Booking in advance can make parking at the airport three times cheaper than paying when you turn up to catch your flight, Which? Travel has found.
Our survey of car parking prices at 13 of the UK’s most visited airports found that in some cases parking could potentially cost more than a flight.
Airport parking costs
For instance, standard ‘turn up and pay’ prices for a week reached £100 at Luton and Manchester, and £120 at Heathrow.
However, the cost can be brought down dramatically if you go to the effort to book in advance. Prices for the same week dropped to £39.99 at Luton, £35.99 at Manchester, and £66 at Heathrow.
At Birmingham, the cost if paying in advance was £27.93, but the ‘turn up and pay’ price was £85 – more than three times as expensive.
Save money on airport parking
As well as comparing the online cost of booking an on-site airport car park with the ‘turn up and pay’ price, we also gathered quotes for off-site car parks, and meet and greet services.
Our research showed private car parks outside the airport grounds were more often than not cheaper than on-site parking. Glasgow International’s cheapest deal was nearly twice the price of Airparks, four miles away.
However, we found cheaper prices on-site at Birmingham, Luton and Stansted airports than we did off-site.
Meet and greet parking
The most convenient option is a ‘meet and greet’ service, and these are not necessarily the most expensive. At Gatwick we found RS09 meet and greet £2 cheaper than the cheapest on-site car park, and only £1.50 more than the cheapest off-site.
The research was carried out in March 2012 and covered the following airports; Belfast International, Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow International, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, London Stansted, Manchester, and Newcastle.
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