Happy Birthday to APH… 37 years of looking after your car

We’re celebrating 37 years of doing what we do best… Bringing you the best in experience and service for your airport parking.

34 years of Airport parking

APH is 37!

Here at APH we’re excited to be celebrating 37 years in the Airport Parking business! That’s 37 years of airport parking experience that ensures you can rest-assured your valuable car is being looked after while you enjoy your hols.

You don’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been; so read on to get an idea of where we’ve come from and how our years of experience can help you plan your best holiday ever!

What was in our car park…

The cars in our car parks have changed drastically over the years and each and every one of them will get the same care and attention from us – but what cars would have trundled through the gates on the day we opened? Here’s the answer with the top 10 cars from 1980. Use the comments box at the bottom to tell us what you were driving at the time – if you were old enough, of course….

What the APH car park would have looked like in 1980

What the APH car park would have looked like in 1980


So what have we been doing for 37 years?

APH officially began in 1980, when it was known as Airport Parking Gatwick and looked after the cars of holiday makers taking advantage of affordable package holidays flying from Gatwick.

What began as a small family business may have grown to become one of the leading providers of airport parking and hotels in the country, yet APH is still a family run business and still maintains its small company values and ethics. Take a look at our timeline to find out how APH has grown over the years:

1951: The site near Gatwick Airport is first used to park the cars of busy train commuters on their way to London.

34 years of Airport Parking

Our site at Gatwick

1958: Gatwick Airport opens to commercial flights.


Gatwick Airport in the 1960s


1980: Airport Parking Gatwick, as it was first known, opens its doors to holidaymakers’ cars!

Our old reception and transfer buses

Our old reception and transfer buses

1990: As overseas travel booms, demand for airport parking grows and APH begins selling parking spaces at airports around the UK

34 years of APH


1996: APH begins selling Airport Hotels, offering a touch of luxury to customers with early morning flights

34 Years of Airport Parking

Just one of the stunning hotels on offer at APH


1999: APH parking site at Manchester opens its doors, with 2050 spaces now, it’s just 15 minutes from the airport!

APH Airport Parking Manchester

Our Manchester site

2002: Birmingham APH site is added; it has 2200 spaces and is only 15 minutes from the airport


2014: APH still has the same family-firm values, where service always comes first, and continues to grow and adapt to an ever changing market.

APH 34 years of Airport Parking

2016: You – our amazing customers – voted us Best Airport Parking Company for the seventh-year running at the British Travel Awards. Thanks to all of you and we look forward to seeing you soon.

2017: – What are we up to in 2017? Apart from the important day job of looking after your cars, APH staff are cycling 20,000 miles to raise £20,000 for the University of Southampton’s Centre for Cancer Immunology.

37 tips for a stress free holiday

You can always expect a stress-free start to your hols or business trip with APH… but it doesn’t need to stop there. Here are our 37 top tips to make your trip a holiday to remember for the right reasons…

34 years of experience at APH

We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our 37th birthday than by sharing our vast experience with you all! So here are our 37 all important, money saving and stress relieving, best holiday ever tips that we have collected over the 37 years that we’ve been in business.

1) Pre book your airport parking! It has to be the easiest thing you can do, that will save you the most amount of stress. Head to APH now to check out the best deals around…

APH 34 years of airport parking

2) Checking in for your flight online will save you valuable time queuing at the check in desk, that you could be spending relaxing with a latte.

3) Learn some basic phrases; a ‘merci’ or ‘grazi’ here and there will go a long way on your trip.

4) Buy Travel Insurance; this is just common sense! Why take any chances with your health or possessions? Click here for a quote today!

5) Book a hotel for the night before your flight. Don’t sit in traffic worrying about making your flight; instead you could be relaxing in one of the many exciting airport hotels around the country. Check them out at APH.

top tips 34 years of airport parking and hotels

6) Pack some travel detergent; at some point on the holiday you will be glad you did, trust us.

7) Drink bottled water; foreign water can upset your tummy even if it’s clean. Different minerals can play havoc, so sticking to the bottle could mean a happier healthier holiday.

8) Check out which visas are needed for the country you are visiting before you fly; this could save you a nightmare at the other end of your flight.

9) If you’re looking for a really luxurious start to your holiday then why not book yourself into a stunning Airport Lounge, where you can while away the time before your flight in real style. Head to APH to get all the details.

34 years of airport parking hotels lounges

10) Do some research on your destination; finding out what you want to do when you’re there will help you get the most out of your trip. For government advice on any destination, check out the FCO website.

11) Invest in a decent suitcase. That ridiculously cheap one may seem like a bargain, but when it falls apart as soon as you land, you’ll be wishing you spent that little bit extra.

