Airport Car Parking - Choosing Onsite and Offsite Airport Parking

Safety Measures When Using Airport Car Parking

Many air travellers opt to drive themselves to the airport to catch their respective flights rather than engaging the services of a taxi or have a companion drop them off. Although getting to the airport can be just as problematic as packing and preparing for the flight itself, the challenge in this scenario is not so much the traffic and the trouble of driving all the way to the airport. The bigger obstacle is securing an appropriate airport car parking space upon getting there. It is therefore not at all surprising that as the volume of air travellers increase over time, so does the demand for airport car parking.

Besides the availability and the cost of airport car parking, another consideration is the parking facility’s security. Airport car parking areas are by and large accessible to the public. This makes leaving your car parked there for a number of days whilst away on a trip a bit of a risk despite the presence of security personnel. Nevertheless, people should expect that the management of such parking facilities will most likely deny accountability for any lost valuables or similar untoward mishaps occurring with regards to a customer’s vehicle.

There are two main types of airport car parking – on-site airport car parks and off-airport parking facilities. Both of these have their pros and cons as far as price, convenience, security and services offered.

On-site Airport Car Parking Facilities

Airports will often have their own car lots or multi-storey car park structures within the boundaries of the airport property itself. On-airport car parking may offer short-term and long-term parking with valet services although these usually come with a hefty price. Many airports also offer customers the option to book a parking space in advance. Unless availed, this is where a lot of uninitiated self-driving air travellers get all stressed out trying to look for an available airport car parking space when they drive up on the day of their flight without making prior arrangements.

Official on-site airport car parking services are generally more costly by about 10% to as much as double or more the price of their off-airport counterparts. Drive-up rates for on-site airport car parks average at around £15 per day. The higher cost is mainly due to proximity – the closer you are to the airport, the more premium gets attached to the airport car parking facility.

Nonetheless, the fair warning here is for consumers not to crimp on cost. Chances are, as you try to save on cost, the more you put your vehicle at risk of loss, theft or damage. In terms of security, the advantage of on-site airport car parking is the higher-level of security overall within and around the airport itself.

Off-site Airport Car Parking Facilities

With the explosive growth of airline commuters from around 20 million during the 1980’s to over 200 million travellers in a span of 2 decades, the demand for more airport car parking facilities also grew exponentially. As such, all sorts of off-airport parking establishments and airport park and ride services sprang up around and near most airports throughout the country. The immediate effect is a lowering of short-term and long-term parking rates as competition amongst off-airport car parking businesses became fierce. For air travellers, they now have more options to choose from with various offers and add-on services that make catching one’s flight more convenient and enjoyable than ever before.

A significant number of off-airport car parking facilities are multi-storey buildings and as such are effective covered parking structures. This provides additional protection against the elements compared to open parking spaces at airports. Excluding rogue operators, most off-site airport car parking can match the standard security measures in effect at many on-site airport parking like video surveillance, barrier control, tamper-proof enclosures and 24-hour manned security.

Airport Car Parking: Precautions and Reminders Checklist

Whether you choose an on-site or off-airport car parking facility there are a few things to remember to ensure that your vehicle is safe and in working condition when you arrive from your trip.

  • Do not leave any valuables inside your car. Airport car parking companies will probably not be liable for lost or damaged belongings that you may have inadvertently or intentionally left in your parked car.
     
  • Get to know the operators or the car park staff. Establishing some rapport with the people there allows them to know you especially if you are a frequent “park and flyer”. You can therefore avoid entrusting your car to an opportunist who may just be posing as their staff.
     
  • Check your vehicle before you leave. See to it that your alarm is working and jot down the figures on the mileage and fuel gauges. When you get back, you will be able to tell immediately whether that car park service misused your car whilst you were away.
     
  • Book with reputable airport car parking companies only. Go for a firm that has a good track record preferably one that is officially recognised by the airport management. This is the most effective way to avoid rogue airport car parking operators.