Find safe park and ride airport parking  2022

Heading abroad? Then finding the right type of airport car park is essential for a stress-free trip. Here we look at how park and ride airport parking works and if it's the right service for your vehicle as you head to the airport terminal to get your holiday in the air.

Plane getting ready to take off with passengersStart your holiday with stress-free airport parking  (Credit: Pexels.com)

What is park and ride airport parking?

Park and ride airport parking typically involves driving to a secure car park - either on the airport or beyond its perimeter - where you collect up your luggage and jump on a shuttle bus taking you to the nearby airport terminal.

How much does park and ride airport parking cost?

Choosing an off-airport park and ride service is likely to the cheapest option available, but expect to pay more if using official services based on, or very close to airports around the UK.

For example, a week at Manchester Airport will see you save around £5 for a week's parking when comparing off-airport park and ride with on-airport drop and go services. (Prices correct at time of writing).

Will off-airport park and ride parking add time and hassle to my trip?

Using off-airport park and ride services might add a little time to the reaching the terminal doors - typically such car parks are around 20 minutes from the airport - but the from dropping off your car to jumping on one of the regular bus transfers to the check-in desks, the experience will be hassle-free for most travellers.

Is it safe to leave my car at an independent off-airport car park?

We've all heard the horror stories of cars being left unlocked in muddy fields, or parked on public streets with slew of parking tickets waiting to welcome travellers home - but a few simple tips and check will ensure your vehicle is left in safe hands.

First up, ensure you're booking a space at a car park that's covered by the Park Mark Safer Parking scheme. The award is issued by the British Parking Association, a not-for-profit organisation with a membership including legitimate parking professionals from airport parking firms, such as Holiday Extra, to hospitals, railway stations and local authorities.

How to spot an airport parking firm to avoid

Cowboy parking firms are likely to have professional looking websites, but that doesn't mean the service they offer is equally proficient.

Most cowboys will operate using meet and greet services - where the customer meets the provider at a pre-arranged sport away from the airport, before being driven to the terminal doors in their own vehicle, which is then parked in a supposedly 'secure' car park for the duration of their trip.

Ensure you only book meet and greet parking with Park Mark-approved operators, and don't meet park and ride operators anywhere other than in the car park where they'll be storing your vehicle while away.

Always get the address of where your car will be located before making a booking - and check this out on Google Maps to check it looks legitimate.

Remember, low-price parking really could be too good to be true.

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