12) Tell your bank that you are going abroad and save yourself an expensive phone call when your card is declined by the fraud team, ouch!

13) Weigh your luggage before you get to the check in desk. At APH we have handy scales ready and waiting for you by the transfer bus.

weigh your luggage at APH

14) Go to Masta Travel Health to find out if you need any travel vaccinations; Typhoid and Yellow Fever are not fun.

15) Know the local laws and don’t break them! Things may be different abroad and the last thing you want on your holiday is to upset the local bobby.

16) Change your money into foreign currency well in advance; don’t wait ‘til the airport as the rates will be rubbish.

34 years of Airport parking

17) Get a guidebook; it will give you invaluable advice to getting the most out of your destination.

18) Invest in some good bug spray to keep the nipping nasties at bay.

19) Eat where the locals eat; they are the best advertisement of a good restaurant that you can get.

20) Travel apps can make your life a breeze. Have a look at some of the best general travel apps here or this collection that’s best for helping when you’re travelling with kids.

21) Go fake; save your skin from sun damage and ageing by using a little sunless tanner. Just don’t take it to extremes or you may end up as orange as, well an orange.itineraries in one handy place; perfect if you’re planning a big adventure

22) Get your passport sorted early. Or failing that head to the Passport Office website for details on how to get your application fast tracked.

23) Book an overseas transfer in advance and enjoy a relaxing private door-to-door service rather than the usual scrum to get on the coach. More details at APH.

24) Shop around for deals on sun cream; there are some real bargains to be had.

25) Buy a map if you’re heading to a city, it’s always a good idea to have a hard copy in case your smart phone packs up.

34 years of Airport parking

26) Pack light! It’s easier said than done, but you’re going to have to ask yourself some tough questions; will you really need two purple jumpers?

27) Pre book your hire car, not only will you get a much better rate, but you will be guaranteed a car so there will be no lets downs when you need them least. For great deals head to APH.

34 years of Airport Parking

28) Buy small bottles for shampoo and other beauty products, they’ll save you pounds in weight, and in money!

29) Save yourself a statement sting and find out how much your card provider charges for overseas transactions; they can mount up so it may be worth shopping around.

30) Either get yourself a roaming plan, or switch off your smartphone’s data roaming when abroad. This could save you hundreds of pounds on your next bill. For more advice click here.

Tip for Controlling your Data Costs Abroad

Tip for Controlling your Data Costs Abroad

31) Make yourself a mini first aid kit of painkillers, plasters, sickness medicines and other little life savers.

32) Take more underwear than you think you will need, or failing that see point 6.

33) Pick up some sweets for the plane; they can really help you equalise your ears as you hit new heights.

34) We’ve saved the best for last! Meet & Greet is the ultimate parking experience and worth every penny when you’ve braved a long flight. Book your Meet & Greet at APH and you can say goodbye to the transfer bus and breeze directly into your waiting car from the terminal. Perfection!

35) Travelling to Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted Luton or beyond? If you need to pass through the Dartford Crossing, don’t let an unpaid toll spoil your return. How you pay has changed so make sure you get the full details right here.

36) Find out if you’ll need a pocketful of change when heading to the terminal by taking a look at our airport-by-airport guide to baggage trolley costs across the UK. Find it here… it’s just one less thing to worry about.

37) Make sure you’re not driving illegally to the airport by assuring your car has valid MOT and tax. Check your car’s MOT, tax and insurance here. 

34 years of Airport Parking

3 comments for “Happy Birthday to APH… 37 years of looking after your car

  1. Andrew Wilkie
    24/04/2017 at 7:25 pm

    I have used APH many times in the last 15 years, 2 or 3 times a year, mainly Newcastle, occasionally Manchester and even Glasgow(quickest ever baggage claim, pick up and back to car -must have been under 45 minutes from stepping off plane to getting onto M8).and would not use anyone else.

    Our holiday starts when we step on the transfer bus and knowing the car will be ready for our return means we only have to worry about the cats!

    So congratulations on your anniversary and here is to many more of them.

    • Pete Barden
      25/04/2017 at 11:04 am

      Thanks Andrew – and I know what you mean about the cats! Hope to see you soon.

  2. David Hawley
    19/04/2016 at 11:31 am

    Me and my partner and child have used APH at Gatwick for the past 5 years for our annual holiday sometimes twice a year, and have always found the service excellent. Would recommend the meet and greet and it just makes the return flight a little bit smoother and less stressful. Have also used the hotel booking through APH when we’ve had early flights and again a great service. Have always felt my car is very secure in the compound. One service I have mentioned to the reception staff is possible car clean service, so when you return you have a nice clean car. Would recommend APH to family and friends, staff always seem happy, friendly and helpful.

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