Airport parking - How secure is your car?

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In recent years, airport parking has become a popular choice for holiday makers instead of booking a taxi for airport transfers in the UK. After a well deserved break abroad, you want nothing more than to be in the comfort of your own home. Some people who choose airport parking will opt for this as it is cheaper than getting a taxi to and from the airport. In general the further away you live from an airport, the more the taxi fare, so the best solution would be to drive there yourself and pay to park near the airport if not on the grounds.

As competition for airport parking continues to increase, the prices are driven down, so it’s worth shopping around as there are many discounts available. Also the earlier you book, the cheaper the cost as turning up on the day can cost as much as 70% more than a pre-made booking. If you have an early morning flight or evening flight, you can also get package deals that include a stay at a nearby hotel. This can come in handy if you live some distance from the airport or want minimum disruption because of small children.
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What happens when it all goes wrong?**
In the last year alone there have been many reports and complaints about things going wrong when you pay to leave your car in a ‘secure’ on or off airport car park. Here are some examples:

  • Cars being taken without permission for daily trips to the supermarket
  • Uninsured drivers being hired as valet parking attendants
  • Underage drivers being hired when it is illegal to do so
  • Cars taken without permission and then crashed
  • Thefts and break-ins from parked cars

There was also an incident at the beginning of the year when a secure car park caught fire and a few cars were completely burnt. An investigation is still pending but it would seem that a faulty car sparked the blaze and therefore the cars around it also caught fire.

It’s worrying to know that hundreds and thousands of people use these car parks but no-one knows their rights and what is actually covered if an incident involving your car was to take place. Check the terms and conditions thoroughly to see what exactly they are liable for; you may have an old car that you think is not a target but you might be surprised. Check the company’s insurance policy and check your own car insurance policy to see if your car is covered if it is in a secure car park.

There isn’t much you can do to prevent these things from happening but the most secure method of airport parking is when you keep your keys with you. Try not to choose car parking where you need to hand over your keys; there have been complaints of cars being damaged due to this and cars being taken for a joyride. You may have to pay a little extra to park your car yourself but in the long run you can have peace of mind knowing that the keys are with you and you know where you parked your car.
 

gices
gices Published 17 Nov 2010

Driver SOS (UK)

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