Airport Parking and Coronavirus: Latest Updates

How to beat the airport parking price hikes this Easter

  • 30 Mar, 2022
  • Alice Fowler
  • No Comments

out-smart airport parking

As schools are able to pick their own holiday dates, arranging the annual family holiday can sometimes be tricky! Especially when the varying dates for Easter holiday breaks actually falls over three weeks! This varies by county too, so if you have a child in school in one county, and one in school in another, picking a date to go away can get even more complicated.

So not only do you have the cost and timing of your holiday fluctuating, your parking may end up being a bit more costly, too. With this in mind, every year we take a look at some of the UK’s busiest airports to see how you can avoid paying too much for your airport parking.

A sample of car parks were used at each of these locations so individual car parks may vary, and as always prices are subject to change.

We ran our experiment to include the weeks surrounding the Easter break, Saturday-Saturday, across a range of different parking options.

Weeks affected by Easter in 2022

2nd April 2022 – 9th April 2022

9th April 2022 – 16th April 2022

16th April 2022 – 23rd April 2022

Interestingly, prices on the whole are hugely up since the last data we collected in 2019 (2020 and 2021 data has not been incuded due to the impact of the pandemic). Whether this in itself is a result of the pandemic and prices are up in order to recoup losses on previous years, or it is simply due to demand, at this stage it is impossible to know.

London Heathrow

At Heathrow, prices were for once relatively consistent. Terminals Meet & Greet kept the same price for each week, as did Happy Days Meet and Greet. Just the Park and Ride option we went for that chose to increase prices. This is possibly a first for Heathrow!

Average Easter Price Hike: £7

Best Buy: Terminals Meet & Greet – no price increases and a good price!

Worst Buy: Happy Days Meet & Greet. Although they didn’t offer up any price hikes, they were consistently the most expensive of the options. ☹️

Average Easter Airport Parking Prices at Heathrow

Week 2017 2018 2019 2022
Week before Easter £89.31 £130.73 £140.65 £171.89
Week including Easter £89.31 £130.73 £122.98 £178.65
Week after Easter £89.31 £130.73 £113.32 £171.89

As is often the case, 2022 shows the most expensive week as the middle one. However, although the price fluctuation is less this year, overall parking is more expensive.

London Gatwick

Gatwick has again shown not too many price fluctuations, although the first week is the cheapest.

Average Easter Price Hike: £3

Best Buy: The Gatwick Valet Parking Company Cheapest option, no price hikes, and a meet and greet service? No quibbles here.

Worst Buy: Cophall Parking had the biggest price hikes, but they weren’t anything huge, so no terrible buys at Gatwick this year.

Price of Easter Parking at Gatwick

Average Gatwick Easter Airport Parking Prices

Week 2017 2018 2019 2022
Week before Easter £73.98 £45.47 £75.03 £85.96
Week including Easter £75.48 £56.09 £65.01 £88.31
Week after Easter £74.48 £50.01 £63.45 £88.31

Manchester

Manchester consistently comes out as a great airport to fly from in terms of airport parking at Easter. Despite being one of the UK’s busiest airports, the airport parking prices didn’t fluctuate anywhere as near as much as other airports we tested.  Some products were worse than others however the products selected were very reasonable.

None of the products that we selected changed prices across the weeks we tested, so Manchester gets five stars from us in terms of consistent pricing and not taking advantage of the holidays!

Cost of Manchester Parking at Easter

Average Easter Price Hike: 🎉 No price hike! 🎉

Best Buy: Toad Park and Ride if you want to save the pennies, it remains a solid £55 for a week no matter which week you choose.

Worst Buy: None of our picks were overpriced or hiked prices up, so well done Manchester!

Average Easter Airport Parking Prices at Manchester

Week 2017 2018 2019 2022
Week before Easter £40.00 £46.00 £53.31 £65.98
Week including Easter £40.00 £46.00 £53.31 £65.98
Week after Easter £40.00 £42.66 £53.31 £65.98

Luton

Average Easter Price Hike: Just £5!

Best Buy: Airparks Self Park offered very minimal price variation and was the cheapest product.

Worst Buy: Terminal Car Park came in with the highest price hike of £13, and was the most expensive.

Average Luton Easter Airport Parking Prices

Week 2017 2018* 2019 2022
Week before Easter £62.65 N/A £72.65 £78.33
Week including Easter £62.65 N/A £67.65 £83.66
Week after Easter £60.31 N/A £67.65 £77.99

*Erroneous data collected in 2018 so data not included

Tips to beat the increases

From our research above we have determined some clear trends that if you are able to steer clear of, you should be able to save some pennies if you are going away over Easter.

Pick your timing

The first one is obvious, and most likely not an option. However, if you are able to make it work, it’s where you’ll save the most money. Of course, it goes without saying that if you can organise taking your holiday in the weeks before or after the weeks affected by Easter you’ll save a lot of money. 2019 was slightly different to other years that the most expensive week was the one just prior to Easter, but this year the middle week is usually the cheapest, however the differences are minimal for once.

airport parking prices

Choose your car park wisely

Quite often the official long stay car parks were far more expensive and had the biggest price hikes. You might be worried about using a car park not operated by the airport but you can choose car parks that have the Park Mark and have good reviews. All car parks used in our research have a rating of 4 stars or more. Our results clearly showed that these car parks kept their prices lower and fluctuated less than others, so you could really save some money.  There are of course exceptions and some car parks will still see huge price increases the closer the holidays get.

other airports can be cheaper

Airport flexibility

Not everyone will be lucky enough to do this, but if you have the option of travelling from two different airports, you may find that one is much cheaper than the other. This is particularly the case when you look at airports that are a bit more regional, when we conducted our research it seemed that despite being busy still, airports such as Bristol had far more consistent prices for airport parking over the Easter period. As you would expect, the London airports were all far worse and will be expected to get worse the closer to Easter we get.

Book early!

We do love to say it – but booking in advance really can save you money. This is even more the case when you are booking for popular holidays such as Easter and half term. The rush of families trying to make the most of time off school and workers taking advantage of the bank holidays means that car parks can get booked up quickly and  the fewer spaces are left the more expensive they can get. We saw this recently for the February half term where certain Gatwick car parks rose to several hundred pounds for just a week!

We hope this has helped you beat those airport parking price hikes and you can save a bit of money for your holiday. Have you been caught before by these cheeky price rises around holidays, or know of any tips we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

About Alice Fowler

I love to travel and working in the airport parking world for nearly five years has given me inside out knowledge of the industry. I love to help travellers get the best out of their trip, and their journey to the airport is an important part of that. Whether it's using our data to spot trends and pinpoint when people can save money, or opening the lid on airport parking tips and tricks, if it helps our customers, I'll write about it!