On Monday 1 November 2021 London Heathrow Airport will introduce a £5 charge for all vehicles dropping off departing passengers at its terminal forecourts.
This will apply to all vehicles, including private hire cars. There are limited exemptions and discounts for Blue Badge holders, emergency vehicles, motorbikes, coaches and staff buses.
Black cab taxis registered with London Taxi and Private Hire will benefit from a 100% discount until 1 April 2022 to allow Transport for London to consult on changes to meter charges. Private Hire Vehicles do not benefit from this discount.
The charge will apply 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There are no given times or circumstances where it will be waived for all passengers.
The £5 charge can be paid online, by setting up an autopay, or through an automated telephone service. It is not possible to pay the charge at the airport.
The charge can be paid in advance, on the day of travel, or by midnight the following day. It is also possible to prepay for a series of drop offs up to 12 months’ in advance.
Non payment will be enforced through Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology and will incur a fine of £80. This is reduced to £40 if paid within 14 days.
Passengers can avoid having to pay the charge by being dropped off at one of the airport’s long stay car parks and taking a free shuttle bus to the terminals.
This charge has been known for some time. Ahead of its introduction in November, Heathrow has added a dedicated page on its website where you can register for a personal or business account, or apply for an exemption in advance. This page also includes contact details for customer complaints and refunds.
The charge does not affect arrangements for picking up arriving passengers. This is prohibited at the terminal forecourts and can still be done free of charge at one of Heathrow’s car parks.