Drivers facing ‘sky-high charges’ for airport parking, RAC finds

Drivers facing ‘sky-high charges’ for airport parking, RAC finds
Friends and family driving loved ones to or from UK airports are being warned by the RAC to be aware of the 'sky-high charges' they could face.

The call comes after research from the motorist’s champion revealed drivers risk paying six times more per minute to park than it costs to make a mobile phone call home while abroad.

According to the data, London Luton Airport is the most expensive in the country for motorists to pick someone up from arrivals.

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It costs an incredible £7 to park your car here for 40 minutes, equivalent to 17.5p per minute.

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London Luton Airport is also the most expensive per minute for drivers opting to wait in their car, with charges of £3 for 10 minutes and £1 per minute thereon.

Birmingham International Airport is next on the list of the priciest to make a pick-up, where it costs £4.70 to park for up to 60 minutes.

And it costs £4.50 to park close to the terminal at Stansted Airport, while motorists face paying £3.90 for just 15 minutes at Edinburgh Airport.

Those picking up friends or relatives from London Heathrow, meanwhile, have to shell out £3.60 for 30 minutes.

Drivers can also be hit by penalties for overstaying the minimum time period in drop-off zones. A penalty of £50 is levied to those who exceed the 10-minute time allowance at London Stansted, the RAC found.

Despite the high prices at many airports, six of the country's busiest airports still offer some free parking options.

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Several others also offer lower-cost options for drop-off and pick-up parking, though these generally mean pre-booking or leaving the car a lot further from the terminal building.

“While it is true that many airports provide a range of different parking options for drivers depending on how long they expect to stay, motorists need to be aware of the sky-high charges levied by some for parking close to the terminal,” RAC head of external affairs Pete Williams said.

“The message to anyone picking up or dropping off at an airport this summer is simple – check the fees carefully before you set out. Overstaying the maximum permitted drop-off time could end up costing as much as a short-haul flight to Europe.

“If you are concerned you may need to stay longer than the minimum period, then either take plenty of change with you or look for options to park a little further away from the terminal which can save a lot of money.”

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.