What to Know about On-Site and Off-site Airport Parking

You’ve been planning your holiday for quite some time now and have likely considered a host of different aspects that can help your trip run smoothly.

You may have come across airport parking, and as there are two major options available to you, it can be important to do some research to determine which will be the best selection. These are on-site and off-site airport parking, so let’s take a closer look at them now.

A brief look at the on-site airport parking

In order for supply to meet demand, when you fly from a specific airport, they are likely to operate their own parking garage. This will be close to their terminals and offer daily, short-term and long-term parking facilities to suit the needs of a range of travellers.

Many major airports have gone beyond the standard car park and now have large, often confusing, structures instead. Understandably, when using these facilities, you will have to pay a fee – and this can be pretty hefty depending on the location, the duration necessary, and much more.

Why choose on-site parking?

There are a host of pros to consider when selecting on-site parking, such as:

  • Express shuttles
  • Security guards
  • Familiarity
  • Proximity
  • Trust

There are downsides, however, such as the price point, popularity (there are so many travellers using these facilities that traffic can be an issue) and availability. Many people find the process of using on-site airport parking expensive and stressful – and this is largely the reason why the alternative of off-site airport parking was initially created.

Why consider off-site airport parking over traditional options

Off-site parking is a great way to negate the costs and stress of on-site options, but these will typically be located away from the airport’s grounds. Off-site parking will of course come with a fee, but this can be significantly lower.

The advantages of off-site parking

  • A cheaper alternative
  • Parking spots can be reserved
  • A more personalised experience
  • Valet services
  • Top-level security
  • Car wash facilities
  • Car checkups
  • Luggage help
  • Electrical charging of vehicles

Different facilities will offer varying services, so be sure to check out what’s on offer before booking.

How do the facilities on offer differ?

As you can see, there are some fairly obvious differences between the two, but on the face of it, there are also similarities. Both options have security for instance, but this actually looks very different when you take a closer look.

For example, on-site parking will typically have well-lit facilities and security guards, but off-site car parks typically have the additional protection of fencing. As the grounds are often smaller, they can be easier to monitor and manage too, meaning that travellers can rest easy while they are having the holiday of their dreams.

Another similarity is that both will have staff in some capacity, but there is likely to be a significant difference in the way you interact with them. As on-site parking typically services thousands of travellers every day across multiple parking levels, there will likely be toll-booth operators and similar, but you may find it difficult to track anyone down.

With off-site parking, however, dedicated staff are hired to cater to your needs and assist you should you run into any issues. There is a better focus on customer service, so you will get a personalised check-in, assistance with your luggage and more that larger facilities simply won’t provide.

There are also differences in shuttles to consider when deciding between these two options. With on-site airport parking, you will be picked up and dropped off by a well-appointed shuttle that won’t take too long to get either to or near your terminal, but it is likely to accommodate a decent number of holidaymakers and require you to load and unload yourself.

With on-site shuttles, these will typically be just as nice, albeit smaller, and you will get help with heavy luggage to ensure everything runs smoothly. The journey may take longer, but you will get to where you need to be with support and little fuss.

On-site shuttles will often run on a schedule, so may find yourself waiting around at either the parking facility or the airport, whereas off-site shuttles run on demand so you’ll have minimal waiting times.

In instances where you may be required to wait, many will provide indoor waiting rooms that have washrooms, air-conditioning and more to ensure you are as comfortable as possible before you get picked up.

Make the process simpler by using comparison sites

The lead-up to your holiday is often stressful as you get everything in place, not to mention expensive as all of the costs begin to add up. There are ways you can minimise both the effort you have to put in and your expenditure, and a great tool to have at your disposal is a comparison site.

When flying from a major UK airport like Heathrow, it’ll be worthwhile to check to find the cheapest possible off-site parking options available to you.

You can book directly from here in just a few clicks too, which makes this platform even more attractive when you’re hoping to get things done quickly and with little fuss.

What option will be best for your needs?

You may feel like an on-site car park will be more reliable as it is often affiliated with your airport and that the reduced travel times will be worthwhile due to the proximity of the car park to the terminals.

While this is definitely a consideration, it can be a good idea to remember that off-site parking is privately owned and operated, and these types of facilities have been designed to improve the traditional services that many people find lacking (such as security and assistance).

With the host of positive aspects to offsite parking and the fact that the often better facilities are cheaper, this can be a much better choice overall.

For a more user-focused experience that will minimise stress and get your holiday off to the right start (and a strong finish), there are a lot of features to love about off-site parking.

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