How to Avoid Rogue Parking Companies

Heard the saying, “pay peanuts, get monkeys”, or “too good to be true”?

Well never a truer word said when it comes to airport parking.

Why risk, what's probably the second most expensive purchase of your life, with a cowboy parking outfit?

Sadly, rogue traders do exist at most airports. Companies set up to make a quick buck out of unsuspecting drivers. Many drivers believe them – they use fancy websites, make big promises and use all the believable ‘jargon’ to truly make you believe your car will be in safe hands and parked securely.

Instead, your car could be dumped on a main road, parked in an industrial estate, or even abandoned in a muddy field. Reports of cars clocking up excess miles isn’t uncommon, neither is damage to vehicles. Believe it or not, some innocent drivers have even been sent parking tickets and speeding fines for whilst they were away!

So, when you’re next looking to book your airport parking, here are a few things you should be aware of:

Park Mark Approved Facilities
Make sure the company has been awarded the Park Mark Award for its parking facilities – this is awarded to individual car parks, not parking companies, annually, by Police Officers for safe and secure parking.

Location Details
Can they tell you where the parking is – how far from the airport are their facilities, do they own their own car park or is it rented?

Secure Website Booking
When booking online, ensure the payment page is secure.

Clear T&Cs
Make sure the company has very clear terms and conditions of bookings; including procedures in place should your vehicle be damaged in its possession.

Fully Insured Drivers
Ensure the company only uses fully-insured, mature drivers.

Landline Number
Always makes sure the company you are booking with has a landline number as well as mobile contacts.

Company Name
Does the company’s name bear an uncanny resemblance to other parking operators in the area – often a way to disguise themselves as legitimate companies. Don't forget, you can always do a seach for the company on the Companies House website.

Check your receipt – do all the details match the company name and ID?

Trading Standards Buy With Confidence
Trading Standards Buy With Confidence has been expanded to include airport meet and greet parking companies, so check whether a company has been approved before booking your parking.

Uniformed Drivers
Does the company have easily identifiable drivers, all in uniform, and most importantly, carrying ID?

In Doubt?
If you are in any doubt, leave them out! Do not risk booking if you are not entirely happy that you are dealing with a bona fide airport parking provider.

Gatwick Approved Operators
If you’re looking for parking at Gatwick, make sure your airport parking company is a Gatwick Approved Operator. Approved by the airport, these companies have passed rigorous checks by Gatwick to guarantee you’re using only the most trustworthy, reliable and secure companies.  What’s more, it’s only these Gatwick meet and greet companies who are authorised to access the airport terminal forecourts.

Don’t worry
Help Me Park is a Gatwick Approved Operator, Trading Standards Buy With Confidence approved and only uses Safer Parking Park Mark awarded car parks.

Check out our Trading Standards listing here and when you're ready, book your parking here.