We live a couple of hours away from Gatwick airport, the airport we use when flying to Florida. We prefer to take our own car to the airport, and have had good experiences of using Purple Parking at Gatwick.
There are so many Gatwick hotel and parking options available that finding a trustworthy place to leave your car when you’re out of the country can be a minefield. I went with reviews that I found online when we first went to Florida in 2014. Since then we have used Purple Parking four times and each time have found our experience easy and good value compared to other airport parking options.
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Booking Airport Parking With Purple Parking
When I first started looking at airport parking, I soon realised that we would also want an overnight stay at a nearby hotel the night before our flight. Purple Parking can offer this service as well, however we have only ever booked the parking and our hotel stays have been separate.
The website is easy to navigate, selecting your options for dates and flight numbers. I generally opt to select a 7am arrival at the car park even if we don’t arrive until 8am. On our return, I add a couple of hours onto the time slot after our flight is scheduled to land to give us time to return to the parking area.
There is an option when booking to pay for a late collection which will prevent a fee being charged if you r flight is delayed. I have always paid this as it’s a matter of a few extra pounds and gives me peace of mind if there are any problems with our flights.
At the point of booking with Purple Parking, you leave your car registration details on the booking to allow them to know what size car you are brining. For oversized vehicles it’s wise to check directly with them before booking.
Dropping Your Car Off At Gatwick
When you arrive at Gatwick Purple Parking location at Charlwood Rd, Lowfield Heath, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 0QB, drive your car into one of the available lanes and turn off your engine. The reception area can be found just to the side to take your paperwork into. You will be given a ticket to keep with your for your return and a ticket for your car.
We split the party up at this point and one goes into to the reception, and everyone else unloads the car. When you have everything out of the car, you leave your car key in the ignition for the staff to move, and you are free to wait for a transfer bus to the terminals.
Transfers To Airport Terminals
Transfer busses usually depart every twenty minutes or so and are free to use to and from both the North and South terminals at Gatwick Airport.
There is plenty of seating and storage on the busses for luggage, and available seating for wheelchairs and scooters. We have always arrived when a bus has been waiting to leave, so we have always had a great experience and never had to wait for a bus at all.
The shuttle bus stops at North Terminal first, currently at bus stop 5. This will also be your collection point on your return to the UK. Bus stop 5 is around a three minute walk around to the entrance of Gatwick Airport in the arrivals section. As soon as you enter the airport, take the lifts to your left and right up to departures. From here it’s well signposted to the check in desks and bag drop areas.
Collecting Your Car
When our flight lands and we have passed Customs, we exit the airport and turn right for the short walk back to the bus stop. Again busses arrive every twenty minutes or so and you will be taken back to the Purple Parking site.
I always have my collection ticket ready to show the bus driver as some ask for it and some don’t so it’s best to have it ready. It’s then used to go back into the office to collect your car keys. Your car will have been moved to the front of the car park and is often in clear view as you arrive.
Why We Continue To Use Purple Parking
Leaving your car in someone else’s care is a big deal to many people. I like to know my car is secure in a parking lot, and isn’t being used for additional purposes whilst I am out of the country. In the four times we have used Purple Parking at Gatwick, we have always returned to our car in the same condition as when we left it.
This has brought great peace of mind to us, meaning we can enjoy our holiday knowing our car is safe.