So, you’ve got your flights booked and you need a place to park at Heathrow Airport. The good news is that there are plenty of car parks that cater to holiday goers in and around the airport. The only question is, what’s the best Heathrow Airport parking facility?
We’ve compiled the top 5 according to user reviews based on location, quality of service and competitive pricing. Scroll down further and you’ll find more useful info that’ll help you make a decision.Mobile and tablet users just swipe across...
|Car Park Distance (Transfers)||Location|
|All car parks are located in different sections within Heathrow Airport.|
(For Terminals 2 & 3)
Less than half a mile from the terminal building behind the Park Inn Hotel.
(For Terminals 4 & 5)
Less than a mile from the main Terminal 5 building.
|Purple Parking Park & Ride/Plus Terminal 2/3|
169 Brent Rd
Purple Parking Park & Ride/Plus Terminal 5
17 Bath Road
|Transfers are not required with this service as your car is collected from you and returned to you at the airport.||Collection and return directly at the airport.|
|Collection and return directly at the airport.|
Types of Parking at Heathrow Airport
Short Stay (Official Heathrow Airport Parking only)
Heathrow’s Short Stay car parks are located right next to each of the terminals, making it the best option for those who are simply just picking up or dropping off passengers.
You can book online Short Stay parking in advance if you’re staying for at least 2 hours. If you’re going to stay for less than 2 hours, then you just drive up and pay at the car park.
It’s also possible to use the Short Stay car parks for longer trips (even for several days) but the price jumps up dramatically if you stay longer than 6 hours. In this case, Long Stay car parks are better on price.
Short Stay Fast Track (Official Heathrow Airport Parking only)
If you would like an even shorter walk to your terminal, the Fast Tracking option is available for Short Stay car parks at terminals 2 and 5.
The Short Stay Fast Track can be a little bit or a lot more expensive than ordinary the Short Stay option, depending on how long you stay for.
This is because their tariffs are calculated in longer durations (e.g. 0-2 hours, 2-5 hours, 5-9 hours etc.) so even if you only stay for the shortest duration of each time bracket, you still have to pay the full price of that time bracket.
This is the most popular and cost effective option for trips that are 2 days or longer. If you don’t mind waiting a bit longer for shuttle buses and transfer times as opposed to the pricier premium services, then Long Stay parking is the best option for you.
It’s wise to book at least a week in advance because Long Stay car parking spaces often get filled up pretty quick, so if you leave it too close to your date of arrival, there may not be any more spaces available for your selected dates.
Here’s a handy tip for those who use the Official Heathrow Airport Parking:
“If you’re dropping off or picking up passengers, you can use the Long Stay car park for 2 hours free of charge. Re-entry to Heathrow Long Stay parking is prohibited within 24 hours.”
Conveniently located closer to the terminals than the Long Stay car parks, Business Parking cuts transfer times and shuttle buses run more frequently. Although it’s called “business” parking, these car parks are available to all travellers.
Meet & Greet
Most Heathrow Airport parking companies offer a Meet and Greet service which you drop your car and keys off at your designated terminal’s Meet & Greet point. A driver will take your vehicle to a private car park where it’s kept for the duration of your travels. On your return, you simply pick up your keys at the Meet & Greet point where you’ll be shown the location of your vehicle.
You will need to provide details of your departure and arrival flights, and call the company when you’re due to arrive so they can prepare for your arrival. The Meet and Greet service is ideal if you don’t want to walk further or take a shuttle bus to your terminal from the car park.
The most premium and express service of all, is the Valet Parking offered by some companies including the Official Heathrow Airport Parking for all terminals (operates 05:00 to 22:30 seven days a week).
You simply drop your car off to a driver at the Terminal Forecourt on arrival, where it’ll be waiting for you at the same place on your return (unless you designate a different terminal on your return). Car cleaning options may or may not be included in the price of valet parking (in the case of OHAP, it’s an added option).
This service is ideal if you’re pressed for time, you want your journey to be as stress free as possible, or you simply want a more personalised 1st class service.
If you want a more modern and different transfer experience rather than taking the shuttle bus, the revolutionary on-demand pods offered by the Official Heathrow Airport Parking (terminal 5 only) will cut transfer times and take you from the business car park to terminal 5 in around 4-6 minutes.
The pods are normally immediately available but if not, you just have to wait under 1 minute for them. Bear in mind that although you can just drive up on the day of your departure, it’s often cheaper to book POD Parking online in advance.
Which Heathrow Airport Parking Facility to Choose?
1. The Official Heathrow Airport Parking (OHAP)
Best For: Location, range of options and flexible rates.
This is our number 1 choice for parking at Heathrow Airport. The wide range of services available and quality of their facilities just trumps the competition. Where price is concerned, they have the best short term rates and very competitive long term rates.
Location wise, all OHAP’s car parks are located within the airport vicinity (see map below), making them the most convenient. The only other rival car park that can compete is NCP’s Heathrow Flightpath that serves terminals 2 & 3.
There are even many electric vehicle charging points located at the Short Stay car parks, and the ultra modern pods at terminal 5 is a great concept, which they’ll hopefully bring to the other terminals in the future.
2. NCP Heathrow
Best For: Location and competitive rates.
Although NCP Heathrow doesn’t have the same wide range of options as OHAP or Purple Parking, what they do offer is a simple and straightforward long stay solution with good parking rates.
The location of their Heathrow Flightpath car park (number 1 on the map below) that serves terminals 2 & 3, is especially convenient. See the map below of both their car park locations.
Plus, if you sign up for their NCP online membership, you can usually get discounted parking rates.
3. Purple Parking Heathrow
Best For: Range of options and competitive rates.
The only other Heathrow parking company that offers a wide range of services is Purple Parking, who also has competitive rates (albeit no membership discount).
Although the location of their car parks are a bit further out, especially the one serving terminals 2 and 3, all of their prices include transfers to and from your designated terminal in their own branded minibus.
Starting out as a family business in 1925, Purple Parking have grown to be one of the biggest names in the industry. However, a sizeable proportion of their customers have expressed their disappointment in the company’s customer service and timeliness.
4. Meteor Heathrow
Best For: Personal and high quality Meet & Greet service.
Travelling is often exhausting and some people would prefer to pay a premium for more convenience and less stress. This is where Meteor comes in with their Meet & Greet service for all terminals at Heathrow airport.
It’s regarded as one of the best of its kind around Heathrow Airport. This is the only service they specialize in, which is no wonder why they’re so good at it.
5. Maple Manor Heathrow
Best For: Meet & Greet service with a guaranteed option.
Maple Manor’s Meet & Greet service works the same as any other, but they offer a ‘guaranteed’ option too which basically eliminates the prospect of you having to wait around for your car as you arrive at the airport.
While we agree that a bespoke service like a meet and greet, shouldn’t involve you having to wait, in reality, there can be delays whether due to miscommunication, unexpected traffic and flight changes. The guaranteed option acts as an insurance in regards to these events.