Landing yourself an easily accessible yet reasonably priced parking space anywhere near the busiest airport in the UK was never going to be easy, but you knew that already or you wouldn’t be reading this sentence. If it’s close to the airport, let alone the actual terminals, it’s probably expensive, and if it’s not pricey, you’re probably miles away. That’s assuming you don’t have ParkingScout’s handy Heathrow Airport parking guide…
Like most airports around the world, Heathrow isn’t exactly advertising itself as a ‘parker’s paradise’. It’s enormous in size and surrounded by constantly busy roads with restricted parking. Sure, there are plenty of on-site parking options, but they come at such a premium that you’re left scouring the internet for better options.
This guide will help you find parking options that work for you. For your convenience, we’ll include a section on parking directly at Heathrow Airport for when you absolutely have to park in the closest available spots, but we’ll also explore other options such as park-and-ride, parking away from the airport and taking public transport –often the best option– and even looking at private driveway rental.
Heathrow Airport Parking
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Parking at Heathrow Airport
When looking for parking at Heathrow Airport, it’s important to understand how on-site passenger transport works in terms of getting from terminal to terminal. Just like other airports, Heathrow has great people-moving infrastructure to make sure passengers can easily get to the right terminal, reducing the need to park right outside your departure terminal. Heathrow operates with four terminals, numbered 2 through 5. Terminal 1 closed permanently in 2015, with no current plans to reopen it any time soon.
While travelling between terminals 2 and 3 constitutes nothing more than a 10-minute walk through their underground pass (assistance is available for the mobility impaired), getting to and from terminals 4 and 5 to any other terminal involves taking either the London Underground or Heathrow Express trains. While you need a London Oyster card or other contactless payment method to board, you won’t be charged if only travelling in-between terminals. You can consult the linked map in the useful Heathrow Airport links section to find out more, including schedules and specific information on where to board and change lines. You can pre-book parking at any of the airport’s on-site parking bays at their official site.
Heathrow Airport short-stay parking
Heathrow Airport short-stay, and long-stay for that matter, operate on a variable cost structure, meaning prices change due to demand. Short-stay parking can cost an arm and a
leg, with 1-hour’s parking at the terminal 2 short-stay lot, booked in advance on the official website, costing upwards of £70! It’s important to note that there seems to be a discrepancy between their pre-booked quotes and their official pricing charts on their website, adding to the confusion.
If you need the nearest available parking for whatever reason, whether you’re traveling with a swarm of young children, the world’s heaviest luggage, or dropping off someone with mobility impairment, their short-stay parking garages are only a minute or two’s walk from the terminal entrances. There are short-stay parking facilities available at all 4 of the operating terminals.
Heathrow Airport long-stay parking
Long-stay parking areas are usually located further away from the terminals but represent significant cost savings. There’s a free shuttle operating between the long-stay car parks and the terminals, meaning you don’t have to worry about the walk. These shuttle rides usually take 10-15 minutes. ParkingScout recommends using the long-stay parking terminals even if you’re just dropping someone off or don’t expect to stay for long. The airport’s website quoted a 1-hour stay at their long-stay car park at less than half the price of the short-stay car park, although there’s still a discrepancy between their stated hourly rates and the provided quote. Terminals 2 and 3 share a long-stay car park, while terminals 4 and 5 each have their own.
Heathrow Airport useful links
If you’re travelling to Heathrow Airport, you might find some of these links useful, whether you plan on parking there or not.
● Terminal transfer map and scheduling information
● Short-stay parking booking and pricing information
● Long-stay parking booking and pricing information
● Heathrow Airport terminal maps
Other parking options away from the airport
With parking directly at the airport out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the alternatives available. It’s almost always the cheaper, and occasionally faster, option to park away from the airport and use public transport. Of course, you still have to pay for your transport ticket, but even with that factored in, there are still huge savings to be had.
One of the most popular options for saving a buck on parking when travelling to Heathrow is to park at, or near, an underground or bus station and make use of public transport. While parking at a station isn’t free, you’re likely to find very affordable or even free parking nearby if you know where to look. Depending on which direction you’re travelling from, consider parking near these railway or bus stations. The Picadilly line has stops at all of the Heathrow terminals.
Hounslow West Underground Station
Hounslow West isn’t the closest possible station to Heathrow Airport, but it has several free and unrestricted streetside parking spots available within a few minute’s walk. The closest free parking to Hatton Cross Station, the closest underground, is more than a 20-minute walk away.
