Flying abroad in relative terms has never been cheaper and over the last 20 years more and more destinations have been added, especially to the former Soviet Union countries following their independence, China and the Far East. As a consequence even more passengers are leaving UK airports than ever before.
The majority of these travellers want to drive their own cars to and from the airport and as a consequence this has put increasing pressure on the airport parking available. Indeed before the recession there were times when cars were literally being dumped at Gatwick airport because there was insufficient space at peak times.
Despite the Governments best efforts to get people to make more use of train and bus the simple fact is that a car is more convenient and takes away the donkey work of carrying luggage. It is, therefore important that you become aware of the different parking options that are now available to meet this demand, because airport parking is different to normal retail parking.
On Airport Parking
This accounts for the majority of parking and the one which most people are familiar with and use. What is not universally common knowledge is the difference in price between booking beforehand and just turning up. The latter is also referred to as the gate price and can be a third to double the pre-paid price. Depending upon the size of the airport you will either walk direct to the terminal or be transferred by bus. At airports such as Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester there is more than one terminal and it is therefore important to book space matching your departure terminal because the transfer buses may not serve all terminals.
Some car parks are also described as being within the airport perimeter. These car parks are slightly cheaper with a longer transfer time and generally serve all terminals which means that if your departure terminal is the last stop it may take that bit longer.
Off-Site Airport Parking
These are usually cheaper and are situated outside of the airport and will serve all terminals. At larger airports there are usually several operators to choose from with the price reflecting the distance from the airport. Only car parks approved by the Safer Park Mark administered by the Chief Police Officers Association should be considered. Due to the limited spaces and for security reasons you always have to pre book your reservation.
Meet and Greet, Valet or Chauffeur Parking
This is the most expensive and used mostly by businessmen. Whilst each operation may work differently essentially you are met at the airport and your car is taken to a secure car park and upon your return you will be met close to arrivals.
Airport Hotels with Parking
This is becoming increasingly popular with many travellers making it a part of their holiday. You will either park at the hotel for the duration or at a nearby secure car park and be transferred to and from the airport. If are looking to use a Gatwick Hotels with Parking deal be sure to use a comparison site to get the widest choice, because there are dozens of hotels to choose from.
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