Parking at some UK airports coul d end up costing more than a return flight to Europe, new research has found.

Parking comparison site Airport Parking shop recently reviewed prices for every UK airport on its platform for a four day break over the bank-holiday weekend (23-26 August), and found that parking could set you back up to £168 - more than a return plane ticket to some European cities.

Coming out most expensive was Heathrow Terminal 5 - where parking for four days over the bank holiday weekend at that Sofitel short stay car park worked out at £168.

Heathrow Airport is the most expensive for short stay parking over bank holiday weekend

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Return flights to Dusseldorf for the same weekend from Heathrow currently cost £159.98, while flights to Hamburg will set you back £155.38, so parking is actually more expensive than the trip itself.

However, by opting for a nearby park and ride option at Heathrow, which costs £39.95, flyers could save a whopping £132.05, proving that it definitely pays to plan ahead and shop around.

Luton came out second most expensive, where parking in the official on-site car park will cost you £93.99 over the bank holiday weekend. This costs more than a flight from Luton to Amsterdam the following weekend, which costs £71.96.

The cheapest UK airport for parking is Prestwick, where customers can use the short stay over the bank holiday period for a very economical price of £35.  Second cheapest is Humberside at £36, while parking in Newcastle's short-stay will set you back a reasonable £39.99.

Top 8 most expensive airport short stay parking locations for August 23-26:

  1. Heathrow - £168
  2. Luton - £93.99

  3. Bristol - £72.99

  4. Birmingham - £72.02

  5. Stansted - £67

  6. East Midlands - £64.99

  7. Southampton - £62

  8. Belfast City - £61.99

Top 8 cheapest airport short stay parking locations for August 23-26:

  1. Prestwick - £35
  2. Humberside - £36
  3. Newcastle - £39.99
  4. Bournemouth - £41.93
  5. Glasgow - £44.99
  6. Edinburgh - £44.99
  7. Teesside - £45.95
  8. Doncaster - £52

Manchester didn't rate on the most expensive nor the cheapest list for short stay parking, however, it did come out as one of the most economical airports for meet and greet parking - with an overall price of £55.50 for bank holiday weekend.

Manchester Airport parking starts at £45 if you opt for park and ride

A quick search on the Airport Parking Shop website shows that the cheapest option for those flying from Manchester is to use park and ride, which will cost £45 for the four-day bank holiday period.

Speaking about the findings, Airport Parking Shop's Product Manager, Alice Fowler, said: "Doing your research is crucial when it comes to securing a good deal for airport parking.  Turning up at the last minute without booking is a sure fire way to end up paying a small fortune.

"You need to plan ahead and shop around, as the best price may not appear on a company’s own website. Using a price comparison site like ours will help you to make an informed decision and save you time comparing prices across many different sites.

"On average our users save up to 60% on gate prices."

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