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Heathrow drop off charge: How to pay the fee 2024

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As a private hire driver in London, the fewer fines or Parking Charge Notice you get, the more money you save.

Many UK airports have drop off charges, and to help our family of PCO drivers keep their hard-earned money, the Otto Team have put together comprehensive guides to these terminal drop off charges.

In this article, we explore how the London Heathrow Airport terminal drop off charge works. From the location of the drop off areas, payment methods, to other free Heathrow airport parking and drop off points, this post has got you covered.

Quick facts

In addition to the Heathrow terminal, the London Gatwick Airport and Stansted Airport also have terminal drop off charges. Luton Airport’s drop off zone is now operating out of the Mid-stay car park as a result of the fire in October 2023.

gray airplane on parking
Photographer: Rocker Sta | Source: Unsplash

What is the Heathrow drop off charge?

Introduced in November 2021, the Heathrow Airport terminal drop-off charge is a £5 fee that applies to all vehicles (including private hire vehicles) dropping off passengers at the London Heathrow terminal forecourts.

The terminal drop off charge is enforced via Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Please note that there are no barriers, meaning that you will incur a charge once you enter the drop off zone, and it applies to all four terminals.

Did you know?

The London ULEZ now covers the whole of Greater London. Uber drivers of non-compliant vehicles using Heathrow’s Terminal Drop Off areas will also have to pay a £12.50 daily charge.

a city street with a bus parked on the side of it
Photographer: Naida Marin | Source: Unsplash

How to pay the Heathrow drop off charge?

You can pay in advance, on the day you drop off, or by midnight the next day.

Please note that the charge cannot be paid at an airport ticket machine or in the terminal drop off zones. It is only payable online, via an automated telephone service, or via autopay.

To register your PCO car with Heathrow, visit the airport terminal’s page to create a personal account, then you’ll be able to set up auto pay.

If you enter a drop off area a second time, you will need to pay the charge again and every time after that.

What if I fail to pay the Heathrow drop off charge?

If you don’t pay for the Heathrow drop off charge by midnight the next day, you will receive an £80 PCN missed by APCOA Parking, reduced to £40 if paid within 14 days. Visit this link to pay a PCN online.

The Otto Team would like to remind you that we will not register your PCO car with the Heathrow Airport on your behalf. This is your responsibility. If you do airport jobs regularly, please set up an Auto Pay account to avoid unnecessary fines.

building interior photograph
Photographer: Nick Fewings | Source: Unsplash

Are there any free drop off areas?

According to the Heathrow terminal, free drop offs are available at the Long Stay terminal car parks, where passengers can take a free bus transfer to the terminals. Find out more about Heathrow’s long stay car park here.

Can I pick up Uber passengers at Terminal 2?

Uber drivers can pick up passengers from Heathrow Airport’s designated Short Stay car park. It is prohibited to pick up passengers from Heathrow’s terminal forecourts.

Do private hire vehicles have discounts?

Unfortunately not. PHVs don’t have a 100% discount from the terminal drop off charge. As a PCO driver, you need to pay the charge if you drop off in the terminal drop off zones.

For more private hire news and trends, visit our PCO Newsroom

Looking for a car to drive for Uber? We can help. Try our car discovery tool to find out which PCO car best suits your needs.

Want to learn more?

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