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Read on to find out more about booking your car parking with Purple Parking.
Purple Parking has been in the business of cars since way back in 1925 – albeit under various names along the way. The family business started out as Inwards car dealership garages, the first of which was in Ickenham, Middlesex, UK. After dabbling in self-service petrol stations and branching out into bigger car storage facilities, the company started offering its first ‘park and ride’ airport scheme in 1990.
Then, along came the Internet. This business switched its name to Purple Parking and expanded rapidly, to the point that it was soon offering parking at most UK airports. Despite its size (it now has hundreds of staff and almost 20,000 car parking spaces at Heathrow and Gatwick alone), it’s still very much a family business, with the founder’s son, Michael Inwards, working as operations director.
Today, Purple Parking’s services include advance booking for airport lounges and hotels, so the website really is a one-stop shop for planning your trip through the airport.
Car parking is Purple Parking's bread and butter. Let’s start with their own car parks: they're at London Gatwick, London Heathrow and Manchester airports, and comprise tens of thousands of spaces, all with security accreditation from Park Mark. But Purple Parking also has spaces at loads of other airports up and down the country, from Exeter to Aberdeen, plus deals from other parking providers. So you really do get the chance to shop around. To search, just enter your departure airport, terminal and holiday dates; you’ll be presented with a range of options that you can filter by special offers, price or distance from the terminal.
Each listing features detailed car park information, including a map, terminal transfer times, customer reviews, photos and videos (so you can see what you’re looking for when you arrive, and what kind of environment you’ll be leaving your car in). No stone is left unturned, so you can be absolutely certain before you book.
Purple Parking says it is never beaten on price, and backs it up with a price guarantee – if you find the same thing cheaper elsewhere within 24 hours, Purple will refund the difference. But even without that, prices are very reasonable, especially as Purple Parking works in partnership with lots of other providers – not only for parking, but for hotels, lounges, car hire and more. You can effectively use the Purple Parking website as a comparison tool to bag yourself the best deal on the market. Again, use the simple search form to get quotes from a range of parking providers, locations and service levels.
If you need both parking and an overnight stay, you’re in luck. Purple Parking offers combined hotel and parking packages designed to help make sure you’re getting the best value for money. Simply enter your details as prompted, including the terminal number if you know it, and you’ll be shown a range of packages to choose from. You’ll notice that each option also tells you how far the hotel is from the airport, letting you know if it’s already connected to the terminal or on the airport grounds, and how long the walk, shuttle or taxi might take. Very handy if you want to stay as close to those check-in desks as possible.
Searching for lounges at the airport and terminal you’re travelling from is easy on the Purple Parking website. Go to the Lounges tab and enter your travel details, including the time you’re expecting to arrive, to be shown the list of lounges available. Each option comes with detailed information on what’s on offer, plus photos, videos and customer reviews, so you can really get the low-down before making a choice. For many lounges, one-hour and three-hour timed passes are available, and can work out a bit cheaper. If you're going to be at the airport for longer, you’ll find full-day passes for a select bunch, allowing you to kick back for as long as you need to.
Purple Parking also works with Holiday Extras to offer car hire and travel insurance (we also have a cashback deal for Holiday Extras travel insurance, by the way!). You can browse insurance deals from a wide range of providers, from single-trip policies to annual family ones. On the car hire front, you can search locations all over the world, and filter deals by car type, supplier rating, deposit required and more. Be sure to check the terms and conditions when you’re booking insurance or car hire, though, as those purchases might not be eligible for cashback.
If you thought Purple Parking was just a car park operator, we hope we've already convinced you otherwise. And we haven't even touched on its advice and information pages yet. Once you've pre-booked your parking, hotel room and lounge access, hit the Travel Advice section for maps and driving directions, airport facility and layout details, packing tips, destination guides and the lowdown on the latest luggage restrictions. If you're hiring a car while you're away, it's also worth checking out the driving guides, which cover some of Europe's most popular destinations.
