Airport car parks can be notoriously expensive – even the UK’s cheapest airport car parks – especially if you’re having to leave your car behind for a week or two.
Most people don’t book their airport parking until a few weeks before they travel, but according to experts this could leave you facing higher prices.
Sometimes you can find deals – but if it sounds too good to be true, do your research or you could be putting your car at risk.
It can be tricky to navigate, so to give holidaymakers a helping hand, the experts at the Independent Airport Parking Association have revealed their top tips on airport parking, from bagging the best deals to checking if a car park is secure.
Nick Caunter, chairman of IAPA, says: “Travelling to and from the airport is a holiday essential – get it right and you’ll start and, importantly, finish your holiday relaxed and on the right foot.
“The best tip we can give is to plan ahead and book early for the cheapest rates with the best quality providers, and never sacrifice a secure parking facility to save a few pounds – the risk just isn’t worth it.”
Check out the full list of tips below…
1. Sign up to your airport’s parking newsletters
If you know which airport you’re flying from, sign up their car park newsletters from relevant parking operators. You’re more likely to hear of any deals and discounts – and sometimes it can be cheaper to book direct with the car parking operator than through an agency.
2. Book as soon as you can
IAPA research unveiled that 40 per cent of holidaymakers don’t book their parking until four weeks before their departure date. However, prices tend to be at their cheapest when you book in advance, not to mention that as popular dates, the cost could rise.
3. Check your parking options
The cost of your airport’s long-term parking facilities may be more expensive than local park-and-ride options, especially at busier airports, so take the time to compare prices and look at your off-site options.
If you use a price comparison site, double check that the cost they show you is the total you’ll pay – sometimes these can tempt you with a price which doesn’t include essential extras, so you end up paying more.
4. Be secure
Only book with companies which display the blue Park Mark logo, meaning the car park has been police-assessed for security.
Avoid operators who advertise low prices but don’t have the Park Mark – it could be a sign that they are cutting costs by putting cars somewhere less secure such as a field or residential street.
Companies with an IAPA badge have committed to providing the highest standards in airport parking.
5. Read independent reviews
A quick search online will show you how other customers have rated the company, to give you extra confidence. The biggest companies tend to have thousands of outstanding reviews.