your budget with Carmoola and secure a new set of wheels that are so nice you might decide to skip the vacay altogether and head off on a UK road trip.