A day’s parking at the station itself will cost you £6.50 from Monday to Friday, with weekends being free. The station car park has a seven consecutive day stay limit, a discounted 7-day stay rate at £31.20 and has EV charging facilities available. The journey to the airport will take about 8-12 minutes, depending on which terminal you’re heading to. Peak-time tickets will cost £2.10 using your Oyster card.
Free parking near Hounslow West Underground Station
If you don’t mind a short walk to the station, you’re welcome to check these streets for free, unrestricted streetside parking. These options are great if you’re visiting the station for a couple of hours, however, you should be wary of leaving your car unattended or unguarded overnight.
● Ambassador Close TW3 3DW – 0.2 miles
● Francis Road TW4 7JX – 0.3 miles
● Ferndale Avenue TW4 7ES – 0.3 miles
● Manor Avenue TW4 7JG – 0.3 miles
● Ravensdale Road TW4 7EY – 0.3 miles
Hayes & Harlington Station
If you’re approaching the airport from the north, you could consider parking near Hayes & Harlington Station. Tickets to the airport will run you about £7 during peak hours, but even this ‘more expensive’ public transport ticket will likely still end up saving you money on the overall journey. Parking at the station will cost you £5 per day from Monday to Friday, and £2.50 on the weekend. You can purchase a 7-day parking pass for £24 to make it a good long-stay option.
If you don’t feel like taking the train, consider taking bus X140 from bus stop E, just north of the station. This 12-minute bus ride will take you to Heathrow Central Station, just a short walk away from terminals 2 and 3.
Free parking near Hayes & Harlington Station
If you’re up for a short walk to the station and your luggage isn’t prohibitively heavy, consider parking on these streets. Just remember that ParkingScout doesn’t take responsibility for your vehicle while you’re away. If you’re planning on leaving your vehicle overnight, make sure that you don’t have any valuables in plain sight.
● Glebe Road UB3 2EA – 0.6 miles
● Sandow Crescent (after 5pm/weekends only) UB3 4QA – 0.2 miles
● Silverdale Road UB3 3BW – 0.4 miles
● Northfield Park UB3 4NU – 0.3 miles
● Hyde Way UB3 4PA – 0.4 miles
A less-considered option is renting a private driveway for a few hours. A number of residents who live in close proximity to the airport are willing to rent out their driveways, as it earns them a bit of passive income. You’ll still most likely have to take a taxi to the airport as there are no dedicated pedestrian footpaths along major motorways, but even including the price of a taxi and the driveway rental, you’re still likely to save a few pounds. This is a good option for short-stay visits, as not all private driveways offer long-stay options, and finding one that does could take a while.
Justpark.com has more than 60 driveways to rent within a 2-mile radius of the airport. Most driveways are available at prices ranging from £2.50 to £4.50 for a 4-hour stay.
Airport Park and Ride
If you’re looking for long-stay options where you can park your car with peace of mind, you could always look at park-and-ride options. There are a number of private companies that offer park-and-ride services with free transfers to and from the airport. They range wildly in their services and pricing options, so we’ve gathered all the information you need to make an informed decision with good options right here. It’s important to note that just like the airport, most park-and-ride providers use variable pricing as the demand for parking increases or decreases according to the season. Where possible, we’ll provide pricing information on a weekly basis for both the busy and quiet seasons.
Park Heathrow at Poyle Two
Park Heathrow has been offering logistics parking options for over 30 years. If you’re approaching Heathrow from the west, they’re a well-established option well worth consideration. They offer both park and ride facilities, along with a meet and greet option at an additional £40, meaning you can either drive to their facilities and park, or head straight to the airport and have a representative park and return your vehicle when you return to Heathrow. They’re located on the M25, with the airport just a few minutes away. During the off-season, 7 days of parking will cost you £91.98, and a test of their online booking system showed no peak season premiums. You can reach Park Heathrow at email@example.com
With a shuttle service that runs between the airport and their parking facilities in Slough, a mere 10 minutes away, Heathrow Park&Ride is another good option for saving on parking costs. A week’s stay will cost you £76.96 during both the peak and quiet seasons. Their parking facilities are located at Observatory Shopping Centre Car Park (2nd floor). You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
That concludes our guide to more affordable parking near Heathrow Airport. We hope that it saves you some time and a few pounds the next time you take to the skies.
Remember to check out our free interactive map to help you plan your journey.