For most air travellers, parking your vehicle at the airport is a necessity. When booking a flight it’s easy to forget about the additional costs that come with travelling. You have taxes, fees, and the cost of your hotel or rental car all to factor into your budget before you even get on the plane, but what many people don’t think about is how much money they will spend just parking their vehicle at the airport during their stay.
To make your travel experience easier and more affordable, you should research ahead of time to find the best parking rate you can. At times finding airport parking information can be difficult, so I have done the research for you.
Here is what you can expect to pay each day to park your car at the airport.
Airport parking costs
The cost to park your car at the airport can vary greatly. Not all airports have the same pricing and you will find considerable differences from one airport to the next. But on average, you can expect to pay around $30 per day to park your car at the airport parking garage. I have seen prices as high as $50-$70 in some places. Many airports are not as expensive and you might only pay $15-$20 per day.
As you can see, the cost of parking at the airport can really add up depending on the length of your trip. Most airports also offer weekly and monthly rates which can be much cheaper. For example, Boston’s Logan airport charges around $36 per day but the weekly charge is around $138.
Average airport parking rates
|Airport||Daily rate||Weekly rate|
|Los Angeles LAX||$30||$185|
|Des Moines International||$20||$105|
- These rates are an average and subject to change
How to get better rates and avoid hefty fees?
For some people, parking at the airport is not an affordable option. In some cases, the cost to park your car will be more than the actual flight. There are a few different ways to reduce the cost of airport parking.
Did you know? According to Forbes.com, a large airport hub earns an average of $63 million per year from parking fees.
Choose off-airport parking (Park and Fly)
Instead of parking at the terminal building, consider parking off-site with Park and Fly or similar. These areas are close to the airport and will have a shuttle service to bring you to the airport and back to your car when you return. Park and Fly is normally cheaper than parking at the terminal.
Consider Park, sleep, and fly
If you are looking to save time and avoid rushing for an early flight, some hotels will offer an option to stay overnight and leave your car parked there for a period of time. They have certain packages for park, sleep, and fly. You can drive to the airport the night before, stay at the hotel, leave your vehicle there and avoid the airport parking fees.
Join a loyalty program
Many airports will offer a loyalty program for parking. If you are a frequent traveller, joining a program through the airport authority can save you money if you stay a certain amount of time.
Have a friend drive you to the airport
If you have someone that can drop you off at the airport and pick you up, this will save you from paying the parking fees.
Consider public transportation
Although public transit will cost you a fee, it will be much less than parking your vehicle at the airport.
Search online discount sites
It’s not always necessary to pay the full price for airport parking. There are plenty of deals available. Have a look online for coupons and offers for the airport you are using. Consider a site like airportparkingreservations.com to check for discounts.
Can I park my car at the airport for a week?
Yes, you can park your vehicle at the airport for a week. It will be cheaper to pay for 1 week instead of paying the daily rate.
Do you pay for airport parking before or after?
Most airports charge from the time you enter the parking garage until the time you leave. You won’t pay ahead of time. You will also pay for an hourly rate if you didn’t stay for a full day or if you stayed for multiple days plus a few hours. Usually the hourly rate will turn into a daily rate after 4-6 hours as the daily rate will be cheaper.
Long term vs short term parking costs
There will be cost savings when parking at an airport long term versus the daily or weekly rate. Some airports will offer a monthly rate as well which will be much cheaper.
If you are only parking for a short period of time like dropping off a passenger, you will only be charged $3 or $4 per hour in many cases. Daily parking rates are usually the most expensive option as the longer you stay, the cheaper it gets.
Disadvantages of parking at the airport
It’s difficult to find the advantage of parking at the airport terminal garage other than convenience. It will be cheaper to park at an off-airport site and use Park and Fly. You also take the risk of your vehicle being damaged while parked. Both the high cost and risk of vehicle damage prevent many people from using airport parking.