A Guide to Gatwick Drop off Charge | Cost, Zones, Discounts, and More!

Gatwick Airport, situated 30 miles from Central London, is the United Kingdom’s second busiest airport (Heathrow Airport being the busiest).

It is also one of the oldest airports, servicing commercial flights since 1933. Gatwick Airport offers budget-friendly charter flights in and around the UK and internationally.

The airport consists of two terminals, namely North and South Terminals, and provides many services for passengers waiting for their flights – lightning fast Wi-FI being one of them.

Gatwick Airport


The terminals have fully stocked stores with products ranging from A to Z and world-class restaurants.

If one terminal doesn’t prickle your taste buds, you can hop on a shuttle that runs 24 hours a day to travel to the other terminal.

The travel time between the two terminals is just two minutes.

Although easily accessible by car, a fee is payable when arriving at Gatwick airport in a specific zone.

Known as ‘Gatwick Drop Off Charges,’ these fees apply whenever someone drops off a passenger at Gatwick Airport’s designated drop-off zone.

The drop-off charge system can be complicated to manage if you are not knowledgeable on the subject.

Fortunately, this is a complete guide to help you navigate, handle, and inform you about everything regarding the drop-off charge at Gatwick Airport:

  • What is the Drop of Charge at Gatwick Airport
  • How Much is Gatwick Drop off Charge
  • Where Are the Gatwick Drop off Zones
  • How to Pay Gatwick Drop off Charge
  • How to Avoid Gatwick Drop off Charge
  • Are there Gatwick Drop off Charge Discounts and Exemptions
  • Gatwick Drop off Charge Complaints
  • Gatwick Drop off Charge Contact Number
  • What are Red Routes at Gatwick Airport
  • Passenger pick-up at Gatwick Airport
  • Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Drop off Charge at Gatwick Airport

Upon arrival at the respective terminals of Gatwick Airport, there is a designated area called the Drop-off zone with license plate reading cameras.

Cameras automatically register your vehicle’s license plate when you enter a designated drop-off zone.



A timer will commence, counting the time you spend within the drop-off zone, accumulating the total cost of your drop-off charge.

Those same cameras will deregister your license plate when exiting the respective drop-off zone.

The bill with the appropriate amount is charged to the respective owner or registrar of the vehicle.

When leaving, a fee is automatically charged to your account and is payable on the same day as when set online.

How Much Is Gatwick Drop off Charge

Drop-off charges for the North Terminal Drop-off Zone:

  • A fee of £5 is charged for the first 10 minutes
  • For each additional minute, you will pay £1, applicable for up to 20 minutes
  • The maximum charge is £25
  • The maximum duration you can stay is 30 minutes

Drop-off charges for the South Terminal Drop off Zone:

  • A fee of £5 is charged for the first 10 minutes
  • For each additional minute, you will pay £1, applicable for up to 20 minutes
  • The maximum charge is £25
  • The maximum duration you can stay is 30 minutes

Applicable to Both Terminals:

If you are planning to stay for longer than 10 minutes or want to pick up a passenger, you might want to use the Gatwick Short Stay Car Park; fees applicable:

  • A fee of £5 will be charged for staying up to 30 minutes
  • If you are planning to stay between you 31 to 60 minutes, you will pay £8
  • 1 to 2 hours will cost you £13

However, if you want to avoid the Gatwick Drop off charge, you can opt for the Gatwick Long Stay, free of charge for up to 2 hours.

The Gatwick Drop-off payment must be paid before midnight on the following day.

Failure to do so will result in a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) of £100, payable within 28 days.

If the Parking Charge Notice is paid within 14 days, it will be reduced to £60.

Below you can find a table summary of the Gatwick Drop off Charges at the respective Terminals:

Gatwick Airport Drop-off zones with respective charges
Respective Car Park Time Available Change
North & South Drop off Zones 10 minutes £5
Each additional minute, applicable for up to 20 minutes £1
30 minutes £25
Gatwick Airport Short Stay 0-30 minutes £5
31-60 minutes £8
60-120 minutes £13
Gatwick Airport Long Stay 0-120 minutes Free of Charge
Charge Payable before midnight the following day – Failure will result in PCN of £100

Where Are the Gatwick Drop off Zones

From Northgate Road, the North Terminal drop-off zone is situated on the lower level right between Sofitel and the Short stay multi-story car park. The drop-off zone is well-signposted from approaching roads.

