Faster and smarter in the app... Download now

UK holidaymakers waste £100m on airport parking

Paying for airport parking on the day is set to cost UK holidaymakers £100 million this year

With summer holidays just around the corner and Covid restrictions a thing of the past, Brits are gearing up for their next trip away. But with the rising cost of living taking a toll on travellers' wallets, people need to be savvier than ever before.

Our latest market research has revealed that travellers in the UK waste nearly £100 million by booking airport parking at the gate on the day of travel, rather than in advance. We asked 1000 recent UK airport travellers whether they bought their airport parking in advance or on the day – and while 61% said they booked parking in advance, and another 33% that they didn't park at the airport, 6% of travellers said they still paid on the day.

Travel insurance bubble

Enjoy a better start to your


Pre-book your airport parking for a relaxing start to your holiday

Find out more

That's a lot less than three years ago, when we last ran the same survey and found nearly one in five holidaymakers planned to book their parking on the day. But with around 17 million travellers parking at airports every year and savings of nearly £100 each available by booking that parking in advance, that's still almost £100 million being wasted this year on expensive gate prices that could have gone towards people's holidays.

Hugo Loudon, Chief Financial Officer at Holiday Extras said,

"With the cost of living crisis in the news this holiday season, most of us are going to be watching the pennies when we go away. One of the easiest savings anyone can make is booking their airport parking in advance rather than driving up and paying the gate rate on the day. Even if you're going away in the next couple of weeks there's still time to book ahead – last month alone, UK holidaymakers saved on average £94 on their airport parking by booking ahead instead of turning up and paying on the day.

"6% of holidaymakers tell us they're still paying for their parking on the day. That's far fewer than last time we asked before the travel lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 – but still almost a million people who are parking almost a million cars at airports this summer for the gate rate and costing them nearly an extra £100m they could have saved to spend on holiday. It's almost always cheaper to book ahead, even so close to the summer break, so if you're planning to park at the airport this summer check now before you pay the drive-up price."

Why book your airport parking with us?

  • Most of our customers saved at least 70% on their airport parking last year by booking ahead vs the price they'd have paid on the day*.
  • We're Never Beaten on Price, so you can be sure you won't find the same airport parking anywhere else for less.
  • We're the UK market leader when it comes to airport parking so we have the widest range of spaces available anywhere.
  • We've been helping people find the best airport parking for almost 40 years, so you can be confident we've looked after millions of cars just like yours before.
  • We offer the most flexible cancellation and amendment terms for your parking with Flextras.

More money-saving tips

All our advice and guides for saving money on your next trip.

*Based on analysis of 1.1 million Holiday Extras airport parking customers in 2021 who booked an airport parking product which advertises a gate rate, comparing the price each customer paid for their parking through us to either the gate rate for that car park, where a gate rate is available, or if a gate rate is not available for that car park the cheapest gate rate available at the same airport. Data calculated 1st Jan to 31st Dec 2021.