Airport parking pricier than flights

When it costs more to park your car at the airport than buy a flight ticket, something's wrong. And there are HUGE cost differences between pre-booked prices and turn-up-and-pay.

According to the Consumers' Association, parking at Heathrow can cost around £66 for a week if you book in advance. But turn up on the day and that £66 can hit £120. An 81.8% rise!

Park - and pay lots

But if you want to save even more money, look to local private car parks. "Glasgow Airport's cheapest deal was nearly twice the price of Airparks, four miles away," Which? Travel discovered. However, not all independent parks are cheaper. Which? found good deals, for example, at Stansted, Luton and Birmingham airports.

However depending on where you are, you don't have to pay anything at all. You could - though Which? Travel does not specifically endorse this - park in a safe private street. Admittedly many will be parking controlled. But not all. Then, take the train for a few short hops. Cost? Nada.

Be flexible

But if you want the security of a car park, look at Airport Parking Shop, a specialist search website that compares prices online and includes around 100 car parks at more than 20 UK airports. Other sites like Essential Travel also offer deals, guaranteeing the best price, so they claim.

Then there are seats from just £1 from EasyBus - if you're going from Luton to London's Earl Court. In other words, there are plenty of options. But it takes a bit of research and, frankly, it's never going to be as comfortable or convenient as turning up at the airport car park in your own car. That costs.

But do read the small print of any agreement, especially if it's a private park. If a flight is late, could you be charged an extra day if the plane come in after midnight, for example?