How to Save Costs on Parking at the Airport?
When you have finally saved enough for your dream holiday, chances are airport parking fees weren’t necessarily included in that list. Now you’re looking at how to get to and from the airport, and are left with options that are either stressful or expensive. Sometimes both. A car ride gives you the biggest freedom and ability to transport all of your bags. But what about the costs of parking your car for days or weeks at an airport? Here’s how you can reduce the money spent on parking.
Check Comparison Sites With Discounts
It’s a habit ingrained into those of us who hunt for the best prices at all times: using comparison and/or discount sites. You’ve probably already used one of these to get the best prices on flights and hotels. The same applies to parking spaces.
You don’t have to rely on the official on-site car parks. Since offering parking spaces is so lucrative, many businesses accumulate in the surrounding areas of airports and compete with each other to offer the best prices and services. You can make use of this competition. Just look for a comparison site for your specific airport, like this one for Birmingham: Birmingham Airport Parking.
Types of Airport Parking Services
Next to ensuring the car is parked in a save space and cared for, these providers offer a variety of different services to fulfill different needs. Typically, you can find parking providers with:
Park & Ride
Park & Ride is a fancy title for a shuttle service. These are typically offered by car parks with a good distance from the terminal. Instead of tying to find one of the coveted parking spaces close to the airport, you make use of the price reduction of lots that are farther away and therefore a bigger hassle – if it weren’t for the shuttle busses.
The transfer from the parking lot to the terminal is included in the parking fee and by offering multiple shuttles an hour, the providers make it easy and stress-free to reach the airport. You just have to account for the transfer time, which is normally under 20 minutes.
Meet & Greet
A meet and greet is usually a meet up with famous people you can buy a spot in. In this case, it describes meeting (and greeting) a valet driver you booked over the parking service, right at the terminal. There, you hand him your keys and car, unload your bags and have him take care of the parking. On return, he awaits you with your car and keys at a meeting point, where you can take your car and take off.
Hotels With Parking
Many hotels close to an airport offer specials deals for one-night stays that include continued parking. You can arrive one day early and stop worrying about the traffic and being too late for your flight. Instead, you sleep in the hotel, take the flight on the next day and leave your car parked at the hotel till your return. Surprisingly, this relaxed service is not or not much more expensive than other parking solutions. The price for one week of parking could lie anywhere between £20 and £150.
Top Tips for Cheap Parking
The top tip, comparing prices and using discounts via specialized websites, was already mentioned. Here are some more tips to reduce the cost of parking:
- Book Online | In most cases, booking online is cheaper than booking at the airport/parking provider.
- Book in Advance | Booking on short notice costs much more than booking far in advance.
- Try Out Different Dates | On top of dates further in the future being cheaper to book, try out some different dates if you haven’t booked your flight yet. There are certain phases, around certain holidays for example, when the demand and therefore the prices are higher.
- Don’t Hesitate to Travel Longer | While some providers might have maximum parking times, the longer you park your car, the cheaper the cost for parking for each day will be. Naturally, this still makes you spend more money altogether, but percentage-wise you get the same service for a cheaper price.
- Park Further Away | The general rule of thumb is: the “shittier”, as in more bothersome, a parking space is, the cheaper it will be. This makes the lots right in front of the gate the most expensive options. You pay extra for the luxury of basically just falling out of your car and into the plane.
In reverse, parking spaces that are far away have to reduce their fees to make them more attractive to you, even though they are less practical. Since most of these have developed options to get you to the airport hassle-free, the cheaper price is worth taking advantage of.
- Be aware of COVID-19 restrictions | The pandemic has also influenced the airport parking business. Especially when there are shuttle transfers involved, make sure to research the restrictions. They can transport fewer people at the time and have to spend time and effort disinfecting shuttles. This will affect the schedules and prices in one way or another, the latter usually in your favor.
Offering parking spaces in the vicinity of an airport is a lucrative business. It capitalizes on the need of people safely leaving their cars behind when they travel by plane. Airports are known to take steep fees for offering the appropriate accommodations. As a result, many non-airport affiliated providers tend to build and offer parking spaces in the surrounding area. Their prices and services are often much better and more affordable. Try the mentioned tips and compare prices of the best parking providers to find the cheapest fees.
How to Save Costs on Parking at the Airport? is a feature post