Why is Airport Parking so Expensive?

blog image John Doe | 06/14/2023

Heathrow Airport, Britain's busiest airport, has gained notoriety for being the most expensive airport in the world when it comes to long-term parking. With prices exceeding £160 for a week's stay, travelers could end up paying more to park their car than they did for their holiday flights. The exorbitant costs at Heathrow have prompted many passengers to seek alternative options, such as third-party booking agents like www.comparetheairportparking.com. In this blog post, we will explore how you can secure a safe and affordable parking deal at Heathrow and Gatwick Airport.


Heathrow's Pricey Parking:


Heathrow Airport charges nearly three times the price for seven days of parking compared to some of the top 10 busiest airports worldwide. In contrast, airports like Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta and Beijing International offer parking rates of £98 and £63.50, respectively, for a week's stay. Even Los Angeles Airport, Dubai International Airport, and Paris' Charles De Gaulle, which come closest to Heathrow's rates, still charge less for parking. It's clear that parking costs at Heathrow Airport need careful consideration.


Booking in Advance:


According to Heathrow Airport, travelers can obtain better parking rates by booking in advance. The airport encourages passengers to pre-book parking, even 24 hours before their arrival, to secure the best possible prices. Last year, 89 percent of customers who booked in advance paid an average of just £8.38 per day. Pricing at Heathrow is demand-based, and those who choose to arrive without pre-booking may have to pay higher prices, especially when demand is limited. Additionally, passengers can also explore public transport options available for getting to the airport.


Choosing the Right Parking Service:


To ensure a seamless parking experience, it is essential to choose the right parking service. Heathrow offers various options, including on-site parking, park, and ride, and meet and greet services. Each has its own advantages, so passengers should select the one that suits their needs and preferences.


Reliable and Professional Operators:


Always opt for parking services provided by professional and established companies. This ensures that you receive quality service and have a higher level of trust in the security measures in place. Look for car parks bearing the police-approved Park Mark sign, which signifies that they meet specific safety and security standards.


Reading Reviews:


Before making a booking, take the time to read reviews from other users. These reviews can provide valuable insights into the location's reliability, security, and overall customer experience. Learning from others' experiences can help you make an informed decision about which parking operator to choose.


Insurance Coverage:


Contact your insurer to confirm whether you are adequately covered for any damages that may occur during services like valet parking. It is crucial to ensure that your insurance policy provides the necessary protection for your vehicle in case of any unforeseen incidents.


Documenting Existing Damage:


Before leaving your car with parking staff, make a thorough inspection and document any existing scratches or dents. This step ensures that you have clear evidence of the vehicle's condition before handing it over. If any issues arise upon your return, having this documentation can help resolve potential disputes.


Hotel Stay Considerations:


If you plan to park as part of a hotel stay, make sure you have detailed information about where your car will be taken and stored. It is essential to have clarity on the parking arrangements provided by the hotel and ensure the security measures are satisfactory.


Avoid Private Driveways:


Steer clear of private driveways offered for parking, as they may not provide the same level of security as professional parking services. When opting for private driveways, you assume full liability for any damages or theft that may occur.


Gatwick's Approved Parking Scheme:


For those traveling through Gatwick Airport, the UK's second busiest airport, they have a scheme for approved parking operators. It is advisable to select parking services from these approved brands or book your airport parking via third-party: booking agents, as they have undergone evaluation and meet specific safety and quality standards.


Choose IAPA Members:


When booking airport parking, always opt for members of the Independent Airport Parking Association (IAPA). By doing so, you ensure that your parking provider has been vetted and adheres to established safety protocols.


Avoiding Potential Risks:


Budget airport car parks have been known to cut costs by falsely claiming to have secure parking facilities. Some may resort to using fields, public roads, or open car parks, exposing parked vehicles to potential damage or theft. To avoid falling into these traps, it is crucial to be vigilant and follow the tips mentioned above.




Navigating the expensive parking options at Heathrow Airport requires careful consideration and planning. By booking in advance, choosing reputable parking operators, and being aware of potential risks, you can secure a safe and affordable parking deal. Prioritize your vehicle's security while you enjoy your holiday, and rest assured that your car will be well taken care of during your absence.