England’s third busiest airport, London Stansted Airport, might be a bit smaller and less hectic than Heathrow or Gatwick, but being more out of the way means that a lot of people choose to drive there instead of taking easily available and affordable public transport. With a relatively high number of people heading there in their own cars, finding affordable and accessible parking can be just as hard as at the bigger airports.
Unfortunately, the same airport parking rules apply at Stansted Airport. If it’s convenient and located near your terminal, you can’t afford it. If you can afford it, it’s located just left of Timbuktu. Hopefully, this guide can help solve that challenge to some degree and make your next trip to Stansted Airport a little bit more affordable and convenient.
In this guide, you’ll find a breakdown of how parking works and is priced at Stansted Airport itself, as well as other types of parking options that you might not have thought of. All of the prices quoted in this article were taken from official sites and were correct at the time of writing (March 2023)
Stansted Airport Parking
Table of Contents
Parking at Stansted Airport
One thing that eases parking at Stansted Airport right off the bat is that it only has one passenger terminal, as opposed to two at Gatwick and four at Heathrow. This means that you never have to worry about accidentally parking far away from your terminal and having to make a trek across the airport. Just like other airports, Stansted Airport employs a dynamic pricing structure, meaning that parking prices change throughout the year and season, depending on the availability of available spaces. If you do plan on parking at the airport, we strongly recommend pre-booking your parking as this will reduce the price dramatically compared to just showing up and parking.
Stansted Airport short-stay parking
Standsted Airport has multiple short-stay parking lots available. The breakdown below provides the essential information about these parking ‘zones’ as the airport site refers to them, including quoted prices for a 4-day stay from the official Stansted Airport website. All of the short-stay car parks are located to the east of the terminal.
● Premium short-stay parking // Red zone // 1-4 minute walk to the terminal // £68
● Premium short-stay parking // Yellow zone // 1-4 minute walk to the terminal // £68
● Premium short-stay parking // Orange zone // 1-4 minute walk to the terminal // £66
● Multi-storey short-stay parking // Green zone // 5-8 minute walk to the terminal // £62
● Economy short-stay parking // Blue zone // 10-12 minute walk to the terminal // £60
The airport also offers a meet & greet service right at the entrance of the terminal. Choosing this option is by far the most convenient, but it will cost a few extra pounds. A valet will meet you in the purple zone and park your car in a safe and secure Stansted car park at a cost of £80 for an 8-day stay. This is a good option if you are travelling with small children, or have a lot of heavy and cumbersome luggage.
If these prices or options don’t appeal to you, there’s always the mid-stay parking lot to consider. While it’s a bit further away, it’s also slightly cheaper at a cost of £68 for an 8-day stay. The mid-stay park has a shuttle service running between the car park and the terminal every 10 minutes. The shuttle ride takes about 7 minutes.
The absolute cheapest on-site parking option is the ‘JetPark’ car park, located on the far west side of the airport. You can simply drive up (or make a booking in advance), park, and then head to the bus stop for a maximum 15-minute wait for the next shuttle to the terminal. The free terminal shuttle trip takes 15-20 minutes. At the time of writing this article, JetPark was closed, so pricing information wasn’t available, however, it was set to reopen on the 31st of March 2023.
Stansted Airport long-stay parking
As far as long-stay parking at London airports go, the long-stay parking option at Stansted Airport is actually quite affordable. The long-stay park is located towards the west of the airport grounds, and an 8-day stay will cost you £60. The long-stay car park also has a free shuttle service running to the terminal every 15 minutes. This ride will take 15 minutes.
Other parking options away from the airport
If the prices at Stansted don’t work for you for whatever reason, there are still plenty of other options to consider. One increasingly popular method of beating exorbitant airport parking prices is parking away from the airport and then taking public transport. While this does have the drawbacks of having to pay for a transit ticket, potentially parking your car in an unguarded location, and having to travel back to your car, it does have the potential to save a lot of money.
With the Stansted Railway station located no more than 2 minutes from the terminal, parking at a cheaper spot, and then taking rail transport to the airport is definitely a good option when heading to Stansted. You can take this money-saving idea to the next level by foregoing car parks entirely and looking for free, unrestricted streetside parking near the railway station and taking a short walk.
Elsenham Railway Station
If you’re approaching Stansted Airport from the north, parking your car in Elsenham and taking the train to the airport could save you a few pounds. While it will add a bit of time to your journey –you have to change trains in Mountfitchet– it’s still likely to save you money that you would otherwise have to spend on parking at the airport. The combined time for both train rides works out to £4.41 and takes about 30 minutes.
Free parking near Elsenham Railway Station
You might be wondering why we didn’t put Mountfitchet as the first entry in this list if it’s closer to the airport and you only have to take one train. The reason is that there simply aren’t good, free, and unrestricted streetside parking options within walking distance of the station in Mountfitchet. Elsenham, on the other hand, has an abundance of free streetside parking options well within walking distance of the railway stations.
