Drivers urged to rent driveways to avoid extortionate airport parking fees in ‘serious financial sting’

An airport car park

Drivers are being told to book ahead when booking airport parking

Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 04/08/2023

- 10:30

Motorists are being warned of expensive parking charges when going on holiday this summer.

New research has found that motorists are being charged up to four times more to pay for airport parking on the day of departure compared to booking four months in advance.

Collecting prices from 16 airport car parks around the UK, the data showed that drivers needed to pay more than £400 for a week of parking.

The data, from Which?, revealed that drivers were facing a “serious financial sting", with drivers potentially paying as much as £583.

The biggest saving could be found at Manchester’s multi-storey car park, where paying for parking on the day could potentially set drivers back 327 per cent more than when booking in advance.

A parking sign at Heathrow Airport

Motorists could rent out driveways to save on parking

Steve Parsons/PA Wire/PA Images

If a driver were to pay for parking four months before their holiday, it would cost just £95, compared to £406 on the day of departure.

Motorists travelling from Heathrow were also being hit by expensive fees, with a £583 cost when paying on the day, when booking in advance would be £190 – a 207 per cent saving.

Overall, drivers who plan ahead and book their holiday airport parking in advance can save an average of £150.

Other major airports, like Birmingham and London Gatwick, could see drivers save £242 and £74 respectively, when booking in advance.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “When you’re planning a holiday, sorting out your airport parking can easily slip down your to-do list, but our research found leaving it to the last minute can come with a serious financial sting.

“Take the time to shop around and compare the options on offer – comparison sites can be a great starting point – and book early wherever possible to lock in the best price.

“It’s also worth comparing off-site and onsite options, as further away doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper.”

Mr Boland even suggested that drivers could use more unconventional options to park for cheaper including renting someone’s driveway or garage.

He did issue a warning that there may not be as much security for the vehicle, with the option not being the first choice for all drivers.

Many drivers may assume that it would be cheaper to park further away from the airport, although the research shows that it may not always be the case.

Because it is further away and often less convenient, most drivers would expect prices to be lower than parking closer to their terminal.

When comparing off-site and on-site parking options, four of 11 airports had cheaper parking costs at their on-site facilities.


An airport car park

Overall, drivers who plan ahead and book their holiday airport parking in advance can save an average of £150


Two car parks at Gatwick’s North and South terminals beat off-site options when booking in advance, with Luton’s long-stay car park being £3 cheaper than parking further away.

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