MOTORISTS are advised to check ‘meet and greet’ companies offering parking services at Gatwick Airport before handing over their keys ahead of their holiday.
Sussex Police and West Sussex Trading Standards have received reports of customers being disappointed with the service provided, with some customers claiming to have suffered damage to their vehicles.
Some cars have been returned dirty with more mileage on the odometer, with customers also reporting long delays while waiting for their car to be returned after their vacation.
Officers have warned that motorists should check the reputation of the companies they use and remember that not all companies listed are affiliated with Gatwick Airport, even if the company uses ‘Gatwick Airport’ in her name.
Gatwick Police Precinct Police Team Inspector James Biggs said: ‘Travellers wishing to use ‘meet and greet’ parking services should do their research before deciding which company to use.
“Online tools are available to help travelers in their research.
“If you book through an online agent, you should be aware that your vehicle may be assigned to one of the many companies on their books.
“By doing your research, you will be more confident to leave your vehicle with the company of your choice and enjoy your travels.”
Gary Wallace, Airport Parking Manager, said: ‘Gatwick Airport has no connection with these rogue meet and greet parking companies, although many of them have ‘Gatwick’ in their company name.
“Legally rogue companies can operate at their airport as long as they don’t violate our regulations.
“If passengers are considering using an off-airport drop-off parking provider, they should check that they have a good reputation on Trustpilot, TripAdvisor or another reliable means. The British Parking Association also has good advice.
“For complete peace of mind, however, I would strongly recommend that passengers use the official airport car park.”
Richard Sargeant, West Sussex Trading Standards Team Leader, said: ‘In recent years we have had to deal with a number of rogue ‘meet and greet’ companies at Gatwick Airport. and it can be very difficult for travelers to decide which parking operator is best to use when going on vacation or on business.
“We recommend travelers park directly with Gatwick Airport or use an approved parking operator, which are reputable companies.
“They give you much greater security while you’re away so we always suggest you visit www.buywithconfidence.co.uk to find out which meet and greet operators have been approved by Trade Standards.
“Anyone who thinks they have been the victim of an unfair trading practice should contact West Sussex Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133.”
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This notice was published: 2022-06-15 18:17:48