Passengers looking to park "off-airport" to save money might risk finding themselves directed to a muddy waste ground site situated miles from the airport. But off-airport parking at Heathrow has been taken to a different level now BCP has opened an £11 million multi-storey car park.
The facility can be found along the A4 Bath Road at the eastern end of Heathrow's north runway. It is open 24 hours a day and operated by BCP's parent firm Q-Park. There are regular bus transfers both to Terminals 1, 2 or 3 and Terminal 4. Journey times can vary but shouldn't exceed 10 or 15 minutes depending on traffic.
Passengers using the new facility will find a high level of security. Upon arrival, for example, passengers' cars are photographed from multiple angles before being valet parked. BCP says that 80 per cent of vehicles are parked under cover.
Rates are competitive with "on-airport" prices charged by BAA (the operator of Heathrow) both in its Business and Long Stay parks. Says BCP's marketing director Eric Campus, "We would encourage people to prebook because they can save between 30 and 50 per cent on the 'drive-up' prices. In general we have dynamic pricing so the rates will vary depending on how busy we are at any given time."
Because of the costs of processing the vehicles (the security checks, valet parking etc) in the park, BCP's rates tend to be more advantageous for stays of three days and over.
When Business Traveller compared the online rates for a two-day stay next week (with Q-Park and BAA) arriving at 0800 and checking out at 1900 the next day we were quoted £24 by Q-Park but £22 by BAA Business Parking and £20 by BAA Long Stay parking.
But for a four day stay (in at 1000 on a Monday and out at 0800 on a Friday) for someone who might be flying long-haul we were quoted £39 by Q-Park as against £48 for BAA Business and £43 for BAA Long Stay.
For more information go to q-park.co.uk.
Report by Alex McWhirter