How much is your Gatwick meet and greet really costing?

Do you really know how much your meet and greet parking is going to cost at Gatwick?

Chances are you think you’re going to pay the price quoted but, depending on your choice of parking company, you may actually pay more than advertised!

The reason… Gatwick Airport’s Approved Operator Scheme (AOS) and the enforcement of the ‘no pick-up’ policy on the terminal forecourts.

Prior to the introduction of the Approved Operator Scheme, any meet and greet parking company operating at Gatwick was able to collect and return customers’ vehicles on the terminal forecourts. However, from the 10 July, the day the AOS was introduced, only Approved Operators can operate from the terminal forecourts and special areas within the short-stay multi-storey car parks – non-approved operators have to conduct meets and greets from within the multi-storey car park, at a fee.

Approved Operators are charged an access fee of £3 per vehicle movement to operate from the airport terminals and the approved areas of the multi storey car parks. This charge is passed on to the customers and paid at the time of booking.

Non-approved meet and greet parking companies are charged a discounted multi-storey parking rate of:

  • £1.30 per movement (up to 10 minutes)
  • £2.00 per movement (10 – 20 minutes)
  • Longer than 20 minutes and the regular tariff will apply.

The above fees are applicable for six months from the introduction of the AOS. After the six-month period it is expected that the regular tariffs will apply of:

  • £3 for up to 30 minutes
  • £6 for durations of 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Many non-approved operators are failing to include car park exit fees in the customers’ bookings, and failing to inform them that a fee will need to be paid in addition to their original booking fee.

In a survey today, I could only find one non-approved meet and greet parking company that made any mention of the car park exit fee (Just Valet Parking), which, when added to the original cost of the parking, made the non-approved operator one of the most expensive.

Here’s a breakdown of the fees I found – parking dates used were 1 – 8 August (all arrival and return times used were identical):

Approved Operators

  • Help Me Park – £70 including Airport Access Fee
  • I Love Meet and Greet – £76.50 quoted – adds the Airport Access Fee of £6 at time of payment making a total of £82.50
  • Tudor Rose – £72 including Airport Access Fee

Non-Approved Operator

  • Just Valet Parking – £77 quoted, however, an extra £3 car park exit fee, in addition to the £77 cost, needs to be paid when leaving the car park. Customers can find out by reading the company’s about page – click to enlarge:

Just Valet Parking Gatwick meet and greet return charge

Things to be aware of when booking your meet and greet

Be aware that if you are booking with a non-approved meet and greet parking company, a car park exit fee, based on the length of time your car has been in the car park, will need to be paid by you.

Also be aware that many of the non-approved meet and greet parking companies have not updated their meet and greet locations on their websites. If they’re not an approved operator, they won’t be able to collect or return your car to the airport terminal.

To find out which Gatwick meet and greet companies are Approved Operators visit here: http://www.gatwickairport.com/business/opportunities/approved-operator-scheme/

Don’t forget, that in order to be accepted into the scheme, companies have to be members of the Trading Standards scheme Buy with Confidence – a good way to ensure you’re booking with a reliable company.

If you’ve been caught out by the extra car park exit fee, feel free to add a comment below.

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