How Safe are Airport Car Parks?


For most people, driving their own car to the airport is simply the easiest way to get there. You can avoid splashing out on expensive taxis, and you don’t have to ask friends or family to get up in the small hours of the morning to drop you off. And, in light of the developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it also means that you can avoid wearing a mask to board any form of public transport. All in all, it seems rather obvious that driving to the airport and parking your vehicle in a nearby car park is the simplest and the quickest way to travel. But is it also the safest?

When you’re researching different long-term parking options online, you’re more likely to be thinking about the safety of your car than hygiene matters. The most common questions that we’re asked at Flyparks in terms of the safety of airport parking lots relate to the possibility of vehicle damage - will my car be secure while I’m away? Will I come back to find scratched doors, dents, or worse? How do I know that my car won’t be driven around without my permission? All of these factors can play on your mind, especially if you’re planning on going away for an extended period of time. 

But in recent months, we’ve started to receive more questions about health and hygiene. That’s why we decided to examine the current safety measures offered by the various airport parking lots around Australia, to compare the safety standards and disease prevention methods in place. We looked at off-site lots, on-site car parks, as well as valet services, with a particular focus on the safety of long-term airport parking during the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve also put together a few tips to help ensure you and your car’s safety at these car parks.  


How Safe are On-site Airport Car Parks?

On-site or at-terminal airport car parks are usually adjacent to the terminals. These car parks are typically owned and operated by the airport authorities, who charge customers a premium for their proximity to Arrivals/Departures and ease of use. Does this extra cost translate into extra security and health measures? Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. In actual fact, since these car parks can be accessed by members of the public at any time, day or night, it’s harder to monitor them for safety. 

Security measures tend to be limited to monitored CCTV, and cleaning efforts, although thorough, will be hampered by the amount of traffic entering and exiting the lot. Most major airports clean high-touch areas on an hourly basis, and use hospital-grade cleaning products. It’s important to note that visitors are not required to wear masks when entering the airport car parks, nor do they receive health checks. If you’re concerned about potentially catching the coronavirus and would prefer to avoid potentially crowded areas, we advise looking at alternative parking options. 


How Safe are Off-site Airport Car Parks?

This question is a little more difficult to answer, as both the security and the health and safety measures adopted by private businesses often differs. Most are gated, guarded by 24/7 manned security teams, and watched over by camera surveillance. At the same time, entrance to the car storage facilities are limited to stay, and even paying customers are only allowed in the reception area. When cleaned regularly, these car parks pose a more limited threat in terms of disease control. 

On the other hand, there are the occasional lots that do not offer much in terms of security, but are considerably cheaper than their competitors. In this respect, your safety, and the safety of your car, will ultimately depend on the type of parking lot you choose. So, it’s important to consider all your options and take both safety and cost into account. Using sites like Flyparks can help you to search across a wide variety of off-site airport car parks, to compare both their rates and safety features. Our advice is to choose a car park that freely explains the measures that they have put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and has many positive reviews from previous customers. 


How Safe are Valet Parking Services?

Valet parking services, although expensive, are generally guarded very well. The average valet parking lot is gated, manned, and covered by CCTV. These car parks are typically out of bounds to the public, only allowing trained staff to drive and park the vehicles. Of course, you will have to hand over your car keys to someone else, so it’s best to do a little research online before selecting a valet service. On the plus side, this does mean that you will only need to come into contact with one individual in order to park up, which lowers the risk of coronavirus transmissions. 

At present, many of the valet parking services near Sydney Airport, Melbourne Airport, and Brisbane Airport have closed. Since the demand for air travel has declined, airport valet services Australia wide are operating on reduced opening hours. Make sure you check opening hours before driving to the airport, on your day of travel. 


Is it Safe to Leave Your Car Long-Term?

We understand that you might have concerns about leaving your car at an airport car park on a long-term basis. We’ve all read the news stories about thieves being able to break into vehicles and stealing belongings, or even the car itself! However, these events, when they do happen, make the news because they’re quite rare. If you park with a trusted airport parking provider who offers adequate safety measures, your vehicle will be safe while you’re away.

If you’re looking for affordable long-term parking, for a week or more, we suggest that you look at the options for airport parking with shuttle service


Extra Measures to Keep your Car Safe

While most on- and off-site airport car parks are well lit, well guarded, and protected by CCTV, it’s still a good idea to take a few additional precautions to enhance your car’s safety. The next time you’re heading away on holiday or for business, make sure you have peace of mind by:

  • Removing valuables from your car - this includes electronic equipment, chargers, sports gear, and even loose change. You should remove anything that might tempt a thief to try and break into your vehicle
  • Making sure that you don’t leave any copies of your travel itinerary or your parking ticket in a very visible place. These items tell potential thieves just how long your car is due to stay in the parking lot 
  • Locking all of your car doors before leaving - it sounds obvious, but it can be easy to forget if you’re rushing to your flight 
  • If you park in a lot that allows you to choose your own space, always select one in a well lit area, which is as close to the exit or to elevators/stairwells as possible
  • Try to select a parking space where your car is clearly within sight of a CCTV camera. This is a good deterrent to would-be thieves

While there are no definitive answers as to how long the coronavirus can survive on surfaces, we suggest that you:

  • Use disinfectant wipes or a soap and water mix to clean common touch points inside your car. These include areas such as the steering wheel, gear levers, stereo/radio touchpad and controls, door handles, mirror control buttons, and the indicators 
  • Stay home and avoid travelling if you experience any of the following symptoms; fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell
  • Handle your car with caution if anyone showing the above symptoms has boarded your car, and wear a mask and gloves when cleaning the vehicle 


The information presented in this article was accurate at the time of publishing, however health guidelines and measures may be loosened or imposed without warning. Flyparks does not accept responsibility or liability for the use of the information supplied.

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