View Full Version : Valet Park Gatwick - A warning

13th Aug 2010, 15:57
Just come back from a family holiday. Left the car with Valet Park Gatwick, a Meet and Greet service, as did our son, on my recommendation. We had used them before and had no complaints. Their website states that the cars are taken to a secure compound.
Both got home to letters from the Surrey Police to say that our cars had been seen parked in local residential areas, following complaints from the residents. Beware.

13th Aug 2010, 15:59
Hope you let plod know who the real culprits are.........

13th Aug 2010, 16:08
Plod is not blaming us - just letting us know. They are passing all details to Trading Standards with view to prosecuting.

Torque Tonight
13th Aug 2010, 16:14
This issue has been highlighted on various 'consumer affairs' TV programs in the past. These companies generally seem to be run by a bunch of cowboys, spivs and thugs. Most cars will end up parked wherever the hell they like. If you leave a 'prestige' motor with them, it'll probably come back with a few hundred extra miles on the clock. Obviously there is no security, protection or insurance for your vehicle while in their 'care'. I wouldn't touch these companies with a sh1tty stick.

13th Aug 2010, 16:25
The difficulty is knowing which are the cowboys. I suspect that this outfit has changed hands recently - we had used them several times before and were most impressed with the service and prices. Car always arrived promptly, and with only about 6 miles on the clock.
This time we had to wait 50 mins. Probably couldn't remember where they had left it. Because they had been so good in the past I hadn't noted the mileometer reading this time.
Can anyone recommend a good, reasonably priced meet and greet? Aardvard seem to have good reviews.

Captain Stable
13th Aug 2010, 16:28
We use Meteor Meet and Greet both at Heathrow and Gatwick - haven't had any problems so far (after 5-6 times).

13th Aug 2010, 16:31
I used to use a similar service at Heathrow - though they used a minibus to transport owners (and their passengers and luggage) to and from the terminal. The storage space was (almost) a scrapyard though I never had cause to complain (and it was a company car) - there was always several vehicles having engines changed . . . :eek:

Sir George Cayley
13th Aug 2010, 19:19
Is a pre-booked airport long stay so much more expensive, bearing in mind the risks, too much?


13th Aug 2010, 23:19
If you're not too far from the airport, a better option may be a good executive car service. From my location, it costs only a little more to use one both to and from either Gatwick or Heathrow than to park for about a week and a half, doesn't cost any more if away longer and the guy waits at arrivals and wheels your bags back to the shiny Merc or BMW for you.

The only downside may be missing out on the game of trying to spot your car and which dingy industrial estate it's been parked/dumped in as you pass overhead on approach.

13th Aug 2010, 23:25
I'm risking a beasting here, but it has to be asked, what about the public transport options?

ie has your mode of parking been defined by logistics or some other motive?

I.E. were you the only one on your flight that had to avail of such services?

In a nutshell, go cheap, less chance of a ripoff. :ok:

14th Aug 2010, 06:10
I remember this scam being outed on a "Watchdog" telly show nearly ten years ago.

14th Aug 2010, 07:53
Mini. Depending where you are flying from, and where you live in the Uk there is either a poor or very poor public transport option, and certainly trains are not cheap in the UK. I live about 25 miles from Birmingham Airport. My public transport options are a taxi all the way at about 55 each way or to a railway station (I have a choice of two) about 35 each way, but then only about 25 minutes on the train. The whole journey by taxi would take about 45 minutes, but by taxi and train upto 1 1/4 hours. The trains don't run early enough for the early departures, nor late enough for the late finishes. All in all for my purposes where I live public transport is a very poor option whether I was working or just traveling for pleasure.

14th Aug 2010, 08:39
I'm in a similar position to firestorm. It's 25 for a taxi to the station, followed by a hefty train fare, and 98 for chauffeur driven car, going at the time I want to go. Plus carting the bags. If the last flight back at night is late by more than ten minutes or so, by the time I have got my bags (why do BA always get bags with priority tags off last?), there's no public transport available until the next morning.

14th Aug 2010, 08:58
Slight thread drift although pertinent in regard to relying on public transport. A couple of years ago transiting back through London I had left myself four hours to get from LHR to LGW I had prebooked tickets with National Express but about three or four coaches sailed past without stopping and the upshot of it was we missed our connecting flight back home to Guernsey that evening and was relieved of 150 each for a single flight to get home. We weren't the only people to have got caught that evening, and I have vowed never to use National Express again, I e-mailed them and they never even had the courtesy to reply. Since then I've tried to avoid having to do the LHR/Lgw transfer thing and find it easier to go via Paris on occasion for long haul. However, this Autumn we're due to fly out from LHR to YVR and the dreaded London transfer looms. I've gone for a prebooked meet and greet car for about 46 each way from BA transfers which seemed to me quite good value, anybody on here any experience with these guys?

14th Aug 2010, 18:56
Public transport not an option - Two changes of train, 0400 checkin and 3 small grandchildren.
Park & ride is a pain, with 0400 check in and 3 small grand children.
Executive car grossly expensive, as both son and I both live 100+ miles away, and in different directions,so we would need two.
On-airport long term is significantly more expensive, and the car is not in a secure compound.
A reliable meet and greet is the easy option, if anyone can recommend one. Yes, we have used Meteor, car returned with paint damage, which they insisted "must have been there before, as none of our drivers reported scraping it".
I'm open to recommendations

14th Aug 2010, 19:53
Don't you know a friend who would be willing/stupid enough to be able to go to the airport with you and drive your car home and then pick you up when you return?

14th Aug 2010, 20:43
Thanks for the kind offer hellsbrink. I'll be in touch. Cheers O Xenos

Lance Murdoch
14th Aug 2010, 20:58
I use a local taxi company to get me to the airport. Airport parking, public transport and taxi companies are usually about the same price when you include everything.

Firestorm - If you live in Wolverhampton or nearby the company will do a return journey (pre-booked) to Birmingham Airport for 65. PM me for details. Its nothing fancy but they are reliable.

14th Aug 2010, 21:16

I have very good news for you! On your arrival at YVR (and your departure) you'll be able to use the new rapid transit line from the terminal building directly to the middle of beautiful downtown Vancouver. I've used it a dozen times now (it's been operational for about 6 months) and it's superb. Lots of room for your luggage, it runs very often, takes 22 minutes to the centre of downtown and, best of all, it costs $2.50!

Feel free to PM me if you want any info or assistance re your BC trip.


Rusland 17
14th Aug 2010, 21:37
Public transport not an option - Two changes of train, 0400 checkin and 3 small grandchildren.Why would you put yourself through the hell of a 4am check-in when you have three small children travelling with you? Or even if you were alone?

14th Aug 2010, 22:22
Not from choice - only flight available to that destination.

14th Aug 2010, 22:33
Friend lived couple of years ago very close to Gatwick and it was a nightmare with cars parked especially by employees of the airport plus holiday makers.

Best days apparently were when council made it residents only, visiting he stopped and look at my car and then spotted the visitors pass and warden said it was unusual to have residents waving and saying thanks to them, must admit there are hardly any cars know on the residential streets around there now.

If going at that time of the morning then perhaps staying over at one of the B&Bs / hotels where parking included is a better option as least leaves kids in bed until later and check in night before.