Airport parking in London: things to know before you go
There are plenty of things to consider when driving your car to the airport and parking it up while you’re away on your trip. Fortunately, we’ve collected a number of popular queries about airport parking in London – and answered them!
How many airports does London have?
There are five airports primarily serving London. Here are the various options you’ll have for jetting off on your travels:
- Heathrow Airport. Based in Hillingdon, West London, the second busiest airport in the world handled more than 80 million passengers in 2018.
- Gatwick Airport. This West Sussex airport sends flights to more destinations than any other UK airport, and is the second most popular in the UK.
- Stansted Airport. Based in Essex, northeast of London, Stansted serves more European destinations than any other UK airport.
- Luton Airport. Based in Bedfordshire to the north of the capital, Luton mostly caters for budget short-haul flights.
- London City Airport. This central airport based in Newham, East London, served more than 4.5 million passengers in 2017 and focuses mainly on business travel.
What are the best car parking options for London Heathrow Airport?
With four busy terminals (Terminal 1 is no longer active), there are several options for parking at London Heathrow depending on how long you’re planning to leave your car.
- Short Stay. Perfect for short trips and located outside each of the four terminals.
- Business Parking. Convenient for a few days’ parking, found close to Terminals 2, 3 and 5.
- Meet and Greet. Leave your car with the team at Short Stay, and they will park it for you.
- Long Stay. Ideal for holidays and longer trips, with a regular shuttle bus service to the terminal.
- Pod Parking. Business parking for Terminal 5 travellers, with transfer by Heathrow Pods.
- Valet Parking. Arrive at the terminal forecourts, and a valet will park your car for you.
Is there free car parking at London airports?
London airports offer some free parking facilities for those wanting to drop off or pick up loved ones.
- London Heathrow Airport. The first two hours in Long Stay parking is free, but you can't return within 24 hours.
- London Gatwick Airport. Parking is free for two hours at the Long Stay car parks, and then normal charges apply.
- London Stansted Airport. Parking is free for the first hour in the Mid Stay car park, £2 for up to two hours, and then daily rates apply.
- London Luton Airport. Parking is free for the first 15 minutes in the Mid-Term car park, and free for the first hour in the Long-Term car park, then normal charges apply.
- London City Airport. Parking is free only for motorbikes and bicycles, with spaces available opposite the turning to the terminal building.
What are the options for car parking at London City Airport?
There are several options for parking at London City Airport.
- On-site parking. Perfect for long-term parking at London City Airport, this car park is only a 5-10 minute walk from the terminal.
- Valet parking. For convenient and hassle-free parking, simply stop at the Valet Drop-Off point, and a valet will park your car for you, saving valuable time while you walk to check-in.
- Pick-up zone. A convenient option for those wanting to drop or collect loved ones from London City Airport, this short stay parking is available for up to 20 minutes.