How you could save money on UK airport parking

A row of parked cars

It’s summer and many of us will be planning to leave the family car in an airport car park while we head abroad for some decent weather.

Airport parking has a mixed reputation — not least because it can be very expensive. The good news is that there is a safe and simple way to save money when you book airport car hire.

BOOK EARLY! The simple truth is that at many car parks, prices are lower if you book in advance. And if you decide to drive up on the day without a booking, you’ll pay the highest prices of all.

If you haven’t booked already this summer, you may think it’s too late to benefit from advance booking discounts. Wrong!

To show you how much money you can save, I’ve got some quotes for one week’s airport parking at major UK airports next week and in two weeks’ time. I’ve also included prices for 12 weeks ahead to show the size of saving available if you plan further ahead.

Note: I’m writing this on 31 July 2017. The prices quoted below are from internet searches done at the time of writing. They are only meant to illustrate the size of possible savings. They don’t represent quotes or guarantees of any sort. Your results may vary.

JetPark.co.uk (Manchester Airport)

This is our favourite airport parking at Manchester. We’ve used them for holidays several times and found the service to be good and the prices reasonable. But it does pay to book ahead.

01/08/17 – 08/08/17: Only one option offered – Multi Storey parking @ £119.99 for one week.

15/08/17 – 22/08/17: Five options offers, ranging from £59.99 for offsite parking up to £89.99 for the same multi storey option as above. That’s a saving of £30 on multi storey parking for booking two weeks ahead.

24/10/17 – 31/10/17: Five options, starting at £41.99 for offsiute parking up to £75.99 for multi storey or meet and greet parking. That’s £44 cheaper than multi storey parking booked for tomorrow!

Heathrow Airport official parking (T2)

The quotes I got suggested that the big saving here is pre-booking rather than just driving up. Even if you just book a day ahead, the savings can be huge.

01/08/17 – 08/08/17: Cheapest parking is T2/T3 Long Stay, at £78.60, if you pre-book. But the drive up rate indicated on the website was £180.20. That suggests you can get a 56% discount for prebooking, even just one day early.

15/08/17 – 22/08/17: Cheapest parking is T2/T3 Long Stay, at £78.60, if you pre-book. But the drive up rate indicated on the website was £180.20. That suggests you can get a 56% discount for prebooking.

24/10/17 – 31/10/17: Cheapest parking is T2/T3 Long Stay, at £78.60, if you pre-book. But the drive up rate indicated on the website was £156.90. That suggests a 50% discount for prebooking a long way ahead of your travel date. Or the drive-up rate might be slightly cheaper because it’s outside peak holiday season.

Purple Parking (London Heathrow)

Surprise result! Purple Parking threw a spanner in the works, prices were more expensive for dates in the future. Very strange. On the other hand, Purple Parking’s offsite Heathrow T2 parking is about 13% cheaper than the equivalent Heathrow Airport official parking, according to our findings. So the prices seem competitive anyway.

01/08/17 – 08/08/17: Prices start from £56.95 for offsite parking (T4 or T5) or £67.95 (T3 and T2). Meet & Greet parking is from £91.96 and T4 prority parking is £120.99.

15/08/17 – 22/08/17: Interesting. Prices are higher. Offsite parking from £79.95. Meet & Greet from £102.95. T4 priority parking is unchanged at £120.99.

24/10/17 – 31/10/17: Still more expensive. Offsite parking from £90.95. Meet & Greet from £144.95. T4 priority is oddly the cheapest, at £64.99. 

We say:

The message is loud and clear. It pays to book your airport car parking ahead of time, and it pays to shop around.

The most expensive way to park is to simply drive up to an airport car park without a booking. You’ll pay top whack, possibly as much as double the rate paid by the person who parks next to you… Don’t be mugged off with top prices — compare, pre-book and save on airport parking.

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