Airport parking checklist
How to choose peace of mind airport parking
With almost 7 million results when you Google ‘airport parking at Gatwick’, and more than 22 million when you do the same for Birmingham airport, choosing the right airport parking provider can be a daunting task. So watch our short film to see how you can get peace of mind airport parking...
Know your parking options
Most airports will have their own on-site parking facilities, but for generally lower prices and parking ease you can also book with a meet & greet or park & ride service where your car is parked off-site.
With so many options you can afford to be choosy. Start at the search stage and choose a company that has a good looking website with all the information you need clearly presented. You should be able to get a quote for your stay instantly from the website.
Seek out secure parking. For peace of mind parking find out where your car will be parked while you are away.
Most airport parking horror stories include some element of an operator leaving cars in unsecure locations – this could mean on a street, in a field or in a shopping centre park. Rogue operators are few and far between, but for peace of mind choose an operator that guarantees to park your car in a secure facility that is authorised for airport parking.
How do you know that a parking facility is up to scratch? Look for companies that display the Park Mark Safer Parking award, which is given by police assessors who review the management and security processes in place at a parking location. Only car parks that meet the criteria earn the award, so it helps you know that your car will be kept somewhere with high standards.
Websites that sell airport parking across the UK are usually bringing together services offered by other operators, so you might be booking with X for a service provided by Y. These consolidator websites can be useful for comparing prices from lots of different companies, but make sure they clearly display who is providing the service and give details of the parking facilities they use.
Airport travel time
Check the airport travel time. If you are using an on-airport car park or a meet & greet service, make sure you know how you’ll get from your car to the airport. Most on-site car parks will require a walk or courtesy bus, and not all meet & greets take to right to the airport door. Even a short walk can be tricky if you’ve got heavy luggage and kids in tow.
If you are using a park & ride service, ask how long (not how far) it takes to reach the airport, and ask about traffic snarl ups at busy times of day.
You should also find out how frequently courtesy buses run. We all get stressed about getting to the airport on time, so a 30-minute wait for a courtesy bus might throw your well-planned journey into disarray.
Look out for hidden charges. The most obvious of these is the cost of a transfer from your car drop-off point to the airport, but other extra charges might include airport access fees, booking fees, credit card costs and amendment fees for changing or cancelling your booking.
If you are travelling from Gatwick Airport, use a parking service provider that is part of the airport’s approved operator scheme. The programme is run in conjunction with the British Parking Association and only operators who have the Park Mark and Trading Standards’ Buy With Confidence awards can join.
IAPA badge of quality
For complete peace of mind, book with a company that displays the IAPA logo.
The Independent Airport Parking Association (IAPA) is dedicated to raising standards across the airport parking industry and our members are committed to providing the highest levels of service and standards.
The IAPA badge is a sign that you can trust the operator you have chosen: our members guarantee to park your car in a secure facility that is authorised for airport parking, and they carry full insurance cover for both you and your car.