The Airports Where You’ll Save Money Parking a Car Instead of Taking Uber

You might be surprised which option was more frequently cheaper.

TriggerPhoto/iStock/Getty Images
TriggerPhoto/iStock/Getty Images
TriggerPhoto/iStock/Getty Images

When planning your next trip involving flights, travelers usually focus on three main expenses to factor into their budget-airfare to get to destination, accommodations, and the cost to eat and entertain yourself throughout the trip. There is, however, one other sneaky expense we often overlook, and that is what we have to pay to get to the airport.

While we may tend to forget about them, those costs tend to add up, and a smarter choice can significantly impact our vacation budget. Next time you travel, it might be a good idea to consider whether it is most cost-effective for you to rideshare to the airport or drive there yourself and park the car.

Upgraded Points’ newest study lends you a helping hand. The Texas-based travel company just shared results of an insightful analysis, which took into consideration the 50 major and busiest airports in the US and compared the average cost of taking an Uber to each airport and back versus driving your car and parking it there for the duration of a trip of average length instead.

“With travel budgets often stretched to the limit, even the cost of airport parking can be a significant concern,” Alex Miller, the founder of Upgraded Points, said in a statement. “Keeping costs low by knowing the most affordable airport parking ahead of time, and when it is best to opt for an Uber instead, can all make a genuine difference over time.”

To come up with the results, the company analyzed the most economical parking option offered from the websites of each of the 50 airports, and gathered average costs based on parking durations both for long weekend options (from Friday to Monday) and for a full week (Saturday to Saturday). Then, it compared them against the cost of a two-way Uber to and from the nearest city center. The study also took into account the quality of the parking options offered from the rankings on

If you thought that Ubering back and forth to the airport was canonically the cheapest option, you might have to think again. According to the study, Uber was cheaper than parking for a long weekend in only 14 of the 50 airports considered. Yet, in some cases, Ubering is still your best option-and can save you quite some money.

More specifically, these are the top five airports with the largest savings, whether it is because you’re choosing to park your car or to Uber there and back:

1. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK): you can save $88.94 by parking
2. San Diego International Airport (SAN): you can save $82.12 by Ubering
3. Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD): you can save $71.88 by parking
4. Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR): you can save $69.12 by Ubering
5. Logan International Airport (BOS): you can save $60.82 by Ubering

Image courtesy of Upgraded Points
Image courtesy of Upgraded Points
Image courtesy of Upgraded Points

Some airports, though, are quite affordable if you choose to park your car, and daily rates are very cheap when compared to other hubs in the country. These, for example, are the top five cheapest airports for parking when looking at daily rates:

1. Kansas City International Airport (MCI): $7.50/day
2. John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH): $8.33/day
3. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH): $9/day
4. Indianapolis International Airport (IND): $9/day
5. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG): $9/day

If you’re worried, however, that parking your car for cheap could mean compromising for lower-quality parking options, that doesn’t really seem to be a problem.

“It was surprising to learn that higher-rated parking facilities don’t always equate to steeper long-term costs,” said Alex Miller. “In fact, none of the airports boasting the top 10 highest-rated parking facilities found their way into the list of the top 10 priciest.”

For more information on your go-to major airport and to see the full rankings, you can read the full study right here.

Looking for more travel tips?

Whether you need help sneaking weed onto a plane, finding an airport where you can sign up for PreCheck without an appointment, or making sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to when your flight is canceled, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for up-to-date travel hacks and all the travel news you need to help you plan your next big adventure.”Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTikTokTwitterFacebookPinterest, and YouTube.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


Mad Mex’s New Menu Item Is Inspired by a Popular Mexican Street Food

mad mex chicken al pastor

Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.

Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.

You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.

As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.

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