Gatwick Parking Options

With Christmas fast approaching and your flights booked, it’s time to consider all the extras you need to organise before your trip, including airport parking.

Maybe, you haven’t thought about it yet, but if you want to save money, it’s best to book as early as possible.

There are actually quite a few options available, but fear not – here’s a complete guide to Gatwick Airport Parking:

Gatwick Meet and Greet Parking
Arguably the most convenient of all the parking options, Gatwick Meet and Greet parking (sometimes also referred to as Valet Parking) is an option whereby you drive directly to the airport terminal.

There are dedicated meet and greet drop off zones outside the North and South Terminal buildings where you drive up and meet your parking representative. Simply put, you hand over your keys, you make your way directly into the airport terminal and the parking rep takes you car to a safe and secure off site car parking facility nearby.

On your return, once you have made your way through baggage reclaim, you call your rep and when you come out of the terminal building your car is ready and waiting for you, with the parking rep, in the dedicated collection zones.

This car parking option is convenient as you don’t have to drive to an off-site car park, park, and get a courtesy bus back to Gatwick or lug heavy baggage around. You simply get out of your car, unload your luggage and walk straight into the airport. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Families, the elderly and less mobile find Gatwick Meet and Greet Airport Parking particularly favourable, as do those travelling with excess luggage or sports equipment.

Please note, whilst there are many legitimate meet and greet providers, Gatwick Airport recommend using one of their Gatwick Approved Operators. These Operators have been through a rigorous screening processes, must use only Park Mark awarded car parks, and must be Trading Standards Buy With Confidence approved. What’s more, only Gatwick Approved Operators are allowed to operate from the airport terminals.

Short-Stay Car Parks
This parking option is in one of the airport’s own car parks. Situated right in the airport grounds, it’s just a short distance from your car, via an escalator or lift, into the terminal building.

This is usually the most expensive type of airport parking as parking is charged by the hours for the first day and then per day thereafter. Parking in the short-stay car park is suitable for stays of a couple of days, any longer and stays tend not to be cost effective.

Off-Airport Parking
A common airport parking option, off-airport, or Gatwick park and ride, as it is often known is invariably the cheapest.

This involves you driving to a car park a short distance away from Gatwick, usually around a 10-minute drive. Here you check in your vehicle; once that is done you wait for the next courtesy bus to take you to Gatwick Airport – waiting times for shuttle buses vary, some operate every 20 minutes, some companies, such as Cophall Parking, operate an on-demand service.

On your return journey, you wait outside the terminal building for the next available bus which will take you back to the car park. Once at the car park you will need to go to the Reception Desk to release your vehicle.

The elderly and less able sometimes struggle with this parking as they do need to load and unload their baggage from their vehicle onto the bus, and then off again once at the terminal.

If you are considering this airport parking option, do bear in mind that you should leave approximately 30 – 40 minutes travelling time from when you need to check in.

Return Greet Parking
Not overly common, and not many providers offer this service, but this parking is similar to Off-Airport parking, but with a ‘meet and greet’ style twist…

So you would get to the airport in the same way as Off-Airport parking – you drive to the car park and catch the bus back to the airport. However, on your return, your vehicle is ready and waiting for you outside the airport terminal.

On-Airport Long-Stay Parking
This Gatwick parking option isn’t dissimilar to Off-Airport parking, although car parks are closer to the airport, within the airport’s boundary, and therefore the distance from where you park your car to the terminal isn’t too far.

However, do check as some car parks are slightly further away and you’ll need to use a shuttle bus to get to the terminal.

Park and Stay Packages
This car parking option is a consideration if you live a long way from Gatwick and want to travel down the day before, rather than risk motorway delays and diversions.

Park and stay packages can usually be booked with any of the parking options above. In the case of Meet and Greet Airport Parking, you can usually arrange for the parking company to collect your car when you arrive at the airport. Some airport hotels, usually those a short distance from Gatwick, offer on-site parking.

Whatever type of parking you choose, it’s advisable to book it as soon as you can to get the best possible price.

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