Approaching from Buckingham Gate, continue down Ring Road South. The South Terminal drop-off zone is situated on the lower level next to the Short stay multi-story car park.

The South Terminal drop-off zone is also well-signposted from approaching roads.

How to Pay Gatwick Drop off Charge

Gatwick drop-off payment is made online and by phone. Please note that you can not pay for the drop-off charge in person at an airport ticket machine or office.

Moreover, not paying before entering the drop-off zone is acceptable since you still do not know the exact amount of time you will spend there.

Pay Online: You can do it with any device with internet connectivity to browse the payment page of Gatwick Airport. Pay your drop-off charge here.

Pay by Phone: Pay by phone is also possible by dialing Tel: 0330 174 4503 (automated payment line).

Pay by Autopay: Worried you might miss the payment deadline? You can always set up automatic payment by creating an Autopay account.

On the site, you will have to register your vehicle details and add a payment method which will automatically be debited from your account upon leaving the drop-off zone.

Pay via taxi: If you are arriving via taxi such as a black taxi, the driver will automatically add the drop-off charge to your transportation fee.

Book your taxi with Airport Cars


How to Avoid Gatwick Drop off Charge

Similar to the Heathrow Airport drop-off charge system, the only way to avoid the Gatwick Drop-off Charge is through the airport’s long-stay car parks.

The long-stay car park offers free parking for up to two hours. From the long-stay car park, a free shuttle bus is also available to take you to your respective terminal.

Upon entering Gatwick, follow the signs that state ‘North Terminal Long Stay’ or ‘South Terminal Long Stay’ depending on your departure terminal.

Take a ticket when reaching the barrier, and board the free shuttle bus to take you to your terminal.

You can scan your ticket for free parking when you are ready to leave.

Remember, it is only valid for up to two hours. The long-stay car park is the furthest away from the terminal.

If you are planning on parking at the long-stay car park, please take the extra time needed to reach the terminal into consideration.

Read the video for more details;

Are There Gatwick Drop off Charge Discounts and Exemptions

Blue Badge Exemption

Gatwick Airport offers a Blue Badge Exemption. Blue Badge holders are exempt from all drop-off charges, whether arriving in public or private vehicles.

To be exempted, the vehicle used for drop-off should be registered in advance.

This also works for pick-up, which is similar to Heathrow Airport pick up. You must register the license plate of the vehicle picking you up in advance.

Here is some important information about the Blue Badge Exemption:

  • The Blue Badge will grant you an individual 30-minute complimentary drop-off session.
  • The Blue Badge Exemption can be used year-round, totaling three hours.
  • Registration for the Blue Badge can be done anytime, up to three months before your flight, right up to the day you depart.
  • Follow this link to create an online account. You will need to provide personal details such as name, flight date, license plate number, and a photo of the Blue Badge.
  • Blue Badge holders arriving by taxi can also be exempted by registering the taxi number plate beforehand to avoid additional charges.

Please note that if the vehicle you are traveling with is registered to an Autopay account, you will need to disable it when taking advantage of the Blue Badge exemption.

This will ensure that no unnecessary debit charges will be automatically subtracted from your account.

Don’t hesitate to contact the Gatwick Drop off Charge Contact Number if this has already happened.

Local Residents

Local residents living in RH6 0, RH6 9, and RH11 0 don’t have to pay the Gatwick drop off charges as long as they apply for a permit under the Local Commuter Scheme.

With the permit, you get two free drop-offs per day at the South Terminal and can register a maximum of two vehicles.

The permit allows you to have an annual membership paid for £50 a year.

To apply, you need to provide your full name, address, vehicle registration, and a recent utility bill or car insurance certificate.

National Car Parks (NCP) handles the applications and will be the ones to approve and contact you.

Local Commuter

If you are a local commuter who only needs to use the Gatwick Airport train station to travel to other London areas, you are still required to pay the Gatwick drop off charge.

However, if you have a permit for the Local Commuter Scheme mentioned above, then you get two free drop offs per day.

Whether you need to catch a flight or just commute via the Gatwick Airport train station, you need to pay the drop off charge each time you are dropped off at the airport by a taxi or car.

Gatwick Drop off Charge Complaints

Complaints regarding the Gatwick Drop off Charge primarily revolve around high-traffic incidents.

Although Gatwick Airport drop-offs are free of barriers to ensure smooth traffic flow, they can still become congested.

