Where airport car parking can cost more than your holiday

Emma Woollacott
Stansted airport by twilight, London, UK. See my similar photos:
Stansted airport by twilight, London, UK. See my similar photos:



Britain has the most expensive airport parking in the world, with some people spending more than the cost of the holiday itself.

A report from parking app JustPark has revealed that London City has the highest charges in the world, at an eye-watering £315 a week.

Even when booked in advance, a week's parking at London City costs twice as much as at New York's JFK Airport, and nearly three times the cost of parking at Tokyo International Airport.

And London City isn't an isolated example, with seven out of the world's ten most expensive airport car parks located in the UK.

"We've long known that airport parking is overpriced across the country, but all the same these new revelations are remarkable. Finding that seven of the world's ten most expensive airports are here in the UK shows the extent of the problem we are facing," says Anthony Eskinazi, founder of JustPark.

"When people are paying more for their airport parking than their flights, something needs to change."

And it's not just holiday-makers that are paying dear - it's their friends and family too. People using the short-term car parks to pick up relatives are paying £15 for 1-2 hours at London City and £12 at Heathrow.

Similar short-term-stay charges are also affecting taxi drivers and valet parking companies, who have recently complained about price rises at Stansted and Leeds Bradford Airport.

Just Park, of course, believes it has the solution for holidaymakers: renting parking spaces through its app instead. It says it has more than 200 homeowners near Heathrow, for example, renting out their driveways for as little as £21.50 per week. Other sites, such as YourParkingSpace and Park On My Drive, offer the same service.

The idea's been endorsed by the government, with communities secretary Eric Pickles commenting in 2013: "Councils should be welcoming common sense ways that help hard-working people park easier and cheaply and for families to make some spare cash."

It does, of course pay to be cautious. You'll need to be sure that the space is secure, especially if the car's being left for a week or more - though an underground space or a garage may be available. You'll also need to consider how you get from the parking space to the airport - while more distant parking places will come cheaper, you may need to factor in a pricey cab ride.

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