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London airport drop off charges 2024: Everything you need to know

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Did you know drop off charges at London airports account for a large proportion of the parking charge notices (PCN) the Otto Team received? Yes, over the last 6 months, more than 20% of our tickets were from Heathrow and Gatwick

In order to help our family of PCO drivers save their hard-earned money, we’ve put together a list of London airports that charge a drop off fee, and how to pay the charges to avoid getting a parking ticket.

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

Heathrow Airport drop off charge

What is the Heathrow drop off charge?

The London Heathrow Airport terminal drop off charge is a £5 fee that applies to all vehicles dropping off passengers at the Heathrow terminal forecourts, the passenger drop off areas located in front of the terminal buildings.

If you don’t pay the charge by midnight the next day, you will receive an £80 parking charge notice, which will be reduced to £40 if paid within 14 days.

Pay your PCN online here.

How does the Heathrow drop off charge work?

The Heathrow Airport 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.

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 Airport, visit the terminal’s page to create a personal account, then you’ll be able to set up auto pay.

Any free alternatives?

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

▶️ The Otto Team would like to remind you that drop off fees are not charged daily, but every time you enter the drop off areas. If you enter a drop off area a second time, you will need to pay the charge again.

Gatwick Airport drop off charge

What is the Gatwick drop off charge?

The London Gatwick Airport terminal drop off charge is a £6 fee (for 10 minutes) that applies to all vehicles dropping off passengers in both North and South Terminals at Gatwick.

Charges:

  • £6 for 10 minutes
  • £1 for each additional minute up to 20 minutes
  • Maximum charge of £25 and the maximum length of stay 30 minutes

If you don’t pay for the Gatwick drop off charge by midnight the next day, you will receive a £100 PCN, which will be reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.

Pay your PCN online here.

How does the Gatwick drop off charge work?

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

How to pay the Gatwick drop off charge?

You must pay by midnight the day after the visit to drop off passengers at the forecourt.

Please note that the charge cannot be paid in the terminal drop off zones. It is only payable online, via autopay.

If you take a lot of Gatwick jobs, visit the airport terminal’s page to create a personal account to register your PCO car with Gatwick and set up auto pay.

Any free alternatives?

Free drop offs are available at the Long Stay terminal car parks (two hours free parking), where passengers can take a free shuttle bus to the terminals. Follow the signs for ‘North Terminal long stay’ or ‘South Terminal long stay’.

Find out more about Gatwick’s long stay car park here.

Luton Airport drop off charge

Update: Following a car fire in Terminal Car Park 2, the drop off zone is now operating out of the Mid Stay Car Park. Dropping off at the Mid Stay Car Park is free for 30 minutes. 

Shuttle buses are running between the car park and the terminal building (Bus Bay A), or it is a short 10-minute walk.

Stansted Airport drop off charge

What is the Stansted drop off charge?

The Stansted drop off charge applies to all vehicles dropping off passengers at the terminal’s Express Set Down zone.

Charges:

  • £7 for up to 15 minutes
  • £25 for over 15 minutes
  • £20 for re-entering within 30 minutes of first entering

How does the Stansted drop off charge work?

Stansted Airport has upgraded the CCTV enforcement cameras at the exits of the drop off zones and short stay car park to prevent tailgating drivers.

How to pay the Stansted drop off charge?

Starting November 2023 they’ve started a programme to upgrade their car park technology, including a transition to a completely cashless system.

Any free alternatives?

Free drop offs are available at the Standsted Airport Mid Stay car park (60 minutes free parking). If you’re going to stay for longer than the free period, you’ll get better parking prices by pre-booking.

London City Airport drop off charge

London City Airport doesn’t charge a drop off fee. 

While you can drop off passengers on the terminal forecourt next to the terminal building, you’re not allowed to wait there. The airport has Automatic Number Plate Recognition (APNR) cameras in use and fines will be issued.

Not sure which PCO car to choose? Try our car discovery tool to find out the car that best suits your needs.

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