Tips for Leaving Your Car in Long-Term Parking
Any trip that involves flying requires a considerable amount of planning. You have to plan your flights, your layovers, your hotel check-in times and more, all often down to the last minute. You have to think about things like rental cars, housesitters and carry-ons. In all this shuffle, it’s essential to address another critical detail — where will you leave your car while you travel?
For many people, the most practical option is to leave their car parked at or near the airport. Every decent-sized airport has lots reserved for this purpose, though they can be costly. You park your car, lock it and proceed to your flight. When you return, your car will be waiting for you. Another popular, and cheaper, option is to rent a parking space at a nearby parking facility, often located just down the street from the airport.
But is it safe to leave your car at the airport? Is there a limit to how long you can leave your car there? What advantages do offsite parking facilities offer? And for those traveling out of the Boston area, what are some tips for leaving your car in long-term parking at Logan Airport?
If you’re planning a trip through Logan or any other airport, we can help answer these questions. We’ve pulled together this guide on how to prepare your car for long-term parking, how to keep your car safe at the airport and much more.
Why Should I Leave My Car at the Airport?
There are plenty of reasons a person might park at the airport and leave the vehicle there until they get off their return flight days or even weeks later. This is an extremely common practice.
If you’ve never left your car at an airport before, you might feel hesitant about the idea. Leaving your car parked somewhere that isn’t your home for multiple days can be nerve-wracking. However, keep in mind most people who fly on a regular basis do this, and their cars stay safe.
And while it may seem risky to leave your car in a public place such as an airport, the security at onsite or offsite airport parking is greater than most people have at their own homes. If you’re comfortable leaving your car parked at home, then the airport will be equally as or even safer.
Where Can I Leave My Car at Logan Airport?
Many travelers find it most convenient to drive themselves to the airport, especially if they have to drive a long distance, and most airports have a long-term parking lot. At Logan Airport, you can choose between on-site terminal and economy parking. Terminal parking costs $35 per day. Economy parking costs $26 per day.
Onsite parking isn’t your only option. Logan and other high-traffic airports around the country have offsite parking facilities as well. These are not run by the airports but are located close by and often offer shuttle rides directly to the airport, to save you the trouble of walking after you park your car.
How Long Can I Leave My Car at the Airport?
You can leave your car for hours, days or weeks. Fees will be assessed accordingly.
Let’s use Logan’s terminal parking as an example. It charges per-hour fees up to the first 24 hours. Then it has a flat rate for a day and will prorate a portion of the next 24 hours. After 48 hours, it goes to straight daily rates. So, for instance, if you parked for 1 day plus 6 hours, you would pay $53. Some airports do restrict how many days you can leave a car there, and this varies by airport.
Most offsite parking lots charge per day only and have no time limit. They may provide a discounted weekly rate. Your car will remain safe and not get towed if your trip gets delayed. Be sure to check with your local airport or offsite parking facility for their hourly rates.
Are Airport Car Parks Safe?
At both onsite and offsite airport parking facilities, your safety and security are paramount. Facility managers know your car is important, and they take their responsibility to protect it very seriously. They practice various security measures to protect your vehicle and belongings, including supplying:
- Security cameras
- Locked gates
- Bright lighting
Logan Airpor offers complimentary services such as lost car searches if your vehicle gets misplaced or stolen. Offsite airport parking services are extremely security-conscious. Park Shuttle & Fly, for instance, provides free valet services, so you don’t have to walk through the parking lot to find your car. Our employees are also present to keep an eye on the vehicles and assist you with any concerns. Your vehicle will never leave our lot.
Should I Use Onsite or Offsite Parking?
Whether to park at the airport or at an offsite facility depends on a number of factors. To help evaluate which option might be right for you, here are a few of the primary differences you’ll notice between the two:
- Walking Distance: With many airport parking options, you’ll need to walk to the terminal. Offsite facilities, on the other hand, provide shuttle services that will drive you right up to the terminal door.
- Price: As a rule of thumb, airport pricing tends to be higher than what you find offsite. By being open to parking further away, you may be able to snag a better deal.
- Comfort level: Parking at a large and busy airport can be intimidating, and you may worry about losing your car or having it swiped by someone in a hurry to get to their flight. At smaller offsite facilities, you will usually have a much easier, faster and more streamlined experience, free from the hustle and bustle of the airport.
How Can I Keep My Car Safe at the Airport?
We’ve discussed whether or not airport parking lots are safe. But there’s another valuable question to ask, and that’s what you can do to keep your car safe while it waits for you at the airport. While the airport is certainly responsible for creating a safe environment, you can take extra steps to ensure your car’s safety and security while you’re away no matter where you park.
