What you need to know about getting your car ready for airport parking

  • 13 Oct, 2021
  • Alice Fowler
  • No Comments

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Are you planning on using airport parking? A little unsure about the procedure? Well, worry not, we have come up with a helpful guide on what you can expect when using airport parking!

Things to consider when booking your airport parking

  • Whilst horror stories do circulate around airport parking, they’re very unlikely to occur! Read reviews about the company you’re booking your parking with and then make a judgement call. Here at Airport Parking Shop, we ask our customers to leave reviews of the car park they booked so that you can see other peoples’ experiences.
  • Book a car park that has been given the Park Mark award! This will ensure that the car park is safe and secure. It will have a CCTV camera, fencing and usually 24hr security. This will give you the peace of mind while you’re away on your holiday.
  • If you’re choosing a Meet & Greet option, make sure you check where it is located. It’s not always the closest to the airport so if you have children or carrying a lot of luggage, then double-check where the meet & greet will be located and decide if it’s the best option for you.
  • Similar to Meet & Greet, if you’re choosing a Park & Ride option, you need to think about the transfer time. Usually, a bus ride shouldn’t be more than 10 minutes but cater for the time you will be travelling. Will it be a rush hour? If so, maybe leave earlier. Even if isn’t rush hour, it is always advised to leave earlier to give yourself extra time.
  • Last but certainly not least, book your parking in advance! This cannot be stressed enough because, when pre-booking parking, you can save as much as 60% off the drive-up price. So, book in advance and save yourself the money but also the stress of finding parking on the day.

Preparing to leave the car at the airport

If you are parking your car yourself either at an on-site or off-site car park and retaining your car keys, you might want to consider the following:

  • Write down the number of your parking space on the back of your airport parking confirmation.
  • Ensure you closed all the windows, as there’s always a good chance of rain in the UK.
  • Do not leave any valuables in your car.
  • Don’t leave the interior light on (might seem obvious but it does happen!).
  • Put the handbrake on, so it can’t roll away.

If your preferred airport parking involves handing over the car keys and letting the parking attendant park the vehicle for you, it’s worth bearing this in mind:

  • Make a note of the mileage. Some of the car parks warn the car owners that they might need to shift the cars around or even move them to a different location while you are away, so you shouldn’t be worried that there’s some extra mileage upon your return.
  • Note the fuel gauge when you hand the car keys over, and have a quick walk around your vehicle to give it the once-over when you get back from your travels.
  • If the car has any pre-existing scrapes, scratches or any other damage, make sure you record them in the check-sheet the car parks usually require you to fill before you leave your car with them.
  • It probably goes without saying but the vehicle should be roadworthy.
  • Take all your house keys off the key ring before handing the car key over to the parking attendant. This is not because of safety reasons, but because there are rare situations where the keys get misplaced. It’s also a good tip if you keep your luggage key attached to the main key ring, as you will need it at your destination!
  • If you’re planning on leaving your car for a long time at the airport, make sure you prepare the car properly before leaving it!  

car parking

Important checks to make before leaving your car

It’s always a good idea to ensure the tyres are fully inflated, as the slowest leak would flatten a tyre if the vehicle is left stationary for an extended period of time. In cold weather you might also consider leaving an ice scraper in your car.

And the last couple of tips, perhaps related not as much to preparing your vehicle but preparing yourself for a stress-less parking experience. Have all your paperwork with you before you arrive. Print out the directions as some airport car parks advise you not to trust the satnav and either follow the road signs or their own set of directions.

And last, but not least, if possible make sure you have two different phone numbers to call your airport parking provider or the car park itself. Some travellers also say it’s worth keeping your car breakdown company’s details handy in case you park your vehicle at the airport for a very long term and discover it cannot be started upon your return.

To submit more airport parking related questions, please drop us a line, we’re happy to help.

About Alice Fowler

I love to travel and working in the airport parking world for nearly a decade 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!