Parking charges at Britain’s airports can add considerable expense to a vacation and London’s Heathrow Airport is no exception. Fortunately there are ways for holiday makers and business travellers alike to make savings on parking costs when flying. Whether you need a parking spot for a day or a fortnight, you can make significant savings on the standard charges imposed by the airport authorities.
First you need to decide whether you really need to park at the airport at all. Driving to the airport may seem like the easy option but the cheaper car-parks may be some distance from the terminal and travellers with heavy luggage or those with children may find that getting from the car-park to the terminal is an additional hassle.
Those living in the south east may find that local taxi companies can offer an attractive rate and you can arrange in advance for a driver to pick you up on your return. Some companies will check the airport website for news of your flight and can come earlier or later if necessary if your flight times change.
The Heathrow Express is a quick and hassle-free way of getting from central London to the airport and, while fares are not cheap, they may well be cheaper than parking costs. A number of cash-back websites offer good rates of cash back for booking tickets on line.
If, however, you have no other option, you need to start shopping around to get the best deal and there are lots of options available to you. Parking for Less is a useful website that compares prices on a number of options such as business rates, day rates and prices in combination with a hotel stay.
If you require a night in a hotel before or after your trip, you could consider staying in a hotel that offers a parking and accommodation package. FlyPark is one the best websites to use to find a hotel that offers this service. When looking it’s essential to check the small print that tells you whether there is transport available to the terminal and whether the cost is included or extra: typical costs are around £4.00 per journey. The more expensive rates allow you to park at the hotel itself while the cheaper rates quoted usually entail parking at a long stay car-park at which the hotel has bought block parking. There are bargains to be had but you do need to look at all the costs involved.
Heathrow Economy Parking is one of the off site car-parks and represents the best value. However, the minimum stay is four days so this might not suit all travelers. However, with prices from £7.49 a day (correct the time of writing), it’s certainly worth considering if you require parking for at least this long. The closer you wish to be to the terminal the more expensive the cost becomes. Having a driver bring your car to the terminal when you land also, understandably, increases the cost.
Check, too, the times that the car-park is open for business. Not all of them operate twenty four hours a day and some of them do not have transport to the terminal at all times. Some operate frequent terminal shuttles, some relatively few. At the time of writing Easy Hotel had among the lowest quoted rates for a parking and accommodation package but operates shuttles every twenty to forty minutes although it does have the benefit of hotel site parking. The slightly more expensive Ibis has more frequent transport but parking is at a long stay car-park further away.
Holiday Extras is a popular website that can help you make savings on a host of holiday related expenses and provides a really good, up to date comparison tool which certainly simplifies the process of price checking. However, you must look around as prices can vary.