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Car Parking Facilities at Heathrow

By Mark Felix
Car parking facilities at Heathrow airport are, as you might expect, some of the best resourced anywhere, with a great deal of choice on offer. With nearly 70 million passengers a year, half a million aircraft serving 180 destinations and organised over separate terminals, Heathrow is a giant amongst airports. The recent opening of Terminal 5 has only resulted in one of the world's busiest airports becoming an even more dynamic machine. As a result, car parking is not only an absolute necessity, but with space increasingly a premium it can be expensive unless you plan in advance.

Advance Booking

As with most airports, parking at Heathrow is much less expensive when booked in advance. Typically, advanced booking for car parking at Heathrow will net you savings of up to 70%, although it might be possible to lower the cost of advance booked further by considering one of the several hotels at Heathrow which provide free parking. Typical advance rates for booking your car into a car park for 7 days costs from £60, and a 14-day car park fee will be around £100.

However, if you shop around and book in advance you can often find that you can book a night's stay at one of the airport hotels for about £50, and this comes with 7, 14 and even up to 21 days' free parking. Imagine being able to arrive the day before your flight, enjoy a night's rest knowing you're already at the airport, and having your car parked for free for up to 21 days, all for £50. This will require you to shop around, book in advance and be able to either arrive one day early, or stay one day later at the end of your holiday, but if you can arrange this, it may well be the cheapest option.

Short Stay Parking

Short stay parking is available for all terminals, including the new Terminal 5, and costs from £2.40 for up to 30 minutes to £7.70 for up to 2 hours. Beyond this, it can become very expensive to remain in the short stay car park, with costs of £45.20 for periods up to 24 hours and for each 24-hour period after that.

Long Stay Parking

The long stay car parking facilities at Heathrow are available all year round at a price of £15.70 per day for any period up to five days. For stays over five days, the rate is £15.10 per day. There is a free coach transfer service from these car parks to the terminals, with services to Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 5 running every 10 minutes, and every 12 minutes for Terminal 4. These long stay car parks include frequent patrols as well as high security fencing and 24 hour monitored CCTV.

Other Heathrow Parking Options

There are two possible alternatives to these options available, and this includes the business parking facilities and the valet service. The business car parking service at Heathrow provides long stay parking facilities with a transfer service which is on demand, and with a running time of just 3 minutes compared to the 10-15 minute service which normally runs from the long stay car parks. If you're in a hurry, then this could be a fast option.

The meet and greet or valet options are perhaps the most luxurious and easiest way of arriving, with minimum fuss and hassle and absolutely no need to try to remember where you left your car. The valet service is available for those requiring Terminals 1, 4 or 5 and can, if you wish, include a car cleaning service while you're away.

Imagine arriving at the airport and meeting your valet service representative at the designated place right outside the terminal, and then handing over your keys as you stroll into the terminal just a few feet away. The valet service will then drive your car away for you, parking it in a highly secure parking facility, leaving you nothing more to worry about than making sure you have your passport and that you get on the right plane.

At the end of the trip, you give the valet service a quick call and they will drive your car right up to the terminal to meet you, and hand the keys back over. Should you wish they can even assist you in and out with your luggage. If you dislike the hassle of parking and worrying about leaving your car or finding it again, or have a lot of luggage, elderly or disabled passengers, children or awkward items such as skis, then this can prove to be a real advantage.

For valet parking, a single day costs £12.50, 7 days costs £46.25 and 14 days costs £71.25. As far as car parking facilities at Heathrow are concerned, and especially considering the fact that space is now such a premium, these prices really do represent excellent value for money, and are certain to take a weight off your mind - which is what many of the 67.3 million passengers each year are looking to achieve!

For more information on Heathrow Airport facilities check out Airport Essentials where you will also find parking information on other UK airports.
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