West Sussex Trading Standards issues Gatwick meet and greet advice

If you’re flying from Gatwick this summer and plan to book meet and greet parking, please take heed of West Sussex Trading Standards’ advice to always use a Gatwick Approved company.

The warning comes following the discovery of more than 1,000 cars parked in a muddy field; cars whose owners thought were in the “secure” car parks promised on the websites of five rogue parking companies.

Travellers are advised to:

  • Always use a company that has Buy With Confidence approval
  • Check that the company displays its address on its website – this is a legal requirement
  • When booking, pay with a credit card for additional protection
  • Take a photo of all four sides of your vehicle to assist you with any disputes about damage to your car when you return from holiday
  • Make a note of your mileage when handing your car over
  • Never leave valuables inside your car.

David Barling, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “We take any reports of rogue trading, false advertising and damage to property very seriously and our Trading Standards team, as always, are working hard to make sure those involved are held responsible for their actions.”

Richard Sargeant, Trading Standards Team Manager, said: “When using airport parking consumers are handing over the keys to often the second most expensive item they own, but do little in research before they do so.

“Use a Buy With Confidence approved parking scheme to ensure your peace of mind when off enjoying your holidays this summer.”

The following Gatwick meet and greet parking companies are Gatwick Approved:

Can you really trust your Gatwick meet and greet parking company?

What happens if you book meet and greet parking and your driver doesn’t turn up?

Unfortunately, that’s a problem that can occur when you don’t check the credentials of your meet and greet parking company – it’s a problem that happened to Graham and forced him to pay for his parking twice!

According to a review on Ciao, Graham booked 11 days’ parking with Sky One Parking at Gatwick, however, when he arrived at the airport, Sky One wasn’t there to meet him.

When he tried to contact them on the number he was given at the time of his booking, he found it was for a different parking company – apparently, this company gets around 8 to 10 similar calls a month.

An investigation into Sky One Parking revealed that their website is now offline: their mobile number: 07905431629 is switched off; and their landline number: 01293 544111 has an answer phone message stating, “Welcome to airport meet and greet parking services. Sky One parking is part of Airport Parking Services.” You are then asked to leave a message.

In the past, problems with Sky One have been raised, most notably the investigation by the BBC’s Your Money Their Tricks programme, which found that the secure, covered car park promised on the company’s website, was in fact an unsecure, unmanned car park with an open gate.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time, that a Gatwick air traveller has been let down by a meet and greet parking company.

If you are looking for secure, reliable Gatwick meet and greet parking, there is a way to ensure that you get the service and the secure parking that you pay for, and that’s to use a Gatwick Approved Operator.

Gatwick Approved Operators are the only meet and greet parking companies permitted to operate on the terminal forecourts.

These Approved Operators have undergone strict investigation to enable them to meet Gatwick Airport’s criteria to become approved, namely:

  • They must only use Safer Parking, ParkMark approved car parks
    In order to achieve ParkMark status, car parks are inspected by the police to ensure that they offer a safe and secure environment for parked cars. Car parks are inspected annually to ensure security standards are maintained.
  • They must be approved by Trading Standards and awarded its Buy With Confidence accreditation
    Trading Standards only issues its Buy With Confidence award to companies that pass a set of tailored background checks, including:

    • The company’s complaints policy and history
    • The company’s website to ensure that there are no unsubstantiated claims
    • That the company adheres to online trading laws and regulations
    • Ensuring that all staff are CRB checked
    • Checking staffing policies and management practices.

Currently, the following companies have met Gatwick’s strict standards:

  • ABC Gatwick Parking
  • Airparks
  • Airport Parking & Hotels (APH)
  • Cophall Parking
  • ECO Parking
  • Help Me Park
  • I Love Meet & Greet
  • Just Valet Parking
  • Maple Manor
  • Meteor Meet & Greet
  • Ace Meet & Greet
  • Tudor Rose

To ensure you’re booking with a Gatwick Approved Operator, look for the Approved Operator logo.

Gatwick Approved Operator Scheme logo

Don’t take a chance with your car, or risk having to pay for your parking twice, book a Gatwick Approved Operator today!