Airport Car Parks in Glasgow and Edinburgh
Whether you are leaving to sunny Spain from Edinburgh Turnhouse with your family or on a business trip from Glasgow Prestwick, airport parking becomes a necessity in your busy life. You drive to the airport and need a safe place to leave you car until you get back from wherever you're going. It doesn't matter if it's for a day, 7 days or an entire month. Here's a good guide on car parking at Edinburgh International Airport.
Who Needs Aiport Parking?
You may find car parks in airports useful if:
- You have an early flight, live a few hours' drive from the airport and don't want to wake up in the middle of the night to catch your flight. In this case, you drive to the airport the evening before your flight and check in one of the several airport hotels in Glasgow or Edinburgh. The same applies when your departure time falls during rush hours. After you park the car, simply use the airport's transfer shuttles to get to the departures terminal.
- You are a frequent flyer and cannot ask friends or family to drive you to the airport 10 times (or more) a month. Some parking operators offer memberships which means you can get a good bargain.
- You travel with family, children, a large group or a lot of luggage and taking the train, taxi or aiport shuttle turns out to be too expensive and simply too much hussle.
What You Need To Know About Parking Your Car At Airport
Long-term Parking vs Short-term Parking
The airports in Edinburgh and Glasgow are no different to London's Gatwick, Heathrow and Luton (except for size). They have two types of airport car parking areas: on-airport and off airport.
- The on-airport parking is a parking zone located inside the airport perimeters, usually administered by the airport management. The advantage of parking your car in an on-airport parking area is that it takes 5 minutes to get from your car to the departures terminal. But this option is expensive and the security is not that good. Which brings me to my next point.
- Off-airport car parks are located 1-4 miles from the airports and are managed by private companies. They're surrounded by high-level fences, CCTV camera surveillance systems and 24 hour patrols. Transfer shuttles are provided every 15-30 minutes to and from the airport terminals (although you should take 90 mins error margins in case the shuttles experience probems).
As a general rule, on-airport sites are long-stay car parks (2 weeks or more) while off-airport sites are designed as short-stay car parks for short breaks and business trips.
Who Provides Airport Parking Services?
There are three private companies that offer on and off airport parking in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
- BCP Airport Parking was founded at London Gatwick airport 30 years ago. They now provide on and off airport car parking services all over UK. They offer both short and long term car parking, security enclosures and 24-hour surveillance for off-airport areas and regular security patrols and public access for on-airport zones. Transport to and from the terminals is insured nonstop.
- NCP Flightpath is the official car parking partner of most UK arports. Their on-airport parking areas have several thousands places and are mostly designed as long-stay parking areas. Transfers from the parking area to the aiport terminal run every 10 minutes. Depending on the airport, there is a minim stay period of 3-8 days. Trailers are usually not allowed but vans are.
- ABC Holiday Extras offers on and off airport parking with 24 hour security and chauffeur services at extra cost. The company was founded 24 years ago and is now one of the largest in the UK.
Glasgow Airport Parking
- Glasgow Flightpath is a good on-airport parking site. It is perfect for long stays, 4 days minimum, has CCTV, security fencing and is frequently patrolled.
- For short breaks, BCP Q-Park Glasgow Airpark, an off airport parking zone is a good option. It has barrier control and CCTV.
- For those on a budget, Holiday Extras (off airport parking placed 1.5 miles from the airport) has the lowest rates. It offers on demand transfers and is quite safe.
- For trailer or van parking your only option is Parksafe Glasgow (off-airport carpark), 1 mile away from the airport. It has CCTV cameras and is patrolled by security guards.
Edinburgh Airport Parking
- Edinburgh's Turnhouse has Flightpath (on-airport long-stay parking), with a 4 day minimum stay, CCTV, security fencing and frequently patrolled.
- For shorter stays, you have a more expensive but safer option (Secure Air Parks, around 500 meters away from the airport) and also a cheaper, but still safe solution: Holiday Extras (1.5 miles from the airport).
Car Parking Quotes and Cost
Prices for airparking, in any given period of the year, in both Glasgow's Prestwick and Edinburgh's Turnhouse vary as follows:
- Price for short-term parking (3 to 7 days) varies from £5 to £7 per day.
- Price for medium stays (10 to 21 days) is around £3.5 per day.
- Longer stays (over 21 days) costs £3 per day (if you book in advance). The gate price may be as much as double.
Discounts are available for groups (15 cars or more).
For an added fee, you can acquire the Meet&Greet Parking service, which means that a certified insured chauffeur (valet) meets you at a certain time (say 60 mins before checkin opens) in front of the terminal building. You give him your keys and he parks it in an off-airport area. When your return flights land, you simply call him and he brings your car at the arrivals terminal.
Personally, I wouldn't opt for the Meet&Greet Parking service unless the off-airport car park has been tried and tested. I'd like to know that my car is being parked in a secure, safe area (which I can see with my own eyes). Also, it's one thing letting the letting the valet drive a few hundred yards to park the car, and it's quite another giving him keys to drive a few miles.
You can book a car place (or several, if you need to) online, and at railway and city centre locations across the UK. The best thing to do is book in advance, because the prices are cheaper by as much as 50%.
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