To find a car park close to the airport you will need to research carefully to find the best price. If you are happy to park close to the airport, the car park operator will run a courtesy shuttle bus to and from the airport terminal.
Once you have found a well priced parking option you should compare this price against the long term parking option at the airport and if there is no difference in the price the on airport parking option should be taken. You will find that the security on the airport is usually a lot tighter with a perimeter fence with barriers and very often CCTV. Whereas the security at a independent car park is really down to the car park operator.
Another important factor worth checking is the distance that the off airport car park is from the airport. Some of these car parks can be up to 30 minutes shuttle bus ride from the airport terminal.
Many hotels that are close to airports offer free parking if you spend at least one night in the hotel. This can be an extremely efficient and cost effective method of parking you car close to the airport.
You may find that parking at a hotel car park actually works out cheaper than parking you car at one of the airport car parks, it is also a very comfortable way of preparing for your flight a night before to stay in the hotel followed by a leisurely breakfast prior to your flight.
Basically all car parking at the airports will consist of 4 types, short stay car parking, mid stay car parking, long stay car parking and off site car parking which will be situated near to the airport but not on the airport car parking sites. The costs will vary for all of these and may influence your decision as to which car park to use. Short stay car parks are the most convenient as they are generally are the nearest to the airport but are the most expensive.
Mid stay car parks are generally the best option in terms of distance from the airport terminal and cost. Long stay car parking is a long way from the terminal but the cheapest option in respect of airport car parking. Off site parking is usually via an independent source based several miles outside of the airport car parking facilities.
If you book short stay car parking, mid stay car parking, long term car parking or off site parking you will need to transfer to the airport terminal. Short term car parking, mid term car parking and long car parking will be convenient in that the airport will provide the shuttle bus transfers to the terminals.
You will need to consider the time needed to make this transfer via the shuttle buses. The time of the transfer will depend on which car parking option you select and can range from 15 minutes to an hour so you will need to allow for this when thinking about your check in time. During the very months of the year this could be longer.
The on site car parks have their own shuttle buses operating. There will be several bus stops within each of the options, short stay car park, mid stay car park and long stay car park and you must be very careful to note where exactly you have left your car. The car parking bays will be marked and numbered and so will the bus stops so you will need to make a note of where exactly you have left your car and at which bus stop you got on and off.
When you wish to return to your car after your journey there are many bus stops outside of the arrivals hall from which you can return to your car. Please double check that you have your car parking information with you at that time to ensure you get on the right bus.
Payment for all parking at airports can be made via several options. Car parking can be pre-booked and prepaid by going on line and have your credit or debit card to hand. If you chose to pay for your car parking via this method you must make sure you have the card you have used with you when you travel as this may be required to verify your car parking booking or may even be required to gain entry and / or exit to the airport parking.