Don’t park and be taken for a ride! Airport parking can cost nearly as much as your holiday, so follow our directions – and don’t rule out Meet and Greet
- Booking in advance is one obvious way to get a better deal, along with choosing a ‘no cancellation’ policy
- Stay at an airport hotel the night before you fly and the hotel will look after your car for your entire holiday
- ‘Rent and Earn’ is a scheme running at Gatwick airport where you rent out your car while you’re away
Published: 17:00 EDT, 19 July 2019 | Updated: 03:40 EDT, 20 July 2019
Suitcases, children, pushchairs: it’s easy to see why taking the family to an airport by train, coach or bus is likely to make you want to go straight back home.
That’s why the car is still king. But then comes the parking. Long stay or Meet and Greet? Both have drawbacks so it’s good to shop around.
If you’re looking to leave your car in a UK airport over two weeks in August, then prices for Park and Ride range from £62.99 at Edinburgh Airport to a whopping £239.99 for Meet and Greet at Bristol Airport.
If you’re looking to leave your car in a UK airport over two weeks in August, then prices for Park and Ride range from £62.99 at Edinburgh Airport to a whopping £239.99 for Meet and Greet at Bristol Airport
Check your distance
Not all airport parking is the same. Larger airport long stays can require a 15 to 20-minute wait followed by a transfer bus ride to the terminal. Read the small print on your deal to see if your airport stay requires a short walk or transfer.
Beware the rogues
It’s worth doing a Google search on the company you choose. Asad Malik was jailed for 14 months earlier this year after taking £1.4 million in holidaymakers’ money for his Easy Meet and Greet Gatwick long-stay parking ‘service’ in which he left cars in muddy fields with keys in the ignition and windows open.
Meet and Greet
Getting the VIP benefits of a Meet-and-Greet service can sometimes cost not much extra.
Meet and Greet means you will be met at the airport terminal by a company rep who will drive your car to the long-stay car park for you, ensuring you can go straight to check- in.
On return, you give the rep a call after baggage claim and your car will be outside the terminal. Maple, which operates a Meet-and-Greet service in numerous UK airports, offers valet cleaning services while you’re gone from an extra £9.95.
Hotel holiday for the car
‘Rent and Earn’ is a pioneering scheme running at Gatwick airport where you get a discount on your long-stay parking if you consent to letting the airport rent out your car while you’re away
Stay at an airport hotel the night before you fly where, despite checking in for only one night, the hotel will look after your car for your entire holiday.
The Renaissance Hotel, Heathrow, for example, has deals starting at £103 for a one-night stay for you, but a seven-night stay for your car.
Shop before you drive
Booking in advance is one obvious way to get a better deal, along with choosing a ‘no amendment or cancellation’ policy if you’re certain of your holiday dates. Sites such as travelsupermarket.com, airport-parking-shop.co.uk, gosimply.com and compare-airport-parking.co.uk all have comprehensive price comparisons from major UK airports.
Earn money while away
‘Rent and Earn’ is a pioneering scheme running at Gatwick airport (gatwickparking.com) where you get a discount on your long-stay parking if you consent to letting the airport rent out your car while you’re away.
They may not always rent out the vehicle during this time but, on top of the parking discount, as long as your car is less than eight years old and has fewer than 100,000 miles on the clock, it’s possible to earn up to £160 a week. A telematics unit is fitted to your car so it’s monitored on how it’s driven while rented.
The risk factor is significantly lowered by your car being covered while it’s hired out by Allianz insurance and RAC breakdown.