Tips for Availing Affordable Airport Parking

Airport parking lots offer extremely high rates and the total costs can be too much if your trip is longer. Nonetheless, you can still avail discounted rates and pay affordable amounts if you conduct a thorough research. Read our blog to learn more about finding affordable airport parking.

What You Need to Know

Before beginning your search for an affordable airport parking service, here are some key facts that you should know.

Parking Is More Expensive Than Taking a Cab or Taxi to the Airport

You may put in a lot of effort to avail the lowest priced airport parking service, but the fact doesn’t change that in most instances, you’ll be paying more than the costs incurred when taking a taxi or cab. Also, the longer the stay, the higher the costs, so do consider other alternatives. Here are some of the cheaper options that you can try out, but keep in mind that they may be more of a hassle than availing  a specialized airport parking service.

Use a Non-Specialist Train Service

Airport trains are a costly option, so use general trains. They may drop you some distance away from the airport, but usually, you should be able to walk up to the terminal. In case, the distance is greater, you can use the shuttle service to get to the terminal.

Book a Taxi

Taxis are an affordable option only if you’re carrying a single bag with you. If your luggage is too much, taxis will instantly become costlier. In order to save time and reach the airport well before your scheduled flight departs, you should pre-book taxies.

Travel on a Coach

Airport coaches are another cheap option for travelling to and from the airport. However, the total trip time is the longest, meaning that you should board the bus well ahead of your fight. Try to book early so that you can save more money.

Book an Airport Parking Service Earlier for Greater Savings

A simple rule of thumb that applies to the whole service industry in general is that the earlier you book, the more you save. So when affordable airport parking service is the best choice for you, book as soon as you can, preferably right after you’ve booked your flight. Doing this can cut your costs down by as much as 33%. In case you forget to book in advance, you should still reserve an affordable airport parking service on your flight day. The savings would, of course, be lower in this case, but will still be significant enough.

Remember that you pay the most for an airport parking service when you arrive at the lot without any booking receipt. So book at home, even if it’s on the same day as your flight.

Choose the Most Suitable Airport Parking Type

Airport parking falls under different types, each of which offers varying rates. The most popular ones of these are explained below.

Onsite Airport Parking

This airport parking type is owned by the airport operators and hence, it is closest to the terminal. Sometimes, the distance can easily be covered on foot. In other cases, a free shuttle service is available, which runs according to a planned schedule.

Offsite Parking

An offsite airport parking lot isn’t located within the airport complex, but on the outskirts. This airport parking type is managed by third parties and is often the most affordable option. Offsite airport parking is convenient and a nearly hassle-free experience most of the times. But like we’ve already discussed, book your slot earlier.  Like in the case of airport owned parking lots, free shuttle service is available.

Meet and Greet Parking

Meet and greet airport parking is just another name for valet service. You drive your car right to the terminal entrance, where the valet driver meets you. You hand over your key and then they take your car and park it at a lot, some distance away from the terminal. When you return, you give the service team a call, and they arrive at the terminal exit along with your car.

This service is great, but it is a more expensive airport parking type. Also, please be sure to choose a reliable company that has good reviews and positive ratings.

Please note that only limited coverage is included in the service in case of damages. The valet company is often not liable in many potential circumstances, so be sure to check out the terms and conditions before availing the meet and greet parking service. Just to be on the safe side, ensure that no valuables remain in your car.

Local Car Parks

Local car parks are another affordable airport parking option, availed not only by passengers but nearby corporate workers and businessmen as well. If any offices or facilities close to the airport have spare land, they usually permit you to park your car after paying a small fee. Though affordable, security levels often don’t match the measures taken at lots that are specially designed for airport parking.

Be Wary of Hidden Pitfalls

Certain pitfalls are involved when booking an airport parking service. Over here, we’re listing down the most common ones.

Transfer Times

When choosing an affordable airport parking service, carefully study the transfer times and frequency of the shuttle buses that take you to the terminal. In case, you’re travelling at night, ensure that a bus will be available before your flight time.

Security

Leaving your car for a few days can be worrisome, so check out online reviews and seek references before finalizing an affordable airport parking service. Airport-managed and third-party lots are usually monitored through CCTV systems 24/7. Guards are also always on patrol, lowering security risks.

