Destination UK

Top tips to save money on airport parking

Posted on
February 4, 2019

When you’re heading off for a winter holiday it’s all too easy to forget about planning your transport to the airport. 

However, a study on airport parking popularity and costs by the UK travel insurance provider Staysure, revealed that it definitely pays to prebook a parking space if you’re driving there. 

Car park

Here are some tips and tricks for saving money on airport parking this season that every traveller should know.

Wherever you live in the UK and whatever airport you are flying from, if you decide to drive to the airport, prebooking your parking space is universally cheaper than paying for parking last minute. The availability of parking, however, varies considerably.

Passengers at Manchester should definitely book in advance as the demand for space is very high. Strikingly, there are treble the amount of online searches for Manchester airport parking than there are at any London airport, including London Heathrow.

Although this initially seems like a surprise, especially since 3 out of every passengers flying from the UK in 2017 did so from a London airport, the lack of demand for airport parking spaces makes sense considering the frequency and reliability of public transport in the capital. 

Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted are all very well connected to the London public transport system, meaning that holidaymakers from London and the Home Counties might opt to take the train rather than drive and face congested roads and possibly disastrous delays.

If you do decide to use the parking facilities at a London airport like Gatwick or Luton, it is even more important to make sure that you book in advance. Passengers who pay for parking on the day at London airports are charged on average £30 more in total for their stay.

By far the most expensive airport to pay on the day is Luton. Passengers from London Luton stand to save as much as £141.49 by prebooking at least a week in advance. Gatwick, with a cost disparity of as much as £97.76, is close behind.

The most expensive non London airport to pay for parking on the day is Edinburgh, at which there is a price disparity of £77. Meanwhile Manchester, the second most costly, is (at £61) almost as expensive to park on the day as London Heathrow.  

Savings like this could enable you to treat your family to a couple of meals out when you get to your holiday destination or even upgrade your hotel room. It’s absolutely worth planning in advance.

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  1. Reply


    February 5, 2019

    90% of my flights are from Stansted and I always book parking in advance unless I book the flight a night before then I just leave my car at home.

  2. Reply

    mary louise

    February 5, 2019

    We fly from Luton and always book in advance. I cannot believe the extortionate rate that Edinburgh charges!
    Your article will for sure save a lot of people money

  3. Reply

    Laura - Dear Bear and Beany

    February 5, 2019

    We are going abroad this summer and need to sort our parking. We have an early flight and I think we will get a hotel that includes the parking!

  4. Reply

    Laura Dove

    February 5, 2019

    Oh this has just reminded me to get our hotel parking booked for the airport! Thank you!

  5. Reply


    February 6, 2019

    Airport parking can be expensive so it’s good to know where you can save money. Thanks for sharing x

  6. Reply


    February 6, 2019

    I love the tips here. I will remember them when next we go on holiday.

  7. Reply

    Jess Howliston

    February 6, 2019

    Its things like this I forget about when thinking about booking a holiday but the hidden costs like this soon add up! I can’t believe there is such a big difference between some airports too!

  8. Reply


    February 6, 2019

    I’ve not been abroad in years, but am planning on going to Crete this summer. It’s little things like this I wouldn’t think of, so it’s brilliant to find a post that gives me a nudge in the right direction! Thank you 🙂
    Louise x

  9. Reply

    Tracey Kifford

    February 6, 2019

    If I can fly from Luton I’m happy as I can get my dad to drop me off. Otherwise I use price comparison sites to get the best deal going

  10. Reply

    Cath - Passports and Adventures

    February 7, 2019

    You’ve reminded me I need to book parking for all our forthcoming trips this year. I always book ahead if I can and always book as close to the terminal as possible to avoid those transfer buses.

  11. Reply

    Melanie williams

    February 7, 2019

    This is very important. Booking in advance always help save some pennies for sure xx

  12. Reply

    Lauren Porter

    February 8, 2019

    Gosh it can be so expensive!! We live near Birmingham airport so we don’t really have this issue luckily, but def seems worthwhile to book other airports well in advance

  13. Reply


    February 11, 2019

    Some great tips here . We normally get the in laws to drop us off so haven’t had any of these worries yet 🙂

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