By booking well in advance your parking slot at the airport you could cut costs by up to 60 per cent
According to a survey conducted by Heathrow Express, holidaymakers say their holiday begins on the journey to the airport.
So it’s important to get airport parking right. With airport parking available for as little as £2.99 per day, why do some travellers find they are still paying expensive charges?
That’s because there are many different types available, which can be confusing and expensive if not made clear.
The first rule to remember is: the earlier you book airport parking, the more money you’re likely to save.
By booking well in advance, you could cut costs by up to 60 per cent, says price-saving experts Travel Supermarket.
However the exact savings depend on when and where you’re booking.
Even if you forget to book until the day of your flight, don’t just turn up at the airport.
It’s always more economical to book ahead.
People who just drive in, park and pay will always end up paying the most expensive prices for airport parking.
As well as booking ahead, it’s important to remember that not all car parks are the same.
Off-site parking are usually cheaper car parks which are operated by third-party providers
In fact, there are lots of different types of car park when it comes to airport parking, which is why it can be so confusing for travellers.
When booking your airport parking, it’s important to decide what best fits your needs.
For example, on-site parking are car parks operated by airport companies.
These are situated close to the terminal, close by to the short-stay car parks.
Off-site parking is any car park not in the airport complex.
According to a survey, holidaymakers say their holiday begins on the journey to the airport
These are usually cheaper car parks which are operated by third-party providers but further away from the terminal.
They may even put on regular transport such as shuttle buses to the terminal building.
Meet-and-greet is just a friendlier word for valet parking.
Once you have driven to the terminal, a chauffeur will be waiting for you to drop off your keys and do the hard work for you.
When you arrive back from your holiday, the driver will have picked up your car and be waiting for you.
Whilst it takes out a lot of hassle, the convenience comes at a premium.
The earlier you book airport parking, the more money you’re likely to save
Local car parks may also offer their services for airport parking.
These are local businesses close to the vicinity such as restaurants or hotels.
Whilst these local car parks offer cheaper airport parking, this can come at a cost, as such places may lack security including guard patrols and round the clock CCTV.
According to the Independent Airport Parking Association (IAPA), a trade association representing airport parking operators, as well as knowing your car parking options you should also do the following: “Start at the search stage and choose a company that has a good looking website with all the information you need clearly presented”.
The IAPA says you “should be able to get a quote for your stay instantly from the website”.
If the website looks dodgy and the price sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
As well as this, for peace of mind whilst abroad leaving your car in a secure facility is also important. To know whether a car park is up to scratch, look for companies that display the Park Mark Safer Parking award, says IAPA guidelines.
As well as this, some website that sell airport parking across the UK may be combining services offered by many operators. Without realising, you might be booking with company X for a service provided by company Y.
The IAPA says that whilst “these consolidator websites can be useful for comparing prices from lots of different companies… make sure they clearly display who is providing the service and give details of the parking facilities they use”.
Lastly, “look out for hidden charges”, the IAPA warns.
Airport access fees, booking fees, credit card costs and cancellation or amendment fees are all possible hidden charges.
To avoid any nasty shocks, go with a provider who is transparent about these charges.