Why Do Airport Car Park Prices Change?

Car Park

Why Do Airport Car Park Prices Change? Janice Mital, Cardiff

Our Answer

Although airport parking prices appear to rise and fall, there are four consistent factors that determine the price of parking. If you book with these points in mind, you will certainly get the best deals for airport parking every time. The prices depend on:

1. How Far In Advance You book

When it comes to booking airport parking, it pays to be prepared. The further in advance you book, the cheaper parking will be. This is because car parks base their prices upon a yield system where the greater availability there is, the lower the price per space. As spaces fill up, prices start to increase. Essential Travel, for example, has shown that you can save as much as 60% on the price by booking far in advance.

2. When You Book

The availability of parking has a noticeable effect on the price you will pay. During popular travel times (Christmas, New Years, bank holidays), the rates are likely to be much higher. The reason for this is that when the demand for airport parking goes up, so do the prices. If you can avoid going on holiday during the busiest times of the year, you will find the airport car parks to be substantially cheaper - this applies to most travel products, like flights and hotels.

3. Duration Of Your Holiday

The longer your holiday, the cheaper your daily rate will be. When leaving your car for longer than a weekend, go to a long stay parking venue that specialises in extended periods. This will give you the best daily rate.

However, you may find it worth paying more for the convenience of an onsite car park.

4. Where You Make Your Booking & Special Deals

Many airport parking providers offer a lowest price guarantee. Looking for claims like this are your best bet for ensuring you get the cheapest deal. A good price guarantee will normally be backed up with a promise. Essential Travel's price promise, for example, states that if you find a cheaper rate, you'll be able to park for free. Choosing a super saver deal on your parking, where available, will also give you a lowest price for that particular car park, but be aware that super saver deals won't allow you to make any changes to the booking. What you save in price you lose in flexibility.

Finally, look out for hidden booking fees which aren't announced until later in the booking process. Essential Travel recently opted to remove all its credit card fees and reduce all cancellation penalties, but few other providers do this, so be sure to do your research beforehand!

Last Updated: October 2010