Driving your private car to Tullamarine Airport is arguably the easiest and most convenient way to catch your flight. You can transport as many people or pieces of luggage as your vehicle can carry and drop them off at the nearest terminal entrance. You also have transportation ready and waiting when you return from your destination. Besides, this air facility features enough parking to handle all its passengers.
That is, unless you happen to be flying during a busy season like the Christmas Festival. You run the risk of wasting a lot of time driving to find an empty space, assuming one is available. Then there are the high daily parking charges that you have to contend with, especially if you’re going on a long trip. You can avoid both problems by going with some cheap Melbourne airport parking run by a third-party.
You want to look for facility that offers you at least two parking options: undercover, if you’d like to protect your favorite car from the elements or outdoor, if you’re willing to trade off a lower daily rate for contending with Mother Nature. In addition, the facility should offer you a break on fees if you stay there for an extended period, perhaps by reducing the daily rate for each day that you remain there. This contrasts with the more budget-busting airport parking, which hits you with the same daily cost whether you stay there for two days or an entire month.
You also want the facility to be relatively close to the terminals, preferably within a 15-minute drive, so you don’t spend too much time on the road. Shuttles must be free, frequent, efficient and air-conditioned with courteous drivers that understand that you want to get to your flight as quickly and as safely as possible. Even so, always allow extra time when you’re using off-site parking so you’re not rushing through the check-in process.
Look for 24-hour service so you can depart or arrive at any time of day or night. To prevent the possibility that you won’t have a parking spot, the facility should have a website, which guarantees you a place as long as you book in advance using your credit card. Such an online form will typically ask you for arrival date and time, whether you’re traveling with children under four years old and the details of your vehicle, such as registration, make, type and color. It will also give you an estimate of your total parking charges, which you can pay for online. If you’re the type of person that prefers that a travel agent make all the arrangements, many facilities offer commissions to such professionals as well as special tools for tracking bookings.
If the facility offers a membership program, it’s usually worthwhile to join it, particularly if the application form is online. You may receive special privileges just for signing up. For example, you may be entitled to priority spots closer to the shuttle stop or terminal, get discount coupons mailed to you or enjoy easier check-in when you park. If you’re signing up a business vehicle, you may be entitled to a Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) deduction, which you can deduct from your FBT tax liability.
Be sure to read the Terms and Conditions. It will spell out the facility’s responsibilities and obligations to your car and what it will do in case of problems. While they will take reasonable care to ensure the security of your vehicle, you are ultimately responsible for any issues that arise when you park. The terms will also typically express their procedures if disputes arise or if you do not pay your bill. This can extend all the way up to putting a lien on your car and its contents.
Cheap Melbourne airport parking can mean better-than-average satisfaction, if it offers a range of vehicle services while you’re away. Expect to pay extra for such amenities. They can be as simple as a hand car wash with drying by a chamois or it can more extensively include interior steam cleaning and stain removal. Another amenity to look for is vehicle-servicing, which can include such options as changing the oil, inspecting the breaks, adjusting engine belts and reporting on vehicle systems.
Customer service is paramount. You don’t want to worry about your parked car and expect quick and friendly responses to your questions whether you email, text or phone in. You can check the Internet to see if any reviews exist for the parking facility you’re considering. Another way to gauge the level of service is by calling them in advance. How much time do they answer the phone? Do you talk to a live operator right away or do you have to wade through deep levels of automated menus? Does the agent respond to your issues knowledgeably and professionally?