We're not done yet! Keep reading for even more ways to use Purple Parking’s website and earn that cashback…
Purple Parking isn't just for plain old parking spaces. You can also use it to find and pre-book superior speed and service. We really recommend splashing out on the Meet and Greet service because, quite frankly, it makes your journey much quicker and much less stressful. It’s literally a case of turning up, handing your car over to the attendant, and then waltzing your way into the terminal. Similarly, when you get back, your car will be waiting near the terminal – so there’ll be no long walks or shuttle buses to contend with. Why not check out the online reviews for Purple Parking's Heathrow Meet and Greet to see for yourself? You can also use the site to book meet-and-greet services from other providers at airports up and down the country.
Because Meet and Greet provides valet service at both ends of the journey, it can be a bit more expensive. If it feels like a bit of stretch for you, Park and Ride Premium might be the perfect middle ground. You park up a little further from the terminal on arrival, and transfer by minibus; then on your return, you get to enjoy valet service, with your car waiting for you near the terminal. If you ask us, it makes sense to do it this way round – who doesn’t want to get home as quickly as possible after a long flight? This service helps you out more when it matters, and because you're only getting valet on only one leg of the journey it's a handy way of cutting costs too. It's available at several airports – use the Park and Ride filter to find it in your search results.
Have you ever stopped to think about how much you spend in the departure lounge? Sandwiches, soft drinks, newspapers and magazines – maybe even a full English with a glass of buck’s fizz, or a spot of impulse shopping. When you tot it all up, those all-inclusive airport lounge passes start to look like decent value for money. Purple Parking saves you up to 60% when you book in advance, so prices start from as little as £15 for adults. Fill your boots with free drinks and snacks, free WiFi and reading materials; and relax in comfy chairs in a quiet space away from the hustle and bustle. Depending on the lounge you might even get TVs and games consoles.
Goodbye taxis and shuttle buses. When you browse hotel options on the Purple Parking website, it lists the distance from each hotel to your terminal. It’s a simple feature but makes all the difference – and might even mean an extra half an hour in bed! Use the Distance tab to sort your search results, putting the closest options first. In some places you'll even find hotels connected to or within the terminal. Then you can enjoy a leisurely, stress-free stroll to check-in in the morning.
Are you a frequent business traveller? If you travel from London Heathrow, you can make the most of business parking that offers – in Purple Parking's own words – ‘the convenience of an on-airport car park with the price of off-airport’. Choose from the Business, Business Plus, and Business Express options, all of which aim to reduce your transfer times by varying degrees and make life a bit easier. What’s more, all of Purple Parking's business car parks have the Park Mark award for security, so you can be confident your vehicle is in good hands too. Do be sure to check out the terms and conditions before booking though – depending on our current offers, cashback might not be available on business parking.
Still got questions about how Purple Parking works? Not to worry – we’ve rounded up the answers to some common queries to get you on your way.
By email or phone – check the website for current contact details. Phone lines are open 9am-5pm on Monday-Friday and 10am-4pm on Saturday-Sunday. Also, when browsing Purple Parking’s quotes and deals, you’ll notice a help tab on every option. Click that to receive a unique customer number. That way the customer services team will know what you’re looking for and will be able to help you out even more quickly when you call.
To change or cancel your booking, email Purple Parking's dedicated changes address (again, check the site to confirm current contact details). In some cases this will be possible, in others it won’t – it will depend on the terms you accepted when you booked.
Purple Parking has its own car parks at Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester airports. Beyond that, it works with parking providers at other UK airports to bring you the best parking deals on its website, which you can use like a comparison site. Check the website for a full list, but most major regional airports are covered, including Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh.
Yes! Purple Parking offers combined parking and hotel packages, helping you to get the best deal out there. Simply enter your details on the website to browse a number of options, and then make your choice based on price, distance to the terminal, or even traveller reviews.
We know how important it is to shop around if you’re going to bag the best deal. That’s why we offer cashback with even more airport parking providers, including Holiday Extras, Maple Manor and APH (which also has hotel deals). Or if you decide to leave the car behind and hop on a train instead, we’ve got deals with Stansted Express and Heathrow Express.
Even though we do our best to keep the information on this page up-to-date, it may be out of date from time to time.