Heathrow Drop-off Charges Explained (2024)

Written by Zego

Published on

Heathrow drop-off charges can be a bit confusing, especially if you’re a new driver working for Uber, Bolt or any of the other ride-hailing apps.

In this comprehensive guide, we aim to demystify the drop-off fees at Heathrow, providing you with a clear understanding of each charge and how to efficiently manage them. This way, you can focus on providing a seamless journey for your passengers without the added stress of unexpected costs.

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Understanding the Heathrow drop-off charges

Introduced in November 2021, Heathrow Airport now charges a £5 fee every time a vehicle enters the terminal drop-off zones. These zones are located right outside the terminals, offering a quick and easy way for you to take passengers to where they need to be.

The charge applies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is in line with similar charges at other major airports like Gatwick and Manchester.

What’s the time limit on drop-off charges?

There isn’t a time limit for drop-off charges at Heathrow. So as soon as you drive into a drop-off zone, you will have to pay the fee.

How to pay the Heathrow drop-off charge

Paying the Heathrow drop-off charge is easy. You can either pay for a single drop-off, or pre-pay for multiple visits. Here's how:

Online: Visit the Heathrow Airport Drop-Off website, enter your vehicle registration number, confirm your vehicle details, then make payment.

By phone: Use the automated telephone service at 0330 008 5600 to pay the charge.

Currently, there are no options to pay at an airport ticket machine or in the terminal drop-off zones. Also, if you enter the drop-off zone multiple times, you'll need to pay the £5 charge each time.

Frequent Users: If you’re a private hire taxi driver with passengers travelling via Heathrow on a regular basis, consider setting up a personal or business account. This allows you to add vehicles, pre-pay for multiple drop-offs, set up autopay, and review your trip history. It can save you a lot of time over the long run.

Whats the time limit?

The time limit for paying your drop off charge 12pm midnight on the day after you enter the drop-off zone. This gives you at least 24 hours to pay.

What if you don't pay?

If the drop-off charge isn't paid by midnight on the day after your visit, you'll be issued a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) for £80. But, if you pay it within 14 days, the charge is reduced to £40.

Do Blue Badge holders need to pay the Heathrow drop-off charge?

No, if you’re a registered Blue Badge holder, you don’t have to pay the £5 charge. This exemption also applies if you're a passenger being dropped off by a Blue Badge holder.

To get this fee waiver, you'll need to apply either before your travel, on the day of drop-off, or by 11.59pm the next day.

Here's what you'll need to provide with your application:

  • Vehicle registration number
  • Date of visit
  • Blue Badge number
  • Email address
  • Flight number
  • Photos of the front and back of the Blue Badge

Also, you can get a 100% discount on the Heathrow drop-off charge if your vehicle is registered with the DVLA in one of the following categories:

  • Roadside recovery vehicle
  • Two-wheeled motorbike
  • Heathrow valet parking
  • Bus or coach

Is there a free drop-off option?

If you’d prefer not to pay the drop-off charge, Heathrow offers a free drop-off option at the Long Stay car parks. Once you’ve dropped your passengers off, they will just need to take the free transfer bus to the terminal.

The Long Stay car parks are free of charge for the first 30 minutes, so if you stay longer than that, you’ll have to pay.

How to contact Heathrow about a charge

Head to the Heathrow website and select the “Contact information” option near the bottom of the Terminal Drop-off Charge page.

There, you’ll have options to chat with them online, send them an email, or call them directly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a free taxi pick-up point at Heathrow Terminal 5?

Yes, there is. The closest free taxi pick-up point to Terminal 5 is the Terminal 5 Short Stay car park. You can also pick up passengers from the Terminal 5 Long Stay car park, where the first 30 minutes are free.

How long do I have to pay a drop-off charge?

You need to pay the terminal drop-off charge by midnight on the day after you use the drop-off zones. If you're late or don't pay, you could receive a Parking Charge Notice (PCN).

Is there a free pick-up point at Heathrow Terminal 3?

Yes, indeed! The nearest free pick-up point to Terminal 3 is the Terminal 3 Short Stay car park. You can also pick up passengers from the Terminal 3 Long Stay car park, where the first 30 minutes are free.

Can I pay the Heathrow drop-off charge late?

If you don't pay the drop-off charge by midnight on the day after you enter the drop-off zone, you'll receive an £80 Parking Charge Notice (PCN). However, this charge is reduced to £40 if you pay it within 14 days.

Can I pay the Heathrow drop-off charge the next day?

Yes, you can pay the Heathrow drop-off charge the day after you enter the drop-off zone, but you have to pay it before midnight on that day. Any later and you’ll be charged with an £80 Parking Charge Notice (PCN).

Remember that number plate reading cameras record your vehicle registration number each time you enter the drop-off zone!

How can I avoid paying the Heathrow drop-off fee?

If you want to avoid the £5 charge, you could use the Heathrow Long Stay car parks. If you drop your passengers there, they will simply need to catch the free transfer shuttle to the terminal. Don’t forget that free drop-off is only available at the Long Stay car parks for the first 30 minutes!