Holidaymakers ‘neglected of pocket’ by automobile park corporations | EUROtoday

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By Clodagh Stenson, BBC South InvestigationsAlex Bish, BBC South East Investigations

Kim Renyard Kim Renyard looking at her laptop cameraKim Renyard

Kim Renyard mentioned she had not been totally reimbursed by the parking agency she used

Holidaymakers say they’ve been left a whole bunch of kilos out of pocket after utilizing two meet-and-greet automobile parking corporations at Gatwick, the UK’s second largest airport.

One passenger mentioned she needed to get a taxi practically 150 miles house to Norfolk after Drive Park and Fly informed her they may not discover her automobile key when she arrived on the West Sussex airport.

Meanwhile, a Galaxy Parking Limited buyer mentioned he was charged six kilos every time his automobile entered and exited the Gatwick drop-off zone whereas he was on vacation.

The BBC has contacted each corporations – which aren’t linked to Gatwick Airport – a number of instances for a remark, however they’re but to reply.

West Sussex Trading Standards mentioned it had acquired 199 complaints about numerous parking operators since 2022/23.

Kim Renyard mentioned that when she tried to choose her automobile up, Drive Park and Fly mentioned her keys “had been lost or misplaced”.

She mentioned she spent a whole bunch of kilos on a taxi to Norfolk, on the understanding her automobile can be dropped to her house as soon as the corporate had minimize new keys.

Although the agency mentioned they’d minimize a brand new key, she mentioned her outdated set was returned with the automobile.

“I actually do not know what they did with my car while it was in their care,” Ms Renyard mentioned.

She mentioned she had not acquired any cash and was greater than £300 out of pocket, regardless of being informed by Drive Park and Fly that she can be totally reimbursed.

Richard Bowyer standing by his car

When Richard Bowyer returned from his vacation he mentioned the parking agency initially couldn’t discover his automobile

Richard Bowyer mentioned he returned from a household vacation to be informed that Drive Park and Fly had “no recollection” of getting his automobile.

He booked right into a lodge, however along with his automobile nonetheless lacking the following morning, he needed to take a taxi house to Hampshire, costing him about £400.

Per week later he mentioned his automobile was discovered within the brief keep automobile park, within the actual spot the place he had handed it over to an organization consultant.

Another holidaymaker, Leon Palma, from Southampton, booked a meet-and-greet with Galaxy Parking Limited.

But he mentioned his vacation was interrupted when he acquired a collection of mechanically emailed receipts exhibiting his automobile had entered and left the Gatwick Drop-Off zone six instances throughout the identical morning, when he was overseas, at a value of six kilos every time.

Mr Palma mentioned: “It stressed my holiday, because I’m thinking if anything happens to my car, I’ll get the blame because I am the owner.”

West Sussex Trading Standards said it had received 13 complaints about Galaxy Parking Limited this year and nine relating to Drive Park and Fly since December.

Richard Sargeant from Trading Standards standing outside South Terminal at Gatwick

Richard Sargeant from Trading Standards said passengers need to thoroughly check reviews before booking their airport parking

West Sussex Trading Standards manager Richard Sargeant said we have had issues with different operators for a number of years.

“We’ve had instances where cars are driven outside the compounds, cars left at supermarket car parks, and customers cars have had speeding tickets.

“This year we have seen customers vehicles being left at the short stay car park and when they return their car hasn’t moved at all and the customer has to pay money to get their car released from the car park itself.”

He said people should always look for a “buy with confidence approved trader” who has been vetted by trading standards.

Trish looking at a camera

Natasha Ferdinand discovered a fine was clocked up by her car while she was away

Natasha Ferdinand, from Somerset, said she thought her experience with Drive Park and Fly had gone smoothly until she was hit with a fine for parking in a no-stopping zone.

“The issue was that the parking meet-and-greet people parked it there, not us”, Ms Ferdinand mentioned.

She mentioned she tried to get Drive Park and Fly to cowl the £100 penalty however its workers “both put the cellphone down or ignored my emails”.

Oliver Bedford, head of car parking at Gatwick Airport, which is not connected to Drive Park and Fly or Galaxy Parking Limited, said passengers needed to do their research.

He told the BBC: “Although there are many reliable corporations off-airport and the official Gatwick parking, there are some corporations who usually are not working in a proper and correct method.”

He mentioned individuals must be “additional cautious” looking on comparison websites” at suppliers and examine their particulars.

“Do they have independent reviews? Make sure that what you are booking is fully trustworthy,” he mentioned.