A car is likely to be your second-most expensive investment, which makes picking safe and reputable airport parking a must when travelling from Gatwick Airport.
Most airport parking firms run legitimate businesses, with large amounts of capital invested in robust security infrastructure to ensure vehicles remain safe and secure while owners are away.
However, alongside reputable firms, there are a number of rogue operators who are less diligent when it comes to looking after customers’ vehicles – with police and media reports highlighting cases of ‘firms’ leaving vehicle’s unlocked and unguarded on public streets or remote unfenced fields.
Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid these rogue operators by following a few simple steps when booking parking at Gatwick Airport. Follow our guide to securing reputable airport parking, whatever type of service you’re looking for… Book your Gatwick Airport parking here!
Meet & Greet
What is it: Travellers drive directly to the airport terminal or nearby drop-off area, where they’re met by a ‘chauffeur’ who’ll park their car for them.
Who is it for: Perfect for anyone who wants to make their airport parking as fast and pain-free as possible. Just drive to the terminal, meet the chauffeur and head straight to the check-in desks. Reputable firms will then take cars directly to a nearby secure compound for the duration of the trip.
Keep your keys: No – the ‘chauffeur’ will need these to park the car then bring it back when the customer returns.
How to make sure it’s safe parking: Meet and greet parking is the rogue operators’ preferred form of airport parking. The customer is met at the airport, so won’t get to see where the car will be stored, additionally it’s likely to be the most expensive form of airport parking – meaning bigger profits for shady operators. Sadly, many of these rogue operators have no infrastructure set up, often leaving customers’ cars on public streets or in unprotected fields. Booking through one of these firms could end up leaving you with no comeback should your vehicle be damaged or stolen.
Luckily, it’s easy to side-step the rogues and find a reputable meet and greet operator. Simply check outGatwick Airport’s Approved Operator list right here. This is a full list of operators who meet Gatwick Airport’s demanding standards.
Park & Ride
What is it: These are car parks, such as APH Gatwick, which are located away from the airport site. Travellers using these sites will drop off their car, then catch a transfer bus to the airport terminal. Transfer times are typically around 20 minutes.
Who is it for: Park & Ride is ideal for travellers who want cost-effective airport parking with the minimum of fuss. Simply drive to the off-airport location, jump on a bus and head for the terminal.
Keep your keys: It’s likely that your car will be parked for you, so in most cases you will be asked to leave your keys.
How to make sure it’s safe parking: Make sure you read online reviews before you book. Here at APH we use an independent reviews coordinator, Trustpilot, so you can be sure the ratings and comments are genuine and processed by a third party. Make sure you can find a good selection of varying reviews – a clean sweep of glowing recommendations should set alarm bells ringing. Additionally, make sure the car park is a holder of the Park Mark Safer Parking Award. This is awarded to car parks that meet challenging standards overseen by the police.
What is it: On-airport parking is likely to be located within, or very close to the airport perimeter. In many cases – but not exclusively – it will be an official facility run by the airport. Transfers times will typically be no more than 5 minutes, with the terminal often within walking distance.
Who is it for: On-airport parking is for travellers who want simple airport parking with fast access to the terminal. It’s likely to be more expensive than park & ride services, but booking ahead through the likes of APH.com can save large amounts of cash compared with ‘gate rates’ on the day.
Keep your keys: Most of these car parks will be self-park, so as a rule there’ll be no need to leave your keys.
How to make sure it’s safe parking: Global security conditions ensure that airports are extremely safe places, with high levels of security throughout. For extra reassurance, make sure the facility is a recipient of the police-approved Park Mark Safer Parking Award. This scheme sets a national standard for UK car parks with low crime to ensure both the safety of cars and owners. Check the car park.