“How to get a discount on Gatwick Airport car parking” is a difficult and long-winded question. This article has a particular focus on the ‘miles and points’ angles but there should be an option for everyone below.
Saving money at the official Gatwick Airport parking
The official Gatwick Airport car parks (click here) are certainly not the cheapest option but are certainly convenient.
Earning Avios from offsite airport parking
You will usually save money by parking at an unofficial car park near an airport, although the trade off is a longer transfer time to and from the terminal.
ParkVia is the British Airways Executive Club partner and you earn 5 Avios per £1 when you book via their special BA page. You do not need to be flying with British Airways. The booking page for these offers is here.
Earn Virgin Points from offsite airport parking
Virgin Flying Club has partnerships with Holiday Extras and Purple Parking. Full details are on the Virgin Atlantic site here.
All Flying Club members get a discount – even those on the free Red level – and you will earn 250 to 500 miles depending on what service you book. ‘Meet and Greet’ is available.
Using Clubcard vouchers for offsite airport parking
If you are stuck for a good way of using your Clubcard points now that Avios has left the scheme, Tesco Clubcard has a partnership with airport parking group APH. You can see details of the deal here.
You receive 3 x the face value of your Clubcard vouchers if you redeem them for APH parking.
Do a one-way car rental to the airport for just £1
As I outlined in this article, Europcar will often have one-way UK car rentals for a flat fee of £1, including basic insurance. Most of these are to or from major airports, including Gatwick.
This is not a marketing ploy. The company is trying to save itself money by using you as free labour to get cars back to their original location or to re-allocate vehicles across sites. Why pay a truck to haul a vehicle across the country when you can find someone willing to pay you £1 for the privilege?! The Europcar £1 rental page is here.
Unfortunately, this deal is not currently available. It comes and goes, however, so it is always worth checking back.
It is also worth looking at driive.me which collates similar £1 offers from other car rental groups.
Earning hotel points with ‘hotel and parking’ packages
I wrote an article here on the semi-secret ‘park and fly’ rates offered by IHG Rewards via a little-known corner of their website. This is worth a look. You may find that you can book a hotel room for the night before plus solve your parking problem for less than the cost of an official car park.
The benefit of booking an ‘official’ IHG package rather than using a consolidator like Holiday Extras is that you will earn IHG points for your stay and your elite benefits should be provided if you have status. The booking page is here.
Get an ‘under the carpet’ deal at one of the Gatwick hotels
Some of the hotels at Gatwick sell their parking spaces – with no obligation to book a room – via the JustPark website.
…. or borrow the drive of someone nearby
If you want a really cheap deal, there are also private individuals on JustPark who rent out their driveways. I wrote a full overview of JustPark in this article.
There is no simple answer to the cheapest airport parking at Gatwick Airport or indeed elsewhere in the UK.
It is all about the trade off between the distance from the airport and the price you want to pay. If you would need a hotel the night before anyway, then a ‘hotel plus parking’ package is probably your best option – but remember that these packages, unless booked direct, are unlikely to earn hotel points or give you elite status benefits.
If you are price conscious, then don’t be distracted by the Avios or Virgin Points on offer from various operators like Holiday Extras. Focus on the bottom line price.
If you are spending your employers money, of course, the official Gatwick car parks are the quickest and easiest choice as well as arguably the most secure.