Melbourne Airport parking – a balancing act

April 30, 2018

Following the ACCC report on Melbourne Airport parking, many have been calling for a cap on parking prices, amid concerns motorists are being ripped off. However, the report also highlights how Melbourne is actually one of the most competitive airports in Australia when it comes to airport car park pricing.

With the growing number of Australians utilising our airports, road networks that service the major airports are becoming increasingly congested. In fact, the route between Melbourne CBD and the Airport is the most severely congested in Australia, with congestion increasing travel times by as much as 29 minutes.

With over 35 million people travelling through Melbourne Airport each year, it’s imperative for the airport to encourage multiple modes of travel, as it would need to supply nearly 100,000 car parking spaces a day if everyone was to drive. Melbourne Airport currently has 24,000 parking spaces available for passengers.

Parking at Melbourne Airport is priced at a level to ensure people make different transport arrangements, such as free drop off and the Sky Bus, helping to support the increasing number of passengers going through the airport. Profits from parking can then be reinvested into the airport to improve the passenger experience, whether that’s through new roads or parking management systems.

Melbourne Airport is the most competitive when it comes to parking. It has the most independent parking operators servicing the airport, compared to the other three major airports. This is good news for motorists, as more competition means more competitive car park pricing.

This competition has led to Melbourne Airport offering extremely competitive rates when motorists book in advance online, even against off-airport parking operators. In fact, on average, Melbourne parking is the cheapest airport for parking out of the big four airports.

Reducing the cost of airport parking

The most expensive parking spots at airports are generally those close to the airport offering maximum convenience. These are typically aimed at non-price sensitive business travellers, where parking is covered by the organisation. You therefore pay extra to secure these premium, sought after spots.

To reduce the cost of parking, price savvy motorists are planning their trips in advance by booking airport parking online or utilising off-airport car park operators. In doing so, passengers can save up to 42 per cent compared to drive-up parking costs at Melbourne Airport. The earlier these parking spaces are booked, the cheaper they are. So, if you want to reduce the cost of parking, it’s imperative you pre-plan and book in advance.

Mosstyn Howell, Founder and CEO at smart mobile parking app UbiPark, offers the following tips for passengers looking to reduce the cost of airport parking:


  • Plan in advance – as soon as you’ve booked your holiday think about how you’re going to get to the airport. Will you be taking public transport, booking a taxi or Uber or driving yourself?


  • Do your research – this is particularly true for airport parking. Have a good look at all the options available to you. Although it might be nice to book a car park right be the terminal, this will also be the most expensive. Have a look at long-stay and off-airport providers. They are often much cheaper and, once you’ve parked, only take 10 minutes to get to the terminal by regular shuttle.


  • Book in advance – once you have looked at prices and decided how you’re going to get to the airport, book in advance. The closer you get to the date of your departure the more expensive it will become and the less choice you’ll have available.