Over the years we have received a range of questions about motorcycle parking at UK’s airports. Here’s an outline of how it works.
I am on a tight budget and have recently sold my car and bought a motorbike. I am flying home soon to see my parents who live abroad, and since I won’t need much in the way of luggage I am wondering about the practicalities of taking my motorbike to the airport. Are the charges similar to parking a car at the airport?
You will be glad to know that it is much cheaper and, indeed, often free to park your motorbike at some of the airports across the UK. If you don’t have much luggage then it is an ideal method of transport.
As the rules differ from airport to airport, we have looked into the policies of several UK airports to bring you up to date information, which is known to be correct as of January 2018
- London Gatwick, both North and South Terminal – There are dedicated bays in both of the short stay car parks and parking is free.
- London Heathrow
- (Terminal 2) – Located on Conway Road, access via Inner Ring East. Motorcycles are prohibited from parking in the T2 multi storey car parks.
- (Terminal 3) – Head to the back of Short Stay Car Park 1A/5. Motorcycles are prohibited from parking in the T3 multi storey car parks.
- (Terminal 4) – opposite arrivals. Motorcycles are prohibited from parking in the T4 multi storey car parks.
- (Terminal 5) – next to Short Stay Car Park. You can park in the over height areas of the multi storey car parks only.
Motorbike parking at all Heathrow Terminals is Free.
- Cardiff – The airport have confirmed via tweet that they have free motorcycle parking located in the Short Stay car park, not far from the exit barrier. However, this is from 2016 and there is still no info on their website.
- London Stansted – Orange Zone Car Park (short stay) and Zone Q (long term car park). Motorcyclists receive a 50% discount on pre-booked parking in either zones – you must call the customer services team on 0808 169 7031* to pre-book and pay for parking as they don’t have the facilities at the airport to do this.
- Birmingham – Situated within Car Park 3, on left as you enter. Normal parking tariffs apply.
- Manchester – Their website used to state that you should call them on 0808 169 7030* (free on mobiles and landlines) in advance to pre-book a space in one of the relevant Multi Storey Car Parks and that you would be charged 50% of the normal fee. However, this information is no longer on their site (Jan 18) so we cannot verify.
- London Luton – For parking durations of up to 21 days, please use the Mid Term Car park, where your parking will be free. Any stays longer than 21 days will be charged at the standard tariff.The car parks are monitored but bikes are left at your own risk.
- Liverpool – Motorcycles can now park in the Express Drop Off Zone for free, but the bays are limited.
- Southampton – The airport confirmed that there is motorcycle parking in the short stay car park, in a designated secure area. A commenter provided us with this info:
“On the ground floor of the short term car park there is 3/4 barrier to enter through, no ticket needed, and there is a 3/4 barrier to leave through. Should you get a ticket on entry do not worry, go to the customer service counter in the car park, it’s very near the exit, and the person there will tear up your ticket and ask you to use Lane No1 with the short (3/4) barrier to exit the car park.”
- Glasgow – Thanks to a helpful email from motorcyclist Derek who contacted Glasgow Airport about this, we can confirm as of April 2018, Motorcycles do not pay for parking; there are spaces out on the surface of the car park 2 and they are marked up
- London City – The parking here is free, and located underneath the DLR viaduct. If you head towards the front of the Terminal Building, the parking is opposite the turning.
- Bristol – Free parking for motorbikes in the dedicated motorcycle park opposite the administration building and it should be signposted. No pre-booking needed!
- East Midlands – Motorbike parking is available but not free, however they do offer a 50% discount on the pre-booked fee. Upon booking, it is advised to call the customer service team on 0808 169 7032* so they can issue the discount and advise you on where to park.
- Edinburgh – Motorcycles are welcome in car parks that don’t have a barrier and are free – see below;
The above information has been updated to the best of our knowledge, according to the information available to us – if you are aware of any changes, please let us know! (January 2018)
What can I do with my helmet and leathers? They would take up too much room in my small carry-on bag and I don’t fancy sitting on a plane wearing leathers!
Some airports have left luggage facilities but this could work out expensive at around £4 to £6 a day. Some bikers manage to cram their helmet and outer layers under their seat or in the top-box, but of course there is always the risk of theft, despite the fact that airport car parks are usually pretty secure, especially if you use a Park Mark car park. Using a storm cover will keep temptation at bay since your belongings will not be visible. Helmets can also be chained to the motorbike.
What do I have to do when I get back to the airport? Is it the same procedure as with a car i.e. pay at the barrier?
Much depends on the airport! You may need to visit customer services to have your ticket ‘zeroed’ or call a specific number to be let out of the car park. It’s always best to check this directly with the airport or car park you’re flying from or using before you leave on your outward journey.
Is there anything else I need to know about parking my motorbike at the airport?
Yes, don’t be tempted to leave your bike outside the official bays or else you risk being towed away. On no account should motorbikes be parked in spaces meant for cars.
*Contact numbers updated January 2018