Situated within the airport’s boundaries, Gatwick’s on-airport car parks are operated by an independent contractor on behalf of the airport and offer the choice of short-stay or long-stay car parks.
On-airport, short-stay parking
The closest parking available is in the short-stay car parks – just a short walk away from the terminals. Due to its costs, on-airport, short-stay parking is suitable for short stays – ideal for passenger drop-offs and pick-ups. The minimum stay in the short-stay car parks is 30 minutes with parking charges rising incrementally throughout the first day of parking – charges are made for the first 30 minutes, hourly up to 6 hours, then for stays of 6-12 hours, stays of 12-24 hours and daily thereafter.
On-airport, long-stay parking
Although referred to as long-stay, these car parks are suitable for durations of any length and offer a cheaper alternative to the short-stay car park. The long-stay car parks offer bus transfers, which take around 5 minutes, between the airport and the car parks.
Off-airport parking car parks are located outside the airport boundary and are run by independent companies. Generally, off-airport parking is a cheaper alternative to on-airport parking, however, this type of parking involves customers driving to an off-airport car park, parking their vehicle and taking a shuttle bus to the airport. This parking option is also known as park and ride.
Regular shuttle buses operate between off-airport car parks and the airport terminals but customers must allow sufficient time to drive to the car park, park and then travel to the airport. Transfers usually take between 10 and 15 minutes.
Off-airport car parks are suitable for long- or short-stay parking.
Meet and greet parking
Offered by the airport and many independent companies, meet and greet parking is a convenient parking option, which allows customers to drive right up to the airport terminal. Here they are met by a driver who takes their vehicle and parks it for them. Cars are parked in off-airport car parks, most of which are very close to the airport.
When a customer returns from holiday, a driver with their car meets them outside the airport terminal. Car collection and return points are usually the same and will be specified on the meet and greet company’s website and in the booking confirmation email.
Meet and greet, or valet parking as it is also known, is suitable for families with young children, elderly travellers, disabled drivers and business travellers.
Hotel parking packages
Many hotels at Gatwick offer park-and-stay packages where holidaymakers can book their hotel room and parking together. Booking a hotel room and parking as part of a package rather than booking each item separately can often mean considerable savings. Some hotels offer different types of parking packages, including parking within the hotel’s grounds, off-airport parking, on-airport parking or meet and greet, where the customer’s car can be collected from the hotel rather than the airport.
1. Oversized vehicles
Due to space or height restrictions, some airport car parks – both on- and off-airport – may be unable to accommodate large vehicles. If parking is required for a large vehicle, company van or vehicle with an attached trailer, always contact the company before booking parking.
2. Sports equipment
Travellers with large sports equipment may find that their equipment cannot be accommodated on the shuttle buses travelling between the car parks and the airport terminal - always check prior to booking.
3. Money-saving tip
Whatever type of parking you are booking, it is advisable to book in advance as booking online, in advance, can mean savings of up to 65%.
4. Gatwick Airport Approved Operator Scheme
From 10 July 2013, only meet and greet parking companies that are members of Gatwick’s Approved Operators scheme can collect and return vehicles on the airport’s forecourts or from designated meet and greet zones in the multi-storey car parks. Non-approved companies, who have been given time to achieve the necessary criteria to join the scheme (ParkMark Safer Parking award and Trading Standards Buy with Confidence,) will operate from within the multi-storey car parks, however, they will be unable to use the designated areas.
A list of Gatwick Approved Operators can be found here.
This Gatwick parking article is provided by meet and greet parking company Help Me Park, which is a Gatwick Approved Operator.