Parking at the airport is never cheap, but just how much it costs depends on where you live. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has just completed its investigation into the prices for airport parking at Australia's five biggest airports, and the results aren't pleasant reading.
Picture by Ross Land/Getty Images
As we pointed out last week when discussing Apple, the ACCC doesn't generally investigate pricing anywhere that's deemed to be a competitive market. Because airports are monopolies, however, the ACCC conducts a similar study every year, examining the cost of parking and the overall quality of airport service.
According to the report, this is what you'll pay for parking in five major capital cities. (Click for a larger version of the table.)
This table reinforces some obvious principles: short-term parking is a rort if you're not returning the same day, and the larger the population, the pricier the airport parking. Sydney is still the most expensive, but hasn't seen any changes, and neither has Adelaide (which has a major parking rebuild going on right now). Perth prices are up across the board, while the outcome in other locations.
So are those rises due to increasing demand, or just providers charging more? Again, it varies by city:
Total car parking revenue increased for all of the monitored airports. For Adelaide and Sydney airports, these increases were wholly attributable to an increase in demand for car parking services. For Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth airports, these increases in revenue were attributable to increases in both demand and prices.
You can avoid airport parking fees if you take public transport (we have a comprehensive guide to your options here), but that's not a suitable solution for everyone. If you can't persuade someone to drive you, parking can still work out cheaper than a taxi, especially in larger cities where the fare can easily top $60 or more each way.
What tactics do you use to reduce airport parking fees? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Lifehacker Australia editor Angus Kidman was weirdly shocked when he recently drove to Melbourne airport with a friend and used the car park, since he normally takes the SkyBus. Which, annoyingly, has just put up its ticket prices. His Road Worrier column, looking at technology and organising tips for travellers, appears each week on Lifehacker.