The Independent Airport Parking Association (IAPA) surveyed the parking costs at six of the UK’s biggest airports and found that offsite airport parking was cheapest in 12 out of 15 searches.
Reviewing Easter, June and August dates at Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Luton and Cardiff airports, IAPA found that the starting prices for seven days parking can be as much as 40% cheaper with an IAPA-approved offsite operator, when compared to the airport’s own onsite parking.
The research shows that the biggest savings are consistently found at Manchester Airport, where off-site parking with an IAPA member is, on average, 37% cheaper than on-airport parking.
At Birmingham airport, off-site parking with an IAPA member is 19% cheaper on average; 16% less at Cardiff and Glasgow; 15% at Luton and 4% at Gatwick’s South Terminal.
And despite regular news stories of high costs for parking, the research shows that seven-nights off-site parking is available with an IAPA-approved operator for less than £10 per day at every polled airport for the dates tested: 20 April, 15 June and 16 August.
The top seven-day savings were:
• Manchester Airport from 20 April: £78 when booked direct; £46 with IAPA park-and-ride member
• Manchester Airport from 16 August: £82 direct; £52 with IAPA member
• Luton Airport from 20 April: £66 direct; £40 with IAPA member
• Cardiff from £20 April: £75 direct; £60 with IAPA member
IAPA’s spokeperson says: “Our research shows that off-site airport parking almost always costs less than the on-airport options.
“One of the biggest concerns people have when booking off-site parking is that they’ll face longer transfer times to reach the airport. But many customers know that by choosing an off-site park and ride means not having to drive around looking for a space and with regular and swift transfers the time it takes in getting to the terminal is just the same or even less.
“So for people who can book ahead, offsite airport parking will almost always prove to be their cheapest option.”
Why book with an IAPA member?
IAPA continues to highlight the importance of booking with a reputable parking operator.
“Airport parking is an incredibly competitive industry and there are usually lots of price options for people to compare. However not all operators provide equal levels of service, and there are a small number of companies who advertise cheap prices without providing secure parking and suitable support for their customers.
“We recommend all people follow a few simple tips before booking airport parking.”
IAPA’s tips for peace of mind parking include:
1. Look for the telltale signs of a suspect company, such as a poor website, no landline and no trading address.
2. See what other customers say by choosing a company that publishes independent reviews of its service.
3. Check for extra costs that bump up the price you pay, such as booking fees, airport access and transfers.
4. Only book with a company that displays the Park Mark logo, which means their car park has been police assessed and is properly maintained and secure.
5. Know where your car is kept. Ask for the car park address and then take a look on Google Maps.
6. To leave your car in the safest hands, always book with a member of the Independent Airport Parking Association.
The Independent Airport Parking Association (IAPA) is the trade association representing the UK’s leading park-and-ride and meet-and-greet operators. Members range from national providers to single-airport specialists.