Long Term Parking At DCA – Is It Better To Use Off-Airport Parking?

Long Term Parking At DCA – Is It Better To Use Off-Airport Parking?

This is one of the most inevitable questions we are faced with every time we have to go out of the city and need to use the parking at DCA. Are we better off using a taxi? If not, do we park at the airport site or use private, off-airport parking facilities? Of course, using your own vehicle has more convenience but there are legitimate concerns about vehicle safety and the parking costs as well. Let’s examine both options in detail.

DCA Parking Options

DCA (Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport) is situated in Arlington County in Virginia and is located only 3 miles from downtown Washington, D.C and is one of the major airports serving the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area along with BWI and IAD. DCA had passenger traffic of more than 20 million in the year 2014 and offers 3 types of parking options that include short term, terminal garages, and economy parking lots. Let’s have a look at what each option has to offer.

Short Term Parking Lot

This parking garage serves all terminals and is only a short walk to all 3 terminals. However, you should only use this option if you intend to stay for a short while, say less than 2 hours. The hourly rate for parking at DCA short term lot is $6 per hour and a maximum of $36 for 24 hours. An important point worth noting here is that this parking lot does not accept cash and you can only pay through a credit card.

Terminal Parking Garages

This parking lot also serves all terminals with an added option of airport shuttle. These garages serve all three terminals and have the same hourly rate of $6 as that of the short term parking lot. However, the rate for 24 hour parking is relatively cheaper than short term parking lot at $25 per day. This lot will accept both cash and credit cards.

Economy Parking Lot

This parking lot also serves all terminals but is located at a distance from the terminals. Passengers can reach their respective terminals via a free airport shuttle after parking their vehicles. This lot is mostly used for longer stays and has no hourly rate. The charge for parking your vehicle is $15 per day and is the more economical option of the three as the name suggests.

Best Long Term Option for Parking At DCA

In addition to the parking lots physically situated at the DCA airport, there are multiple parking options available at hotels and lots near the airport. In comparison to the on-airport parking rates, these lots offer highly economical rates as low as $7 per day. If you compare that with the $15 on-airport economy parking option, you would be saving more than 50{899b15f80a2d8718204d48354149b0a45e47eff631d37dac5896e2c8e1eedb93} on each day.