How To Safely Leave Your Car At The Airport

Some of us are lucky enough to have someone drive us to the airport when we leave on a trip. However, the rest of us don’t have that privilege and may need to drive ourselves before taking off. However, while airport parking is always available, can you leave your car at the airport?

You can leave your car at the airport as almost all airports have some type of organized parking. Most airports will allow you to park your vehicle for a specific duration, from a few days to a few months. Some even give people an option to choose between short-term and long-term parking.

In this article, I’ll discuss whether you can leave your car at the airport in detail. I’ll also provide a few alternatives for storing your vehicle and some tips and tricks for first-time airport parking users.

Can I Leave My Car at the Airport?

It can be worrisome to drive to the airport without knowing whether you can leave your car in the parking spot while you travel. 

You can leave your car at the airport for a while when you travel, and sometimes even longer depending on the airport and the duration of parking they offer. In some airports you can even pre-book your spot, avoiding last-minute parking problems. 

What Is It Called When You Leave Your Car at the Airport?

Some airports offer valet parking in case you’re in a hurry and need to catch your flight. However, you can always park your car by yourself if you get there before time.

Leaving your car at the airport is called short-term parking or long-term parking, depending on how long you decide to leave your car while you travel. Short-term parking usually implies anything from a day to a week, while long-term parking refers to anything longer than a week.

Is It Safe To Leave Your Car at the Airport Parking?

Sure, leaving your car at the airport seems convenient. But is your vehicle safe?

It is safe to leave your car at the airport parking if the parking spot is well-lit, monitored by CCTV cameras, and offers quality security measures. Ensure the airport fulfills the necessary requirements before leaving your car.

You can add to the security by choosing the right parking spot — pick a covered parking spot that will protect your car from the elements and from greedy eyes. You also want to ensure there are no valuables, like bags and electronics, in the car that may attract attention.

This may seem obvious, but ensure you lock your doors when parking at the airport. In a rush to get your luggage and board the plane, you may lose sight of something so small, and it could cost you dearly.

What Is Short-Stay Airport Parking?

As mentioned, airport parking is classified into two categories — short-term and long-term parking.

Short-stay airport parking is when you leave your car at the airport for up to a week. The parking price is calculated in hours, and in most cases, you must keep your car for a minimum of three days to avail of this service. 

On the other hand, long-term parking refers to parking your car for more than a week. It’s usually more affordable, and the price is calculated in 24-hour periods.

You’ll find these parking spots further away from the airport, which is why they’re called satellite parking lots. When choosing the satellite parking lot, it’s important to take into account the time it takes to travel from there to the airport.

Can I Leave My Car at the Airport for a Month? 

Let’s say you’re taking a world tour or backpacking through a few countries before coming back. Is it okay to leave your car at the airport for so long?

You can leave your car at the airport for a month by using their long-term parking services. While there’s no limit to how long you can park your car at the airport, the minimum duration for long-term parking is one week.

The price of long-term parking is determined by how long your car is parked. When entering the parking lot, you will receive a ticket that you can pay off when you return from your trip. Fortunately, you can pick up your car within a 24/7 window at the airport.

Manchester International Airport Parking Meet And Greet

Alternatives to Airport Parking

Airport parking can be convenient, but it’s certainly not the only option you have when traveling.

  • Ask a friend if you can park in their space as a short-term solution. Your friend can keep an eye out for your car; in return, you can let them use it if needed.
  • Look for people renting out their garages. By keeping it in a real garage, your car will be safe from the elements, and you’ll spend a lot less than you would parking at the airport.
  • If you need to leave your car for longer, consider long-term vehicle storage. There are large facilities and underground parking spaces specializing in that sort of thing. The rates are typically higher than outside parking, but the security and peace of mind are worth the costs.

Tips and Tricks for Airport Parking

Airport parking is a pretty straightforward process. However, there are ways to make it easier. Here are a few tips and tricks to improve your airport parking experience:

  • Book early. By booking your parking space in advance, you can significantly lower the cost of parking. If you wait till the last moment, the parking charges can be pretty high, sometimes as much as your flight tickets. 
  • Choose the right spot. As mentioned, ensure your parking spot is well-lit and near CCTV cameras. A covered or secluded spot would be best as it will protect your car from the weather and prying eyes.
  • Do your research. Surf the web and find others who have parked where you plan. Why make mistakes that other people have already made? 


Airport parking is an amenity everyone needs, but the type of parking depends on your individual requirements. Whether you choose long or short-term parking, airports are prepared to help you out. 

Once you’ve decided how long you’ll be gone and booked your spot, you can peacefully set off on your journey without worrying about your car.

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