Airport parking price lottery


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London airports revealed as having the most expensive parking prices

A new investigation into airport parking by Admiral reveals consumers across the country are paying up to three times more depending where they fly from.

The study compared 30 airports across the UK and examined on-site parking prices for a two-week break in the summer holidays, from 22 July 2017 to 5 August 2017. The research revealed car parks operate a postcode price lottery for the same 2.4m space.

Luton Airport came out as the priciest with a two-week stay in their standard on-site car park coming in at £191. By comparison, the equivalent car parking space at Exeter Airport cost just £65 – a difference of £126.

With the average car parking rate for two weeks found to be £111, a stay at Luton will cost holidaymakers a whopping £80 more. London City Airport was just behind with a price of £181, followed closely by Gatwick Airport (£175).

Surprisingly, Admiral even found price discrepancies between different terminals at the same airport, with a stay at Gatwick North costing £175 compared to a bill of £167 at Gatwick South. And at Heathrow, while a stay at Terminals 2, 3 and 4 is priced at £146, you’ll pay £10 more if you park at Terminal 5 (£156).

Can I pay for ‘first class’ parking facilities?

If you’re feeling flush and fancy a VIP parking experience with an on-site premium valet, you can expect to fork out a whopping £629 for two weeks at Gatwick’s North Terminal. This is nine times more than at East Midlands Airport, where you can find the cheapest premium car parking at £68. It’s also one-and-a-half times more than you’ll pay a short distance away at Gatwick’s South Terminal, with two weeks costing £395.

Parking off-site

The price of airport 15-minute drop-offs was also scrutinised with the dearest found to be London Stansted at a costly £8.50, working out at 57p per minute. In comparison, six airports out of 30 offer a free 15-minute stay.

Pay less for airport parking

Holidaymakers should avoid complacency when it comes to parking and not just assume premium parking always costs the most. Admiral’s research found that East Midlands Airport offers a meet-and-greet premium price which is more than £40 cheaper than standard long-stay parking, while Birmingham’s ‘premium’ parking costs just £1 extra.

Admiral’s head of service, Alistair Hargreaves, said: “We all know that an overseas holiday in the summer time can be costly but our investigation has revealed that holidaymakers can end up feeling short changed before they’ve even boarded the plane. This study demonstrates that airport parking prices are a postcode lottery with extortionate price discrepancies for the same 2.4m-wide car parking space, depending on where you are flying from.

“Families rarely travel lightly. It’s important to them the places they leave their cars are convenient so they don’t feel exhausted before they’ve taken off. It also needs to be a place which is safe and secure so they have complete peace of mind. By planning ahead and researching other car parking options, such as those off-site and factoring these prices in to the total cost of the holiday before booking anything, consumers can make sure there are no surprises.”

Admiral’s top tips for Airport parking


  1. Make sure your car insurance is up to date before you travel.
  2. Do your research – visit the website of the airport you are flying from to compare official onsite parking prices – you’ll need the exact dates and times to get an accurate price
  3. Compare offsite parking options, including hotels that offer free parking.
  4. Think carefully about your needs – do you need to be right outside the terminal door, or can you manage a short walk or even bus ride?
  5. Are there discounts available? Some third parties like roadside assistance companies or employers offer discounts on official airport parking, it’s worth investigating.
  6. Keep parking details to hand as you travel to the airport to ensure you stop at the specific parking area you have booked. Be aware of any contact you need to make with the parking provider regarding vehicle collection.
  7. Remove unnecessary valuables from the car, make a note of your mileage and record existing marks and damages.
  8. Store your keys somewhere safe whilst you are away. Admiral received nearly 1,000 claims for lock replacements last year.

Most expensive airport parking costs for a two-week summer break

  1. Luton £191
  2. London City £181
  3. Gatwick North £175
  4. Gatwick South £167
  5. London Stansted £159

Least expensive airport parking costs for a two-week summer break

  1. Exeter £65
  2. Bournemouth £66
  3. Cardiff £72
  4. Humberside, Belfast International, Liverpool £75
  5. Glasgow Prestwick £78

Most expensive cost of two weeks premium airport parking

  1. Gatwick North £629
  2. London City £598
  3. Gatwick South £395
  4. Southampton £335
  5. London Stansted £227

Least expensive cost of two weeks premium airport parking

  1. East Midlands £68
  2. Belfast City £83
  3. Liverpool £84
  4. Glasgow Prestwick, Newcastle £85
  5. Doncaster £88

Airports with free 15-minute drop offs

  1. Humberside
  2. Bradford
  3. London City
  4. Manchester
  5. Norwich
  6. London Southend

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