ParkingScout recommends only making use of streetside parking options for short visits to the airport. Leaving your car unattended on the street overnight could have less than desirable consequences, and as such, we recommend making sure that you don’t leave any valuables visible from the outside. Always park courteously, keeping the locals in mind.
● Spencer Close CM22 6EZ – 0.3 miles
● New Road (No overnight parking) CM22 6HA – 0.1 miles
● Elm Close CM22 6LE – 0.2 miles
● De Mandeville Road CM22 6LR – 0.3 miles
● Alsa Gardens CM22 6HB – 0.2 miles
Bishop’s Stortford Railway Station
You’ll find Bishop’s Stortford just to the west of Stansted Airport. This is another good option when looking for more available parking, as the railway station is significantly cheaper than the airport. You can get 4 hours of parking for as little as £4, and a week pass will cost £36. The ticket to the airport is £5.80 and the journey will take you approximately 10 minutes.
Free parking near Bishop’s Stortford Railway Station
Here’s a list of residential streets with unrestricted free parking within close vicinity of Bishop’s Stortford station. As always, take the locals into consideration when parking on the side of the road, and consider parking at the railway station for overnight or extended trips. Please note that a lot of the streets near the railway station have no parking orders in effect for certain hours of the day, mostly in the morning. A lot of the options available here are single yellow-line streets, meaning you can stop for
● Crescent Road (No parking 8-10am) CM23 5JS – 0.4 miles
● Grange Road (No parking 9-10am) CM23 5NQ – 0.4 miles
● Gilbey Avenue (No parking 8-10am) CM23 5NX – 0.6 miles
● Wrenbrook Road CM23 3PB – 0.7 miles
Parking your car in Great Dunmow and taking the X30 bus from High Street is another cost-saving option, especially if you’re approaching the airport from the east. The bus ticket will cost you £2, and the journey usually takes around 15 minutes. There are buses leaving from Great Dunmow every hour. The closest car park from here is the White Street car park. It’s no more than a 3-minute walk to the bus stop, and 4 hours’ worth of parking costs a mere £2. A full day’s parking is charged at £3.50, making this an excellent option if you don’t fancy leaving your car on the curb.
Free parking near Great Dunmow High Street Bus Stop
Great Dunmow has plenty of unrestricted free streetside parking options available within a short walk of the High Street bus stop. Once again, make sure that you park in a way that doesn’t affect traffic flow, and be sure to lock your vehicle. We also recommend using these options for short trips to the airport, for example, dropping someone off or picking them up and helping with their luggage. For longer stay options, consider looking at secure car parks nearby.
● Mill Lane CM6 1BG – 0.1 mile
● Tenterfield CM6 1HH – 0.2 miles
● Venmore Drive CM6 1HN – 0.3 miles
● Warners CM6 1BH – 0.1 miles
A recent trend in the world of parking is people renting out their private driveways for a couple of hours. You’ll still have to pay for a taxi to get you to the airport, as the infrastructure around airports, including Stansted, usually isn’t pedestrian friendly. That being said, even with the price of a taxi included, it could still end up being cheaper than parking at the airport. Justpark.com has private driveways for rent starting from as low as £2.50 for a 4-hour stay. For some reason, private driveway rental prices around Stansted Airport range much more than other London airports. Make sure to double-check how much you’re paying so you don’t accidentally pay more than you would have at the airport.
Airport Park & Ride
Another cost-saving solution for keeping your car safe and secure while you’re at the airport is looking at park-and-ride options. Several park-and-ride operators within a few minutes of the airport allow you to simply show up, park –either yourself or let their valets do the job– and take a short bus ride to the airport. At Parkingscout, we suggest looking into free parking options for short stays, but if you plan on leaving your car parked overnight or for multiple days, there are other options that may be more beneficial. Some Park & Ride operators near Stansted Airport include:
Peak Park & Ride
Peak Park & Ride is located less than 2 miles from Stansted Airport, making them one of the closest available park & ride service providers. Their prices are extremely competitive at only £55 per week. They offer an on-demand shuttle service to the airport at a cost of £1 per person. This service is free to individuals over 60 and under 16 years old. Please note that the shuttle service operates between 4am and 11:30pm. For more information, contact Peak Park & Ride at +44 7539 872148.
Stansted Meet & Greet
Stansted Meet further takes the hassle out of worrying about parking by having you drive right up to the terminal and having a company representative meet you at the airport. From there, you simply hand over your keys and let them worry about the rest. Your car will be parked in a safe and secure car park with 24 hour CCTV and security. Upon returning, simply give them a call and they’ll have your keys back in your hand in about 15 minutes. A week’s parking with their meet & greet service will cost you £65. For more information, contact Stansted Meet & Greet at 0203 370 4220 or email them at email@example.com
That’s it for this guide to parking at Stansted Airport. We hope it helps you save some time, money, and stress the next time you find yourself having to travel to Stansted Airport.
Remember to make use of our free interactive map to help you find the options available in this guide.