1. Remove Your Valuables and Ticket Information
It should come as no shock that one of the best ways to protect your car from theft or vandalism is to remove all items of value from your car. Don’t leave jewelry, technology or money in the car, even if it’s locked and secured. That includes things like phone chargers, aux cords, Bluetooth devices, CDs and more. Don’t forget about essential documents you might have stowed in the glove compartment, either.
Likewise, you should not leave your trip itinerary sitting in your car. This will tell someone looking into the car exactly how long you will be gone and give them a window to plan. It’s best to remove anything that has to do with your flight, even a receipt from a fast food restaurant you snacked at along the way, since the date can tell someone if you just parked the car today.
You should also take the parking ticket stub, if you have one, along with you on your trip. Put it in a safe place, such as a purse or laptop case. This way, if someone does try to steal the car, they will not have the ticket they need to leave the lot, a red flag to a parking lot attendant that something isn’t right. It’s doubtful a thief would want to pay the high penalties for a lost ticket.
2. Remove Your Extra Key
Plenty of people leave an extra key somewhere in or on their car. This is okay under most circumstances, as it offers a solution to lock-outs and other inconveniences. If you park your car at the airport, however, you should remove this key. Car thieves know where people typically hide these keys and may find yours, making it easy for them to steal your car.
3. Arrive Early for Your Flight
If it’s at all possible, be early for your flight. Arrive at the airport well ahead of time, so you don’t have to rush through tasks like gathering your luggage, cleaning out your car and securing everything. By going slowly and performing these tasks methodically, you’re more likely to remember everything you need to do and less likely to forget something simple, like locking your doors.
Consider writing a list of all the things you need to do, including locking your doors and making sure all the interior lights are off. The physical act of checking things off a list may help you be more confident you hit every point of concern when leaving the car.
4. Clean up Your Trash
No, would-be car thieves aren’t interested in your crumpled receipts or old take-out containers. However, a neat car is less likely to get broken into. Burglars are drawn to dirty vehicles, as they suggest you don’t pay too much attention to your surroundings and may not notice something is missing until much later. Also, if you have blankets or jackets strewn on the backseat, thieves may assume you are trying to cover something of value and break in to see what that thing might be.
A clean car, on the other hand, shows you are a conscientious person who stays on top of your car’s appearance and will notice immediately if something is out of place, reporting it to airport security right away and resulting in a higher chance the thief will get caught.
Plus, it’s also much more pleasant to get off the plane to find a clean, fresh car waiting for you, instead of one full of old hamburger wrappers.
5. Give Your Car a Thorough Inspection When You Return
When you step off the plane and head out to the parking lot to find your car, do a thorough once-over of your vehicle. Double-check any items you left in the car are still there. Look for scratches, dents or other signs of tampering that weren’t there before. Make sure nothing is obviously missing from either the interior or exterior of your car, such as the radio or your hubcaps.
Be thorough. Pop your trunk and check there. Hunt through the glove compartment. Look everywhere you can think of. If it does turn out something’s missing, it’s always better to realize it early on, when you can easily report it to security. They may be able to scroll through security footage and take other steps that will help them locate your stolen belongings. If, however, you don’t notice something is missing until days or even weeks later, the trail may grow cold, and the odds of recovering the item are much slimmer.
6. Consider Your Parking Options
Many airports provide several different long-term parking options, including indoor and outdoor lots, economy options or deluxe 24-hour security options. There are also the high-quality offsite options. As a customer, you’ll want to take a moment and think seriously about your different options and which will be best for you.
Onsite parking is certainly closer to your plane, but it is usually more expensive and a lot busier. You could get stuck in a traffic jam trying to leave the airport. Offsite parking is often less costly and less crowded. This makes it ideal for your budget and your stress levels.
7. Choose Your Parking Space Strategically
Are you going to park in an outdoor lot? Position your car relatively close to a light. Car thieves are more likely to hit cars in dark, unattended spots, so the light may deter anyone with unsavory intentions.
Are you parking in a lot with surveillance cameras? Locate these cameras if you can, and be sure to park in full view of them. Again, this may deter thieves and, if someone tampers with your car, the camera footage can assist in attempting to recover any lost items. Another excellent solution that may be more viable at a smaller parking location is to park close to the management building.
This is one reason you should make sure the parking lot you choose offers no-move parking. This ensures your car will stay where you or the valet parks it. You will feel more confident knowing exactly where the car is.
Flying Out of Boston? Park Your Car Safely at Park Shuttle & Fly
If you’re traveling through Logan Airport and want a safe and affordable parking option, consider leaving your car with Park Shuttle & Fly at Logan. We offer secure parking, as well as a short shuttle ride to the airport, allowing you to fly without worrying about what might happen to your car while you’re away. Our parking lot is fully fenced and secure, and our reliable shuttle service means you don’t face the hassle of hiking to the airport after you park.
We can even clean and detail your car while you are away. Let us handle your car while you’re away. To reserve your parking space with us, get your quote today.