Parking at the airport can sometimes be a little difficult and expensive. Surprisingly airports can make more money from parking and shopping than they can from flying passengers round the world. Leaving your car there while on holiday can cost you a fortune. However, by doing a quick comparison and booking the right way, even on the day, you can nearly half the cost.
The earlier you book your airport parking, the more you’re likely to save. Book well in advance and you could cut the cost by up to a third, though the exact saving depends on when and where you’re booking. But even if you’ve forgotten to do this don’t just turn up at the airport – booking first, even on the day of your flight, can save you money.
The most expensive prices are almost always for those people who just drive in, park and pay. If you get on the web and book first, even if it’s just before you head out (or your partner does it from a smartphone in the car) you’ll usually save. Alternatively, you could:
- Use non-specialist train services.Dedicated “airport express” trains are expensive and are often the same lines used by regular rail services, so you can travel the same route more cheaply, though there may be a few extra stops.
- Hire a pre-booked taxi. Taxis can be a cheaper and convenient option, especially if you’re carrying heavy luggage. Whatever you do, don’t depend on getting one at the airport though. Often the firms waiting there will charge you premium rates, so it’s always best to book in advance.
- Get a coach.Dedicated airport coaches are usually the cheapest way to get to the airport, but usually take the longest time. If you book well in advance you can make even more savings.
Some people, however, do value the ease and peace of mind offered by airport parking. If this is still your preferred option, there are some rules worth keeping in mind. The earlier you book your airport parking, the more money you’re likely to save.
Be aware that there are also different parking options available:
- On-site Parking – This is the airline’s own parking space and is operated by them, so this is usually the priciest option.
- Off-site Parking – This is parking in the area run by other operators, which is always cheaper, and occasionally even closer to the airport!
- Meet and Greet Parking – Also known as valet parking, this is where a driver parks your car for you – a hassle-free, but more expensive option.
- Look Online for Savings – You’ll often be able to find offers or deals online that’ll allow you to save on airport parking. For example, you can find cheaper premium parking at Gatwick Airport with Groupon.
Whichever option you decide to go with, you’ll want to arrive at the airport in style, and with just a little planning you can do so while not breaking the bank.