Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
Published August 27th 2013
Melb airport - where the parking costs more than the flight .... Source: Melbourne Airport
Heading out of town for a special weekend – a short city break to Sydney or Hobart? You have the cheap airfare, have managed to get a great last minute hotel booking, but wait …. can you afford the airport parking? Melbourne is said to have the most expensive airport parking in the world – and yes, it is outrageous. Here are a few tips to make it as affordable as possible:
1.Choose where you want to park and plan your time accordingly:
- Long Term car park (10-15 min by regular courtesy bus to the terminals) – the cheapest option
- Long term undercover, multi-story car park (5 min walk to terminals)
- Business carpark (right next to Qantas/Jetstar terminal, but only affordable on a company account!)
- Short term car park (next to terminals – take your credit card, it's EXPENSIVE! ….. $14 for 30 minutes, anyone?)
Melbourne Airport's Short Term Parking Source: Alan Isherwood / Wikimedia Commons
2. Book and pay for your parking online as far in advance as possible at www.melbourneairport.com.au/to-from-the-airport/airport-parking/car-parks.html – you can save up to 75% off the standard rates. For example, Friday night to Sunday night booked a couple of months in advance at the Long Term car park will cost just $25, whereas if you pay on arrival it will cost $49. They also have occasional on-line special offers.
3. Enter the parking competition being run by Melbourne Airport (no, seriously) by taking a 'selfie' of you and your car and you could win a free parking bay until 2020! They are giving away one bay a month for 12 months - and given the cost of parking out there, this is definitely worth making a fool of yourself for!
4. There are a lot of nearby private airport parking operators, who provide much, much cheaper parking options and who also provide a courtesy drop off. Most are only 5 minutes away from the airport but make sure you allow the extra time required as advised by the operator. These tend to be particularly good value for longer trips away, and some offer undercover parking, valet services and even repairs and servicing while you are away.
RACV members are also entitled to member discounts with a number of these operators when booked via RACV. Try Jetport Security Parking in adjoining Freight Road (from $45 for RACV members for a weekend, in undercover and with valet service), A1 Airport Parking (from $31 for open-air parking for teh weekend, or $69 for a full week), Ace Airport Parking, Andrews Airport parking (where you can also have your car serviced while you are away!), Busy Beaver Airport Parking (from $32.40 for the weekend for RACV members parking in open-air) or Europcar. Again, it's best to book online in advance for the cheapest rates.
When all else fails ... jump on the bus Source: Image by Canley / Wikimedia Commons
If the cost of parking is prohibitive, other than winning the free parking bay, your best bet is to find someone to drop you off (there is a 20 minute free 'waiting bay' to the left of the airport in front of the old Jetstar terminal, for when they come to collect you), or to take the airport Skybus from Southern Cross ($28 return pp) – even cheaper, public bus no. 901 stops in front of terminal 1 and connects to Broadmeadows train station and then to the city/Frankston – all for the price of a myki ticket!
I use Carhood which is the coolest concept, you park for free and make money by sharing your car whilst you're away, plus you also return to a fully detailed car. If it doesn't get rented out parking is still free, so a win-win either way. They also do a paid just parking option too which is cheap.
Check it outwww.carhood.com.au