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How to avoid rogue airport parking operators

POSTED ON 4 October 2018

No Parking

Rogue airport parking operators offer cheap airport parking at a number of different locations throughout the UK. While cheap airport parking seems appealing when you’re on a budget, there’s a price to pay. Many rogue traders don’t have their own car parks. So, they could leave your car in a muddy field or pub car park. Others clock up miles and miles in your vehicle while you’re away. In the worst case scenario, some can even cause serious damage.

We all love a bargain, but cheap airport parking that seems too good to be true often is.

All of our car parks are Park Mark approved. Many of the car parks listed on Airport Park and Ride are even approved by the airports themselves. So, as a trusted operator, we want to warn you of the dangers of booking cheap parking with a rogue trader.

Plus, we have more than 10 years’ experience in parking cars ourselves. We don’t like to brag, but we really are experts in airport parking. Therefore, we want to share our knowledge to help you avoid risking it.

How do rogue traders offer cheap airport parking?

It’s easy for rogue traders to offer their cheap airport parking. But why is that? Put simply, they don’t have any of the running costs of legitimate companies, like the ones featured on our website.

What kind of running costs does an approved car parking company have?

  • Membership to official bodies
  • National insurance contributions to staff on payroll
  • Security measures on-site
  • Business rates

Rogue operators can offer cheap airport parking because they don’t have any of these outgoings, so their running costs are low. Genuine companies pay for all of the necessary security measures, membership, accreditation and insurance. Then, they calculate the best price for their customers to offer an affordable and trustworthy service.

Without a proper car park, with appropriate planning permission and security measures, a rogue trader cannot gain industry certification like the Park Mark approval or Trading Standards Buy With Confidence.

The problem is, rogue operators can appear very professional. They may have a great website and positive reviews, but sadly, this can all be fabricated.

We’re sure you have seen the airport parking horror stories in the news. It’s the last thing you want to happen after returning from a great holiday, right?

The good news is, there are plenty of ways you can research if a company is what it claims to be. Do your homework and find out if that professional-looking company can and will provide a trusted and reliable service.

Here’s how to spot – and avoid – rogue airport parking operators.

Is the company Park Mark approved?

The first thing you can look for on an airport parking website is the Park Mark approval. Crucially, this is awarded to the airport car park itself, not the company.

You can easily find out if a car park is approved. Visit the Park Mark website and type in the company name (e.g. Skyport) or your location (e.g. Glasgow Airport parking). Then, view all approved car parks serving that airport.

Can’t find a car park on the Park Mark website? Give it a miss! Now you know for a fact it hasn’t been subjected to a strict assessment by specially trained local police officers.

Check if an airport parking company has the Park Mark award here: http://www.parkmark.co.uk/car-park-finder

Is it part of Trading Standards Buy With Confidence?

Trading Standards Buy With Confidence helps consumers avoid rogue traders operating in different industries.

On its website, you’ll find a list of local businesses that have undergone detailed checks to make sure they trade fairly.

How can an airport car park gain the coveted Trading Standards Buy With Confidence accreditation? CRB checks are carried out on all drivers and safety and regulatory procedures must be fulfilled.

Find out if a company is a member of the scheme by searching for a company name or typing a local search like “Glasgow Airport parking companies” here: https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/find-a-business/

Gatwick Airport Approved Operators Scheme

Gatwick Airport set up the Gatwick Airport Approved Operators Scheme to eliminate rogue traders from offering cheap airport parking to customers. To be included, a company must have Trading Standards Buy With Confidence accreditation. Then, it can apply to Gatwick Airport to officially join.

All members of the Gatwick Airport parking approved programme are listed on its website – approved Gatwick Parking. As you will see, our Gatwick Airport parking provider, Cophall Parking, is a trusted member.

Real customer reviews

Reviews are a great place to see feedback from other customers, but how do you know if they’re real? Google reviews are a great place to start, but there is a risk competitors could have posted false negative reviews, or staff could have posted fake positive reviews to entice customers to try a dodgy company.

However, review platforms like Feefo, which is used by Airport Park and Ride, collect real reviews linked to a genuine purchase. This means you can be sure all feedback there is real and it’s impossible for the company or competitors to post fake positive or negative reviews.

Companies pay Feefo to collect independent customer reviews, which is another outgoing rogue traders do not have. For trusted companies, it’s an investment in giving their customers total confidence and peace of mind they have chosen a reliable company.

View our Our Gatwick parking reviews here.

Finding reliable airport parking

OK, so you don’t have to book your meet and greet parking with us, here at Airport Park and Ride (although call us biased, but we think you should 🙂 )

However, we are here to give you the information you need to make the right choice for you and your vehicle. What’s more, we want to reassure you that if you follow the steps we advise, it really is possible to find a reliable company you can trust to look after your car.

The airport parking industry has some fantastic companies offering a great and trusted service to customers. Rogue traders are a minority in the airport parking industry, but sadly they get a lot more media coverage than the genuine companies working hard day after day.

Just a reminder, we offer parking at the following airport locations:

  • Glasgow Airport parking from Direct Parking and Skyport (Glasgow Airport car parks operated by us)
  • Gatwick Airport parking from Cophall Parking Gatwick (Gatwick Airport car park operated by us)
  • Edinburgh Airport parking from Secure Airparks (Edinburgh Airport car park operated by our partners)
  • Luton Airport parking from Premier Park and Ride (Luton Airport car park operated by our partners).

Book with Airport Park and Ride for any of our airport locations and you’ll soon discover airport parking can be an affordable, convenient and stress-free experience! 😎

And if you are on a budget and want to save a little money, check out our Top 10 tips for secure and cheap airport parking.