Airports 'hiking fees' with drivers charged 'jaw-dropping prices' for parking

Airport parking prices

Airport parking fees are rising dramatically

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 08/08/2023

- 14:03

Drivers may have to pay a small fortune to park at an airport this summer

With the busy summer period ahead, thousands of drivers across the UK will be looking to park their cars before they jet off.

While this may seem like the least of their concerns, expensive parking costs may add to the list of trouble for Britons this year.

While long-stay car parks are naturally expensive, many airports have dramatically increased the price of drop-off fees.

The biggest price jumps were Southampton Airport which increased from £4 to £6 for 20 minutes and Belfast International which has risen from £2 to £3 for 10 minutes.

An airport car park

Some airports do not charge people to drop others off


Other airports have increased their prices including Leeds Bradford, Liverpool John Lennon and Birmingham, the RAC data shows.

Belfast’s other airport, Belfast City, has become the most recent airport to introduce drop-off fees, costing drivers £3 for 10 minutes.

While it hasn’t increased fees, London Stansted has the most expensive drop-off fees, charging a staggering £7 for 15 minutes.

Six of the UK’s largest airports have frozen charges since last year, with motorists at Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Luton and Edinburgh not seeing higher prices.

Shockingly, there are still three airports that allow people to drop their friends and relatives off for free, despite the rising cost of living.

Cardiff, London City and Inverness all have a free drop-off option available for motorists at the terminal forecourt.

Nicholas Lyes, RAC head of roads policy, said the motoring organisation has tracked airport drop-off fees since 2016.

He explained how airports putting up parking charges had now become “something of an annual ritual”.

Mr Lyes added: “This year is no different with seven out of 21 increasing their fees and one introducing them for the first time.

“Drivers should brace themselves for jaw-dropping prices when they drop their loved ones off at the terminal.

“Thankfully the proportion of airports hiking fees this year is lower than last year, but that will be little consolation as charges across the board have never been so high.”

Other factors, like industrial action, have caused many holidaymakers to ask friends and family for help when making it to the airport as they cannot rely on public transport.


\u200bAirport parking prices in 2010

Airport parking prices in 2010


Mr Lyes called on motorists to do their research ahead of time and consider booking their parking in advance to ensure there is space and to get the best deal.

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