19 August 2020
The Cheapest Airport Drop-Off Locations for Taxi Drivers
When driving a taxi, one of the most pleasant words you may hear when picking up a passenger is, “To the airport, please!”
Airport runs are one of the most popular routes among taxi drivers. As most airports tend to be far from city centres, they often guarantee a much higher fare compared to many other rides. Additionally, driving someone to the airport then gives you the following opportunity to take someone to a hotel, or back to their home.
However, a major issue that taxi drivers now face is that most airports charge drop-off fees to each vehicle taking someone to the airport. Though some places may offer smaller charges such as £3 for 10 minutes, others may charge £5 for each 15 minutes.
Here is a list of drop-off prices at UK airports including the cheapest and most expensive, as well as a list of alternate spots to drop off passengers free of charge:
Whilst most London airports across now charge drivers to drop off passengers, there are still several ways to drop off passengers free of charge:
Dropping passengers off outside of the terminal is completely free. If you wish to pick up passengers from the airport, using the short-stay car park will put you right outside of the terminal, but will cost you £4.50 for half an hour.
Drivers can also wait for passengers completely free at the long-stay car park, however, it should be noted these are not directly outside of the terminal and can only be accessed from the airport via shuttle bus.
You can pick up and drop off passengers for free at each terminal in Gatwick Airport. However, waiting is not permitted, with risks of a fine if this rule is violated. Like Heathrow, drivers can use the short-term car park near the terminals at £4 for 30 minutes, or £8 for the full hour. There is also a long-term car park further from the airport that drivers can use for free for up to two hours.
LONDON CITY AIRPORT
Drivers can drop off passengers free of charge, although they are not permitted to wait in the area to pick up others. For pick-ups, Black Cabs can use the Black Taxi rank outside the terminal entrance. However, Uber and private hire vehicles must use the pick-up zone at the short stay car park. Drivers will be charged £3.50 for the first 10 minutes, and £8 for stays between 11-20 minutes.
LONDON LUTON AIRPORT
Passengers can be dropped off for free (for 15 minutes) at Luton Airport’s mid-term car park, where a shuttle bus will then take them to the main airport terminal. The closest drop-off to their terminal will charge you £4 for the first ten minutes, with an extra £1 being added for every minute added afterwards.
LONDON STANSTED AIRPORT
The mid-stay car park allows free parking for up to 1 hour for those dropping off passengers. Whilst drivers can also head to the express set down, there will be a charge of £5 for the first 10 minutes, with an extra £1 added for each following minute until 15 mins. Anything after 15 minutes will be charged £25.
LONDON SOUTHEND AIRPORT
The long stay car park is free to use for up to 15 minutes for both pick-up and drop-off, and is a 5 minute walk from the terminal building. There is also a short stay car park with a charge of £4 for 10 minutes.
MAJOR AIRPORTS OUTSIDE LONDON
BELFAST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Belfast International Airport currently allows drivers to drop off passengers at the Meet and Greet zone, as well as the short stay and long stay car parks. At the Meet and Greet zone, the first 10 minutes will cost you £10, while 20 minutes will cost £3. In the long term car park, drivers will be allowed to be parked free of charge for the first 15 minutes.
Birmingham Airport has 2 different options:
Premium Set Down: At £3 for the first 15 minutes, passengers can be dropped off just a 1 minute walk away from the terminal building.
Drop-Off: Free for the first 20 minutes, and just a short 5-10 minute walk from the terminal building.
Bristol Airport has a Waiting Zone car park that allows free parking for up to 1 hour. Whilst usually there is a free courtesy bus transfer service to take passengers to the airport, this has currently been suspended due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Drivers can also use the Drop & Go car park at £4 for 10 minutes, £6 for 20 minutes, and £9 for up to 40 minutes.
CARDIFF AIRPORT/MAES AWYR CAERDYDD
The primary airport in Wales, Cardiff Airport has a free drop off point outside of the main terminal for the first 10 minutes. Afterwards, there will be an additional charge of £5 for each 10 minutes your vehicle remains parked.
DONCASTER SHEFFIELD AIRPORT
Doncaster Sheffield Airport currently allows drivers to use the express drop-off lane at £3 for the first 15 minutes. Additionally, the short stay car park is only a few minute walk away from the main terminal building, and is completely free to use for the first 15 minutes.
EAST MIDLANDS AIRPORT
For those wishing to drop off passengers directly at the terminal building, there is a rapid drop-off lane located near the short stay car park. The charges are currently £3 for the first 10 minutes, and an additional £1 for every minute thereafter.
The long stay car park can be used for free for up to one hour for drop-off and pick-up purposes. A shuttle bus will then take the passenger to their intended terminal.
Edinburgh Airport is currently the most expensive airport in Scotland when it comes to drop-off charges, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find free-of-charge drop off areas around the site. The airport’s charged drop-off area is located on the bottom floor of their multi-storey car park, and charges £2 for the first 5 minutes. The price goes up to £8 for 10 minutes, £10 for 15 minutes, and £15 for a full hour.
For free drop-offs, drivers can use the Long Stay car park for up to 30 minutes at no charge. To stay the full hour, there will be a charge of £7.
At Glasgow Airport, the long stay car park can be used for free for up to 30 minutes to drop off your passengers. However, the drop-off area outside the terminal building has numerous different charges.
Up to 10 minutes – £2
11-15 minutes – £4
16-20 minutes – £10
21-30 minutes – £15
30+ minutes – £45
Leeds-Bradford Airport has a specialised one hour free car park just a 3-4 minute walk from the terminal building. There is also the Terminal Front Express parking directly in front of the main building. Prices are £3 for the first 10 minutes, £5 for 20 minutes, £7 for 30 minutes, £9 for a full hour and each subsequent hour following.
Leeds-Bradford Airport also has Arrow Cars as an official taxi partner.
LIVERPOOL JOHN LENNON AIRPORT
Liverpool John Lennon Airport has 2 options for dropping off passengers. Parking at “Drop Off 2” will allow you free parking for up to 40 minutes, and is only 400 metres from the main terminal. There is also the express drop-off and pick-up car park, which charges £4 for the first 10 minutes, £10 for 20 minutes, and £25 for a full hour.
Though Manchester Airport has been known to be one of the most expensive airports in the UK when it comes to drop-off charges, there are still ways to visit the airport and not be charged.
The airport has a free drop-off area about a mile away from the main airport, where a shuttle bus will then take passengers to their intended terminal. Drop-off right outside the main terminals is £3 for 5 minutes, and £4 for 10 minutes.
NEWCASTLE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Newcastle International Airport currently charges £3 for 10 minutes, or £5 for 30 minutes to use their express car parking.
Drivers can use the priority pick-up and drop-off point in the short stay car park in Southampton Airport.
“Vienna International Airport from the Air Traffic Control Tower 06” by Stanislav Doronenko, used under CC BY / Modified from original