Airport Parking A ''Postcode Lottery''

The most expensive UK airport parking costs three times more than the cheapest, while simply dropping off a passenger can set a driver back £8.50, a study has found.

The most expensive parking was found at Luton airport, where a two-week stay in their standard on-site car park came in at £191, the online investigation by Admiral insurance revealed.

Exeter was the cheapest, where an equivalent space cost just £65 for the same amount of time.

Meanwhile, the study found Stansted charges the highest drop-off rate at £8.50 for 15 minutes, followed by Luton and Doncaster at £8 and £6 respectively.

Six airports offered a free 15-minute stay.

Admiral compared three online car parking prices for an on-site space at each of 30 airports across the UK to cover a two-week break in the summer holidays, finding a ''postcode lottery'' for a 2.4 metre spot.

The average car parking rate for two weeks came in at £111, although those flying from Luton will pay £80 more.

The second most expensive airport was London City at £181, followed by Gatwick North at £175 and Gatwick South at £167.

Those flying from Heathrow terminals 2, 3 and 4 will pay £146, and £10 more at T5.

In comparison, six airports out of 30 offer a free 15-minute stay.

Also ranked in the most expensive airports for drop-offs are Luton at £8, Doncaster at £6 and Edinburgh and Cardiff, which both charge £5.

Admiral spokesman Alistair Hargreaves said: ''We all know that an overseas holiday in the summer time can be costly, but our investigation has revealed that holidaymakers can end up feeling short-changed before they've even boarded the plane.

''This study demonstrates that airport parking prices are a postcode lottery with extortionate price discrepancies for the same 2.4 metre-wide car parking space, depending on where you are flying from.

''By planning ahead and researching other car parking options, such as those off-site and factoring these prices into the total cost of the holiday before booking anything, consumers can make sure there are no surprises.''

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