Anyone who has ever driven to an airport knows that finding a parking space is by far the most stressful and time consuming part of flying. And that’s before you even consider the walk, bus journey, or run (if you’re cutting it fine) to the terminal from the car.
Once you’ve just about managed to squeeze your car between two huge 4x4s on the ninth floor of an ageing multi-story car park, you’re faced with the task of lugging your suitcases – and often your children – all the way to the check in desk.
This process is even more arduous at Gatwick than almost any other airport in the world. 45.6 million people travelled through Gatwick airport in 2017, and according to the airport’s website 36% of passengers drive to Gatwick.
Considering many people flying home will have driven to and parked at the airport, a quick turn to a calculator reveals that as many as 16.4 million people fought over Gatwick’s parking spaces in just that one year.
Enter meet & greet parking.
It is an increasingly popular option for people driving to Gatwick as well as there are many benefits of valet parking. The process is simple: drive up to the terminal, a driver will be waiting for you to take your keys, you go straight to check in and don’t have to deal with your car again until your driver brings it back to meet you at the terminal on your return.
To help you decide whether valet parking is right for you, here’s a quick summary of the benefits of valet parking service balanced against the negatives (nothing’s perfect after all).
Benefits of valet parking service at Gatwick
Aside from the obvious aspect of letting someone else deal with the stress of parking at the airport, there are many reasons why a valet service can work for you.
One of the major benefits of valet parking is that there is no more convenient way to travel to the airport. Taking any form of public transport to the airport us going to involve a long trip and a walk or bus transfer from the station to check in, and we’ve covered the problems with parking above.
Another benefit of valet parking is that the first things that comes into anyone’s head when thinking about using a valet service is whether their car will be safe while they’re away – and rightly so. If you use any reputable service then the answer is a categorical yes.
There are many different ways to ensure you’re putting your car in the hands of a reliable company. One of the easiest is to check whether the Gatwick car park they use has been awarded a Park Mark (which means the police have assessed its security).
Additionally any of the comparisons on this site will give you all the information you need to know your car will come back to you exactly how you handed it over (or even better – see below).
By ‘below’, I mean right here. One major benefit of valet service is that many companies will offer optional extras such as cleaning or servicing your car while you’re on holiday.
This is a great benefit of valet parking as it means you can have a relaxing break and complete a usually boring chore at the same time with no effort at all.
Drawbacks of using a meet & greet service at Gatwick
Nothing in this world is perfect, and so at this point you may be wondering what the catch is. The answer to that is that there isn’t really a ‘catch’, but there are things you want to watch out for when booking valet parking at Gatwick.
While you’ve been reading this you’ve probably been thinking, ‘yeah, that all sounds great but I don’t want to add another massive expense to my holiday.’ This is understandable, and obviously nothing in this world comes free and using this service will cost extra money.
But valet parking doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, and will often be much more reasonable than you expect – especially when comparing it to what it costs to park at the airport anyway. Depending on the time of year you can find Gatwick airport off-site parking for as little as £5.75 a day. Whatever your budget, there’ll be a valet service to fit it.
The big thing to look out for is unlicensed providers that have sprung up. The last thing you want is to come back and find the guy who you gave your car to a week ago has vanished into thin air.
This is easily avoided though as long as you are vigilant when booking. Definitely don’t just turn up at the airport and arrange valet there. This may sound obvious, but it has happened to people before – a high-vis jacket can be a con man’s best friend.
We will never recommend an unsafe service.
Where to find the best Gatwick meet & greet deals
That one’s easy: right here.
Our team is dedicated to finding you the best Gatwick meet and greet parking deals and are constantly investigating new services and optional extras.
Our comparisons are completely free and come with no obligation to book, so take 2 minutes to fill in our form (on your right) and have a look to see if meet and greet could be right for you.
We hope you have a fantastic trip