Caution advised over airport parking firms after thefts

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HOLIDAYMAKERS are being warned about rogue ‘meet-and-greet’ parking firms at airports.

Trading Standards has received complaints about thefts from cars, damage to vehicles and excess mileage put on the odometer while the car has been in the care of some companies.

The service involves meeting a company representative at an airport and then handing over the keys.

The firms take the car away and bring it back on the traveller’s return to the airport.

People are being urged to check the small print.

Councillor Lionel Barnard, who oversees Trading Standards in West Sussex, said: ‘It’s important to say that the majority of people suffer a stress-free experience when dealing with official and regulated meet-and-greet firms.

‘There are so many things to arrange when you are going on holiday that it is easy to look at car parking online and concentrate on price or availability rather than reading the small print.

‘If you look closely some companies offering meet-and-greet services do not have full contact details on their websites so you have no way of making contact if you have a complaint.

‘In some cases claims of secure parking can actually mean a field or a street near to the airport.’

People are advised not to leave any valuables in their car after dropping it off and to make a note of the mileage reading.