Rogue meet and greet parking companies abandon cars in muddy field

Beware - the police have found more than 1,000 cars parked in a water-logged field by rogue valet parking companies operating at Gatwick.

Use Only Gatwick Approved Operators!

It cannot be stressed enough – only use Gatwick Approved Operators when booking your meet and greet Gatwick Airport parking.

This week Sussex Police discovered more than 1,000 vehicles belonging to Gatwick holidaymakers parked in a muddy field. These travellers all thought they had booked ‘safe and secure’ meet and greet parking, but sadly for them, they booked with one of five companies now under investigation.  

Here’s what the Police found:

  • Vehicles with their keys attached to the windscreens
  • An unlocked vehicle with hundreds of keys in its boot
  • Vehicles unlocked, disabling alarms
  • Vehicles covered in mud
  • Vehicles sinking into the boggy field – many of which were so stuck they couldn’t even be towed out

Sadly, rogue traders are rife. Do not risk entrusting your car – possibly the second most expensive purchase you’ll ever make – to dodgy, fraudulent car parking operators.

Only companies that have been subjected to rigorous tests and tough checks on their security operations and service are accepted onto the Gatwick Approved Operators list. And only Approved Operators are permitted to operate on the airport terminal forecourt drop off and pick up zones!

Approved Gatwick Operators boast:

  • Gatwick Airport approval
  • Hold the prestigious ParkMark award for safe and secure parking facilities – awarded by the Association of Chief Police Officers
  • Car parks that are monitored by CCTV 24/7, 365 days a year
  • Vehicle keys are stored in a safe
  • Run by experienced industry leaders
  • Employ fully-insured, mature, experienced drivers
  • Have landline contact details, not just mobile phones (often a tell tale sign of a dodgy operation!)
  • Authorised by Trading Standards

At the time of writing, there are eight Gatwick Approved Operators to choose from. Official operators are easy to distinguish – they are hugely proud of their Gatwick Approved Operator status, therefore the approved operator logo will be displayed prominently on their website and marketing material.

You can also check Gatwick's website for a list of Approved Operators (of which Help Me Park is one) here:

Don't take a chance with your car this summer. If a company doesn’t hold the Approved status don’t book it.

Whilst they may not be the cheapest, Approved Operators are the safest. As the old saying goes “pay peanuts, get monkeys”.