Which? Car investigates airport parking charges Heathrow Airport is most expensive place to park

14 May 2010

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UK customers face myriad car parking options at airports

Which? Car has conducted a survey of UK airport parking charges that has revealed big differences in the price of seven days' parking at major terminals across the country.

The survey looked at car park prices at 15 of the UK's busiest airports, as well as charges for a range of other car parking options including park-and-ride facilities, parking tied in with a stay at a local hotel the night before a flight, or even valet services.

Heathrow Airport revealed as most expensive place to park

Which? Car discovered that Heathrow's business car park was the most expensive option at £88.70. A spokeswoman for BAA, which runs Heathrow, said: "BAA's car park rates start from £5.99 per day with no hidden credit card or booking fees and offer customers safe, secure and convenient parking nearest to the terminal.”

The cheapest option was Purple Parking’s £19.84 park-and-ride facility at Manchester Airport. Also, Belfast International, Liverpool, and Bristol airports were found to offer among the cheapest on-site seven-day parking options at £23, £27.99 and £29 respectively. However, Southampton airport failed to impress with a long-term Supersaver parking option priced at £45.90.

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Heathrow hosts UK's most expensive airport car park 

Valet parking isn't necessarily stress free

Which? Car also compared valet parking services in the survey, where a company representative meets a client at the airport and drives his or her car to an off-site car park. You would think such a service would offer a stress-free situation to any holiday, but not in our experience. Which? tested one of the cheapest meet and greet services on offer at Heathrow with a test car that was presented clean, clocked and fitted with a tracker device. Happy Days parking’s meet and greet service collected the car from Heathrow Terminal 5 and returned it four days later with dirty wheel arches, a dirty driver's footwell plus an additional 22-miles on the clock. 

Our tracking device showed that our test car was on the move at various times over the four days, to which Happy Days has responded. "There are various legitimate logistical reasons why additional mileage can occur, including moving cars three miles to overflow site, traffic congestion, road closures, and on-site movement."

To read the full findings of our airport parking charges survey, get your copy of Which? Car Summer 2010 now at Sainsbury's, Tesco, WH Smith, Martin McColl and other leading independent newsagents.


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