Some complain that the drop-off charge is too high for the amount of time on offer, especially if there is high traffic in the drop-off zone.

Concerns have been taken into consideration by Gatwick Staff and will be discussed.

Gatwick Drop off Charge Contact Number for Complaints

If you have any problems or complaints regarding your Gatwick drop-off charge, you can query your drop-off charge through the following:

  • You can email them via service@ncp.co.uk.
  • You can use the Gatwick drop-off charge contact number to call them: 0345 050 7080 – select option 4.

The staff is always friendly and open to assist in any way possible.

What are Red Routes at Gatwick Airport

Red Routes at Gatwick Airport

Check out the link to Download the PDF file.

Red routes are designated areas within airport grounds. These areas are there to ensure visitor safety.

You are not permitted to stop, unload your baggage, idle, or park within these areas.

Failure to comply with the restrictions will result in a £100 enforcement charge (if paid within 14 days will be reduced to £60).

Red routes are marked with signs and double red line road markings and are monitored by Gatwick Airport security personnel.

Please refrain from parking in these areas as it will lead to unnecessary fines and takes time to complete, which can be irritating if on a strict schedule.

Passenger Pick-up at Gatwick Airport.

It is advised to collect passengers from the short-stay car park. As pick-ups take more time, it is better to pick up a passenger from the short-stay car park as it will help you avoid extra fees relating to parking.

The free alternative to the short-stay car park is the long-stay car park, which you can utilize for up to two hours.

There is also a free shuttle service that can take you to and from the terminal.

The long-stay car park can be utilized for drop-offs as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long to pay Gatwick drop off charge?

Gatwick drop-off charge is immediately payable when the vehicle leaves the drop-off zone.

You will have until midnight the following day to pay the bill. Failure to do so will result in a £100 fine, payable within 28 days.

When did Gatwick drop off charge start?

Gatwick drop-off charge started after the detrimental impact of Covid-19 on the entire aviation industry as a means to generate an additional revenue stream.

What happens when Gatwick drop off charge not working?

This will happen in the least likely circumstances. However, if it happens, there will be barriers put up and all the license plates of the cars will be manually counted and timed.

What is What Three Words?

What Three Words by Gatwick Airport is a location-mapping tool to help you navigate to your booked car park at Gatwick Airport. It uses a unique three-word tag to locate your car park’s entrance.

To help you on your next visit to Gatwick Airport, download the free What Three Words app.

For how long is the drop off zone at Gatwick Airport open?

The drop-off zone is open 24 hours a day, all year round.

Will my payment details be secure when paying for my Gatwick drop-off charge?

Gatwick Airport incorporates the latest SSL industry-standard encryption to ensure all your data is safe.

What if I work at Gatwick? Will I still need to pay for drop-off charges?

If you work at Gatwick Airport and have an Identification badge to match, you can apply for an exemption from any drop-off charges.

If you want to apply for an exemption, you must first fill in the Forecourt Access Request form, which can be found here, and then submit it to your relevant authorized signatory for approval.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Gatwick Airport Drop off charge is on par with industry standards. It provides you with secure online transactions and transparent airport drop-off charges.

It can be challenging to navigate your way around the airport, so pay close attention to the appropriate signs.

Remember to avoid parking in the red routes and not leave your car unattended. Keep an eye on the time, as every minute you remain in the drop-off zone costs you £1.

The free alternative to the drop-off zones is simple parking in the long-stay car park.

Most important, remember to pay your Gatwick Airport Drop off Charge! Safe travels!

4 thoughts on “A Guide to Gatwick Drop off Charge | Cost, Zones, Discounts, and More!”

  1. Really not clear from this how I pay for a MINIBUS that came to PICK UP and went through the ground floor or South Terminal
    I am not a frequent user of airports but I organised a group holiday
    The above is really not very helpful at all
    Am I supposed to pay a drop off charge for a pick up? Where else might I pay?

    • Hello Bammo,
      I think that you have to pay the pick up charge as usual. You can check our paying part in the article to pay for the charge.

      BTW, as per Gatwick Airport advice, all pickups should take place in the short stay car parks, which are located close to the terminal buildings.

      However, if the pickup takes longer, the long-stay car parks can be used for free parking for up to two hours.

      Passengers and drivers can then use the free shuttle bus service from the long-stay car park to the terminal buildings.

      The long-stay car parks can also be used for drop-offs.


Leave a Comment