In the case of smaller or unreliable companies, the security measures may not be so strong. Usually, if there is any issue, the liability falls upon you. Before choosing any airport parking type and service, ensure that security levels are acceptable and only then consider the price. After all, there is no point in selecting an uninsured airport parking lot, even if the rates are significantly lower.

Cancellation Policy

Trip and flight changes may happen without warning. Therefore, choose a service that has a cancellation policy and refunds a percentage of the amount. Some services charge an extra fee for including cancellation or future amendments, but it is usually worth it. Should you have to make any changes later, the incurred costs can be higher than paying for a cancellation waiver beforehand.

Late Charges

Generally, most of the airport parking services require you to pay an extra amount if you drop your car too early or collect after your scheduled times.  Generally, rates apply for a 24-hour period. So, for instance, if you drop your car at 9 am in the morning and pick it up at 8 am the next day, you’ll only be paying for a day. However, if you collect your car at 10 am the next day, you’ll have to pay the full day amount for that one extra hour.  Still policies do vary from company to company, so do check them out thoroughly before booking a service. As an example, meet and greet parking permits you to collect cars until midnight, but the allowable time periods may be different for other services.

Check Out the Reputation

We cannot emphasize this enough, it’s all about reputation if you’re availing a third-party airport parking service. Unexpected issues can occur at any time and the best way to deal with them is to ensure that you select a reliable service, even if their rates are a bit higher as this is what will give you peace of mind throughout the trip.

Carefully Evaluate Other Options if You Don’t Park Your Car in a Designated Airport Parking Lot

If you can get a resident’s parking permit or something similar, you may be able to park your car on a side street or in a nearby residential area. In such a case, do follow these tips so that you don’t have to face an issue.

Review the Council Website

Check out the website of the designated council and view upcoming suspensions and roadwork. Make sure you don’t park your car in any of these areas if you want to avoid hassles.

Entrust a Neighbor

If a trusted neighbor has insurance, they may be able to move your car during the time you’re away. This is only if their policy is a comprehensive one and includes coverage for driving other cars. If any damage incurs, partial or complete costs may be reimbursed depending on the policy terms.

Park in a Special Car Park

Many councils operate a special car park, where you can park your car if you’re away. The daily rates are lower, but security may be a concern at some of these parking spaces.

Compare Rates

One of the best and most effective ways to search for affordable airport parking is to compare rates offered by different services using online websites and tools. These allow you to find the best ongoing promotions and deals. While you can book an airport parking space directly as well, doing through an external site is a more affordable option if any promotions are ongoing.

Discount rates vary from site to site, depending on several factors such as the airport parking type, airport area and so on. Also, bigger discounts may not always imply a lower overall price.

Evaluate Other Options

If you don’t want to avail a designated parking service, you can consider other options such as private parking spaces and hotel lots. The latter of these is an extremely affordable option if your stay will be of several days. Hotel parking lots are offered by both airport hotels and other nearby accommodation facilities. Sometimes, the service is included as part of a room package, which is a convenient option if your flight is early morning or if you live far away from the airport.

Private lots can also be economical in some instances, but they are much smaller and usually offer no amenities. Browse eBay marketplace and you’ll come across many individuals who rent their private parking spaces or land for airport parking purposes. Prices for all these spots are low, but so are the security levels. Hence, they may not always be the best option.

Rent a Car

Rental cars can easily help you travel from your home to the airport. Many times, they have lower costs than cabs. One-way rentals are usually priced higher, but they are still cheaper than taking a taxi. This option completely eliminates the need for an airport parking service, but there are other drawbacks. For instance, you have to return the car after getting the gas tank filled up to the maximum limit. If you don’t do this, you’re charged more than standard rates. The process of renting a car is also lengthier because of wait times, car inspection and other factors.

Try Out Uber

Uber is a similar option that you can avail. Just book a car through their app and it’ll be at your doorstep within minutes. Usually, this is a cheaper option, but if your flight is at odd hours, it may be difficult for you to find an Uber car.

Use Hotel Airport Shuttles

If you spend the night before your flight at a hotel, you can avail their shuttle service for getting to the airport. These are often complimentary, so no extra charges are incurred. Also, many hotels allow you to park the car in their lots, as already explained, but security may be a concern in some cases.

Did our advice help you save on airport parking service? Do let us know!

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