Manchester Airport tops list as travellers pay hundreds more for on-the-day parking
Travellers could face airport parking charges over 300% higher if they pay on the day, according to a recent study by consumer champion, Which?
The investigation analysed prices at 16 airport car parks and found significant differences between the costs of booking in advance versus paying on the day.
In the most expensive case, travellers could pay as much as £583 for on-the-day, week-long bookings.
On average, holidaymakers could save £150 by planning ahead. The biggest saving was found at Manchester Airport’s multi-storey car park, where paying on the day would cost four times as much (327% more) than booking four months in advance.
Similar price differences were found at Heathrow, Birmingham, and Gatwick airports. At Heathrow, the cost of booking four months in advance was £190, compared to £583 on the day – a 207% increase.
Birmingham and Gatwick airports saw increases of 161% and 70% respectively for on-the-day bookings.
Which? also recommends comparing the cost of on-site and off-park parking to get the best possible price.
While off-site parking is often assumed to be cheaper due to its less convenient location, the study found that on-site parking was cheaper on four occasions at 11 airports.
However, on-site parking does not always offer the shortest transfer time. For example, Edinburgh’s official ‘Plane Parking’ was £10 cheaper than the off-site option, but the transfer time was slightly longer.
Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, advised travellers to do their research before booking.
He suggested looking for the Park Mark logo, which is awarded to parking facilities that have been risk assessed and approved by the police.
He also recommended taking photos of your vehicle before handing over the keys to a meet and greet or valet service, and checking if your insurance covers damage to your vehicle at an airport car park.
Boland said, “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.”
The research was carried out between 1-14 April for car park entry dates between 12 -15 August 2023.
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