Affordable Parking at Gatwick Airport

There are plenty of great holiday destinations in the UK, but, after being cooped up at home, many of us are longing for the long-lost summer breaks with lush beaches and more hours of sunshine than we can count. Travelling during a pandemic is already more stressful than it needs to be to begin with. Topics like travel to and from the airport are equally bothersome. If you’re set on finally getting your well-deserved holiday, here are some tips on how to make at least one part of the trip less stressful and more affordable: airport parking.

Gatwick Airport Parking

The parking fees at airports across the UK are rising. The airport is counting on those travellers who arrive for their flight with next to no preparation when it comes to parking. They are stuck paying the full price for the amount of time they park their car at the airport. How high the price is, depends on where you park and how long you stay.

There are two locations for official airport parking: parking at the North and the South Terminal. It can be divided into four options, that aren’t always available:

  • Short Stay – Park in the closest car parks to the airport, with about 5 minutes of walking to get there.
  • Premium Short Stay – Park on the same level with the terminal, with a 2-minute walk to get there.
  • Long Stay – The Long Stay car parks are still on the campus, but farther away. A shuttle bus transports the travelers with 7 to 12 minutes of transfer time.
  • Valet Parking – You leave your car and keys with a valet at the terminal, who will take care of parking for you.

South Terminal

All flights are operating out of the North Terminal for the time being. However, you can still use the South Terminal car parks. There is an inter-terminal shuttle transfer with about 10 minutes travel time to the North Terminal.

The only statements I can make about the cost of parking at Gatwick at the moment apply to parking for North Terminal flights.

North Terminal

Typically, the order from cheapest to most expensive goes: Long Stay, Valet, Short Stay, Premium Short Stay.How much the options cost also depends on the exact booking time and how early you book for a timespan in the future.

For example, at the current point in time (March 1, 2022), parking for a week when booking online costs:

  • A Short Stay parking from Wed 02 Mar to Tue 08 Mar at the North Terminal costs £187.00.
  • Just a week later, from Wed 09 Mar to Tue 15 Mar, the Short Stay North costs £154.
  • The Long Stay North, however, costs £65 for either week.
  • A Short Stay parking for the same timespan at the South Terminal costs £98.00.
  • Similarly, increasing the parking time from one week to two, from Wed 02 Mar to Tue 15 Mar, gives you the Short Stay parking price of £341, reducing the cost per day from £26.71 to £24.35.
  • Looking ahead to August and booking a week from Tue 02 Aug to Mon 08 Aug leaves us with the following costs: Short Stay £96 and Long Stay £63.

Affordable Gatwick Parking

Here is a direct comparison of the parking costs for Short and Long Stay parking, the two most available options:

Time Frame 1 Week Mar

02.03. — 08.03.

1 Week later

09.03. — 15.03.

2 Weeks Mar

02.03. — 15.03.

1 Week Aug

02.08. — 08.08.

Full Per Day Full Per Day Full Per Day Full Per Day
Short Stay N £187.00 £26.71 £154 £22 £341 £24.36 £96 £13.71
Short Stay S £98.00 £14 £98 £14 £196 £14 £96 £13.71
Long Stay N £65 £9.29 £65 £9.29 £99 £7.07 £63 £9

Looking at these numbers, we can generally say that the prices for parking are cheaper:

    1. the longer you park (some car parks have maximum parking time limits)
    2. the further in advance you book
    3. the further away you park from the terminal

But, when it comes to parking at Gatwick, we don’t necessarily have to rely on the official on-site parking spaces. There are many non-airport providers to choose from. Price comparison websites will help you find the best deal. They offer:

?     Park and Ride

Park and Ride describes parking with shuttle services. These car parks are further away from the terminals, making their fees much cheaper. The shuttle transfer time is typically under 20 minutes, so you don’t lose much in comparison to the South Stay shuttle ride.

?     Meet and Greet

Meet and Greet describes a valet service. You drive to the terminal, unload your bags and hand your keys and car over to a booked driver you meet there. When you return, you meet at an appointed spot where you can jump back into your car and drive home.

?     Hotel and Parking

Instead of having a stressful ride to the airport even before the official travel has begun, you can book a night at an airport hotel with parking included. It combines the comfort of not needing to worry about traffic with a solution to the parking problem. Many of these hotels are just a few minutes of walking distance from the terminals and cost anything between £50 to £120 for 1 night and 7 days parking.

Conclusion

There are many options when it comes to parking at the airport. The on-site car parks have a variety of services with different benefits and prices. So do non-official off-site parking spaces. These typically have cheaper options and great offers, to compete with the strong competition. For either provider, the same rules apply: the farther away from the terminal you park, the longer you park and the further in advance you book, the cheaper the daily price will be.

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