With air passengers keen to cut costs as inflation bites, they should be aware of big hikes in drop-off and pick-up fees at UK airport terminals. Here motoring journalist and expert Pete Barden reveals a full list of free and paid options at UK airports such as Manchester, Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Luton and many more.
The charges on this page were updated in June 2023 (look out for old content on other websites that has not been updated).
Motorists dropping passengers of at airports should also be aware that some don't have payment machines to ensure you don't forget to pay, with some, including Gatwick, leaving it up to the motorist to log on to a website and make payment - without any reminders.
In the case of Gatwick, payment must be made by midnight on the day of drop off or pick up. No reminders are sent and the fine penalty charge is £100 reduced to £60 is paid within 14 days.
Find out how much you will have to pay for airport drop off charges - and avoid big bills (Credit: Pixabay)
Here we look at prices charged at individual airports across the UK for drivers dropping off or picking up passengers.
This list of charges was updated June 2023.
Drivers dropping passengers off at Aberdeen Airport will have the option of £5.00 for 10 minutes in the Express Drop Off or 30 minutes free in the Long Stay car park. Electric cars can get 15 minutes' free parking at the Express Drop Off point - but must be pre-registered here. See table below for more information.
Belfast City (George Best) Airport
Drop off at Belfast City Airport has Express Drop-off for £3.00 for up to 10 minutes. If you need more time, head to the Short Stay Car Park. See table below for more information.
Belfast International Airport
Using a car to set passengers down at Belfast International will cost £3.00 for 0 - 10 minutes. You can have15 minutes absolutely free in the Long Stay Car Park.
Motorists dropping family and friends at Birmingham Airport will benefit from up to 20 minutes free, before charges starting at £4.00 for 20 - 25 minutes kick in. These rise sharply with 45 - 50 minutes costing £25. Get full pricing on the table below.
At Bournemouth Airport, drop off costs from £5.00 for 30 minutes. See further details on table below.
The Express Drop off costs £5.00 up to 10 minutes, £7.00 for 10 - 20 minutes, charges for 20 - 40 minutes are £10, with 40 - 60 coming in at £20. The Waiting Zone car park is free for up to 60 minutes. See links to car parks in table below.
Drivers get up to 5 minutes free in the drop off area at Cardiff Airport, with £3.00 added for every 10 minutes thereafter. Details of this and pick up charges can be found in the table below.
Doncaster Sheffield (Robin Hood)
Doncaster Sheffield Airport has now closed. There are efforts in progress to safeguard the site and facilities for a possible reopening in the future.
Durham Tees Airport
Dropping off at Durham Tees Airport will cost £2.50 for up to 15 minutes, then £5.00 for 15 - 60 minutes. More information in our table below.
East Midlands International Airport
Head to the Rapid Drop Off, where you will pay £5.00 for 15 minutes, increasing by £1.00 per minute thereafter. The Short Stay car park is £6.00 for up to 30 minutes. The Long Stay car park is free for up to 60 minutes - but beware, overstay the one hour and you'll be charged at £1 per minute thereafter. Get more details in the table below.
The Drop Off Zone is £4.00 for up to 10 minutes, while the Long Stay car park offers free parking for 30 minutes - with transfer to the terminal by bus. Find further details below.
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Car Park 1 offers up to 30 minutes for £5.00, with the same for pick up in Car Park 2. Links to the airport can be found in the table below.
Drop off charges start at £4.00 for up to 10 minutes - but eco-friendly drivers in electric cars can pre-register and get 10 minutes of parking for free. Short Stay car park offers up to 20 minutes for £5.00. See the table below for more details.
Glasgow Prestwick Airport
The drop off and pick up area cost £3.50 for up to 60 minutes for those setting down friends and family. The table below has more information.
If you are dropping off at Inverness Airport, you can enjoy free parking for up to 10 minutes in the Short Stay car park. See below for more.
Leeds Bradford Airport
Heading to Leeds Bradford Airport to drop passenger off? Dropping off will cost from £6.00 for 0-10 minutes electric car drivers get one hour free. Table below includes links and more price points.
Express Drop off and Pick offer up to 10 minutes' parking for £5.00, jumping to £10.00 for 10 - 20 minutes. Drop off 2 is free for up to 40 minutes. See below for more details and links.
London City Airport
Find free drop off on the forecourt next to the terminal. Short Stay car park offer up to 10 minutes' parking for £3.80. More below in the table.
London Gatwick Airport
The Drop Off zone charges for both the North and South terminals are paid by entering your registration online after your visit - so turn up and drop off, but don't forget to go online and pay afterwards. Charges are £5 for 10 minutes and £1 added for each additional minute up to 20 minutes. A maximum charge of £25 is charged for stays exceeding 30 mins. Unattended cars could be towed away.
You will not get a reminder or prompt to pay the Gatwick drop off or pick up charge. It must be paid online by midnight on the day, or a penalty charge of £100 could be issued - cut to £60 if paid within 14 days of issue.
READ MORE: PUBLIC ELECTRIC CAR CHARGERS AT UK AIRPORTS
London Heathrow Airport
All terminals have the same £5 drop off charges. This must be paid by phone or online and there is no option to pay at the airport. The charge must be paid every time a vehicle enters the drop off zone.
The charge must be paid by midnight on the day after your visit. Failure to pay could mean an £80 penalty, cut to £40 if paid within 14 days.
You can pay the Heathrow drop off charge online here.
This charge does not apply for pick-up, but this must be in the car parks as before.
London Luton Airport
Drop off charges for Luton Airport as follows. Mid Stay car park free for up to 15 minutes, and £4.00 for 30 minutes - a bus transfer is required to the terminal. Long stay is free for up to 60 minutes, also with a bus transfer. The closer Drop off zone is £5.00 for 10 minutes, with £1 per minute thereafter. More info in table below.
London Southend Airport
Expect to pay up to £5.00 for 10 minutes' parking in Short Stay, with Long Stay 3 free for the first 15 minutes. More information below.
London Stansted Airport
Drop off at this airport is £7.00 for up to 15 minutes in the Express Set Down, with more than 15 minutes being charged at £25.00. There is also a £20.00 charge if a vehicle re-enter the zone within 30 minutes of leaving. The Express Set Down will be closed due to works from 9th of November 2021 from 08:00 – 12:00. The Mid Stay car park is free for up to 60 minutes. See the table below for more.
Dropping off friend and family at Manchester Airport costs £5.00 for up to 5 minutes in the Short stay drop off, rising to £6.00 for up to 10 minutes' parking. The free drop off area accesses the terminals via bus. More below in the table.
Newcastle International Airport
Drop off charges in the short stay car 1 park start at £7.00 for up to 15 minutes, increasing to £10.00 for stays of up to 30 minutes, Short Stay 2 offer free parking for up to 15 minutes increasing to £8.00 for stays of up to 30 minutes. Express Parking is £4.00 for 10 minutes and £7.00 for up to 30 minutes.
Newquay International Airport
Dropping off here will allow you 30 minutes of parking for £2.00. See the table below for more price points.
Setting down passengers at Southampton Airport, will cost £6.00 for 20 minutes' parking in the Express Parking area. More below.
Is airport drop-off free on Christmas Day?
No. Drivers will need to pay charges where applicable on Christmas Day and across the festive season.
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