Page last updated at 01:36 GMT, Friday, 14 May 2010 02:36 UK

Airport car parking costs labelled 'ridiculously high'

Manchester airport car park
Which? Car checked prices of on-site and off-site parking

Car parking charges at some UK airports are "ridiculously high", according to a consumer watchdog.

A survey conducted by Which? Car magazine has revealed big differences in the price of seven days' parking at major terminals across the country.

Heathrow's business car parking was the costliest option at £88.70, while the cheapest was Manchester Airport's park-and-ride facility at £19.84.

The survey looked at prices at 15 of the UK's busiest flight hubs.

Details of charges to park at airport car parks were gathered, along with charges for a range of options to park at sites away from the airport.

These included park-and-ride facilities, parking tied in with a stay at a local hotel the night before a flight, or valet services where a company representative meets a client at the airport and drives his or her car to an off-site car park.

Belfast International, Liverpool, and Bristol airports were found to offer among the cheapest on-site seven-day parking options at £23, £27.99 and £29 respectively.

Manchester Airport offers cheapest seven-day parking at £19.84
Heathrow business parking is most expensive at £88.70
Belfast International, Liverpool and Bristol also among cheapest for seven-day parking

They also provide some of the least expensive off-site deals with charges at Belfast International starting at £21, Bristol £23.50 and Liverpool £23.99.

Heathrow's costliest seven-day parking was £88.70, £35 more expensive than its cheapest spaces, which were £53.95 for an off-airport option, according to the survey.

The cheapest spaces at Manchester and Heathrow were both offered by the Purple Parking firm.

A spokesperson for Which? Car said: "Travellers from the UK's major airports now have more choice than ever.

"However, this means prices can range from sublimely low to ridiculously high.

"And just because you pay for a particular service, such as meet-and-greet, it's not guaranteed to take the strain out of your journey."

A spokeswoman for BAA, which runs Heathrow, said: "BAA's car park rates start from £5.99 per day with no hidden credit card or booking fees and offer customers safe, secure and convenient parking nearest to the terminal.

"Our commitment to passengers was demonstrated recently when all BAA airports waived overstay car parking charges for those passengers delayed as a result of the ash cloud disruption."

Cheapest on-site Cheapest off-site
Heathrow 63.80 Long Stay Supersaver 53.95 Purple Parking
Gatwick 38.90 Summer Special Supersaver 41.95 Airparks
Stansted 36.70 Long Stay Supersaver 50.00 Orange Park and Ride
Belfast Int'l 23.00 Killead Airlodge Parking 21.00 Karl Airport Parking
Birmingham 44.64 Long Stay 25.92 APH Birmingham
Bristol 29.00 Bristol Silver Zone - Non-Flexible 23.50 Park & Fly Bristol
Cardiff 38.57 Cardiff Long Stay n/a n/a 24.00 The Highwayman
East Midlands 29.99 East Midlands Long Stay Car Park 7 33.00 Airparks East Midlands
Edinburgh 33.80 Long Stay Supersaver 20.50 Edinburgh Park and Fly
Glasgow Int'l 31.40 Long Stay Supersaver 23.99 Parksafe
Liverpool 27.99 Liverpool Airport Long Stay - Price Buster 23.99 Liverpool APL
Luton 54.99 Long Term parking Supersaver 39.99 Airparks Luton
Manchester 29.99 Long Stay 19.84 Purple Park & Ride
Newcastle 36.99 Park and Fly 37.95 Airparks Newcastle
Southampton 45.90 Long Stay Supersaver n/a n/a
AVERAGE 37.71 31.40
Source: Which? Car

BBC website readers have been sending us their comments on airport car park prices. Here is a selection of them.

I used to pass Gatwick on the train every day and the car parks were always full. It doesn't matter what they charge to park, people will still want to park there. We're all mugs.
Ashley Young, Reading, UK

At Luton you have to pay a pound just to drop someone off. It's not the amount, it's the principle. They just keep thinking of ways to rip us off.
David, Northampton, UK

Sorry, no sympathy from me. Flying means high carbon emissions and driving to the airport adds yet more carbon emissions. I think the high charges for parking are absolutely justified.
Sarah, Durham, UK

It is not only the parking charges that are high. East Midlands Airport add £1.50 onto every parking fee paid with a credit card, regardless of the amount of the parking fee itself. For anyone just arriving into the country with no local currency, this is just a rip off.
Kenneth Brattey, Estepona, Spain

Your airports look like a bargain to me. Philadelphia is the same as Heathrow for remote parking, and goes up to £95 per week for closer ones.
Bill Atkins, Rehoboth Beach, USA

Alternatively, why not do what some selfish people do and park outside my house for a week? They then get the train from St Albans to Luton or Gatwick. When it costs more to park than to fly, I'm sometimes not surprised.
James Craigen, St Albans, UK

Airport parking fees only seem high because the cost of flights is so ridiculously low that it hurts to pay more to park.
Tim Hewison, Frankfurt, Germany

I feel that its all about shopping around - I booked 25 days parking at Heathrow in July / August and have only paid £47.
Andrew Limbert, Derby, UK

I sell my driveway to people going on holiday through a website for a massively reduced price. If a lot more people did this, airports would be forced to reduce their parking fees.
Tim Robins, Solihull, UK

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Yahoo! UK and Ireland 'Encroaching' Ash Cloud Threatens UK Skies - 3 hrs ago
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Daily Star Ash cloud shuts part of UK airspace - 5 hrs ago Volcanic ash risk and British Airways strikes threaten more air misery - 7 hrs ago
Observer Airport parking charges are ridiculously high, says Which? - 43 hrs ago

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