Price is an important factor when I am booking a short European holiday, and I have often found taxi service to be expensive for travelling to the airport, and in general I prefer to make my own way to places than rely on others.
I have used Airparks in Luton to park my car approx 3 times, and plan to use it again in March. The cost is very reasonable, and the service is excellent (my booking in March for 2 nights was £13.99). I do all my booking online, and the website is very easy to use. You pick the Airparks closest to your airport, give it the dates and times you need the car park between, and it will then give you a choice of which options you want to take (it will generally show you off and on airport parking options). Choose your parking, (you can pay a little extra for parking with the option to cancel it and get a refund) make your payment, and you'll get a confirmation email.
If you need to make a change to your booking (or simply check your booking), you can do all of this online (this may mean you have to pay more if they are significant changes which mean more hours/days needed in the car park), or you can also ring them up if you don't want to use the website.
When you get to the car park, you drive into any of the numbered lanes (remember the number you parked in as you'll need to know it), take your baggage and any thing else you don't want to leave, lock your car and go to the reception desk. They will check your booking and flight details, and they'll put a tag on the key and give it back to you, and tell you to drop into one of the cubby-holes outside the reception which corresponds to the number of the lane you parked in. They will also give you a security tag which you keep with you during your holiday (keep this safe as you'll need it to get your car back!!).
Then, go to the free transfer bus (usually right next to reception) which will take you to the airport, i think they have buses going every 10 minutes or so, so you're never waiting long if you've just missed one. The bus will take you directly to the terminals. Remember which bus stop you got off at, as on your return, that will be the one you need to go back to. Once you come back to Airparks, give the security tag to reception, who will give you your car keys, and tell you where your car is parked. And that's it! All very streamline and simple.
I am not sure about prices for longer stay journeys, but am sure that would be reasonably priced as well, although depending how far you are from the airport, it might be more worth it just getting a taxi.
I have never had any problems with Airparks and thought they were great, I will definitely use them again regularly....
Airparks is a company that runs a long term car parking facility at Gatwick Airport. I have used them on 3 different occasions when going on holiday. I usually prefer to use public transport to and from the airport but when the flight returns quite late I like to drive back.
To book visit their website (www.airparks.co.uk), select the dates that you are looking to park for and they will quote a price. For 6 days this is in the region of £27 or £4.50 per day, so is not too bad. They are listed on several cashback sites, such as quidco and topcashback, so you can get around 10% of this back. You can pay by credit or debit card (credit cards have a £1.50 fee) and once payment has gone through you are sent a confirmation email with a reference number that you have to take with you when you go.
The car park itself is located just off the A23, around 4 miles from the North terminal. To get there come off the M23 at J10 and follow signs for Crawley, then the A23 for Redhill and then for Lowfield Heath. The instructions on how to get there are on the confirmation email and I found them easy to follow and didn't get lost!
Once at the car park an attendant guides you to park in one of around 25 arrival bays. You then switch of your engine, take your luggage, lock up and head towards reception. The staff at reception ask for your booking reference and reconfirm your flight details. They also offer to valet your car whilst you are away and to bring your car to the terminal when your flight lands for an even quicker getaway. Both these cost significantly more (around £20 I think for the terminal drop off and a similar amount for the valet) so I usually decline.
The receptionist then places a label onto your car keys with the car registration number on it and hand you a card with your confirmation details and directions of how to get back to the car park from the airport. You then head back out of the office and drop your keys in a box which has 5 holes in it, each one numbered, and corresponding to the row that you're in. The attendants will later park your car in the main car park. There is a free shuttle bus that runs from the car park to the airport North and South terminals (calling at North first) and runs every 20 minutes. The company advise that you allow around 30 minutes to get from the carpark to the airport. The journey itself only takes around 10 minutes.
On your return journey go to the long term car parking bus stop at the airport. The instructions to get there are on the card the receptionist gave you when you left your car. Once there you hand your card to the receptionist and they tell you where your car is. I've used the car park several times and have found them to be reliable and the service to be very good.
The only time I have had a problem was when my flight was scheduled to return very late (at 11.30pm) and so by the time I got around to the car park it was around 12.30am the next day. They'd misunderstood the time and thought it would be 12.30 midday (despite having the return flight number) and so the car was parked a lot further away. I guess they move cars closer when people are scheduled to arrive. However, they were very quick to rectify this and an attendant brought the car round to reception within 15 minutes.
When I was younger I saw a slot on watchdog about an airport car parking company (can't remember which one) and how owners cars that were left there were used during the week by car park staff, so when I first left my car at the park I was a little apprehensive and made a note of my mileage and fuel level just before I left. I still do but I've had no problems in this respect on my return and things were as they should be. I've used them several times and would highly recommend them if you're parking at Gatwick.