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Within a 20-mile radius of the UK’s 12th busiest airport lie the cities of Derby, Leicester and Nottingham. Local buses offer transport from the airport to all three of these cities 24 hours and also connect the airport with each city’s main railway station. East Midlands Parkway connects the airport with each of these cities, but is four miles away. Nonetheless, car rental in East Midlands Airport is by far the swiftest way to access all three of these cities as well as the rest of the region.
Who to Book With
Europcar, Enterprise, Hertz and National all have an office right in the Arrivals hall of the single terminal building and are open until 23:30 each night except on Sundays. Vehicles can be collected in the car park, which can be accessed from the terminal building by free shuttle bus.
Need to Know Essentials
You will need to show the following documents to collect your vehicle:
- Your current driver’s licence (both parts for UK citizens)
- A valid credit card
- Proof of identity such as a passport
All cities offer a plethora of parking spaces at their designated ‘Park and Rides’ that are located outside of the city centres. Most main sights in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham can be seen on foot, though there on plenty of on-street car park spaces as well as secure car parks in all cities. Some on-street parking zones require a resident permit and parking in a restricted zone can result in pricey fines. Most petrol stations are self-serve, offering motorists the option of paying by Chip and Pin or by debit or credit card.
Arriving passengers can self-drive to either of these cities for speedy access. Local buses reach Derby in 40 minutes, Leicester in 53 minutes and Nottingham in 55 minutes, and operate 24 hours. There are also taxis, which are of course more expensive.
East Midlands Parkway Railway station is a 12-15 minute taxi ride from the terminal. From here, National Rail trains run to Derby, Leicester and Nottingham. Tickets can be purchased at the railway station and cost around £4.50, £6 and £4, respectively. If arriving at the airport via these railway stations there are special ‘train and bus’ combined tickets, with bus service from the railway stations to the airport.
Airport taxis are provided by Arrow Cars and depart from a designated pick-up point just outside of the terminal. Fares are the same 24 hours.
East Midlands Airport to Derby city centre is around £35
East Midlands Airport to Leicester is around £50
East Midlands Airport to Nottingham is around £30
Skylink bus tickets into the cities can be bought directly from the driver. The bus to Derby ceases at the Derby Bus station, the Leicester bus terminates at St Margaret’s Bus Station and the bus to Nottingham stops at the Broadmarsh bus terminal, which is a five-minute walk to the railway station. These buses run every 30 minutes in the daytime, while through the night they run every 60 minutes.
The airport consists of one terminal building that caters to over four million passengers each year. The airport operates flights arriving from all over the European continent including the Mediterranean islands, as well as to Egypt and Cyprus, and seasonal flights to and from Mexico, Barbados, Brazil and Orlando.
There are eight car parks at the airport in additional to a VIP valet area next to the terminal. The cheapest car parks are the two Shuttle Economy lots, while the most expensive is the Express Park that is adjacent to the terminal. Rates for 24 hours in the Express Park are £24. Prices for the other car parks run from £25 to £30 for up to two days’ stay.
Wireless internet is available inside the terminal free of charge for up to 30 minutes in a 24-hour period. After the initial 30 minutes are used passengers can continue through a pay-as-you-go service.
There is an information desk placed right in the middle of the main terminal building.
Information Desk: +44 871 919 9000
Feedback: +44 133 285 2939
East Midlands has a disability service provider there to aid any passengers with reduced mobility, though to ensure the best service arrange this ahead of time. The short-term car park has spaces designated for passengers with reduced mobility and help points are located here to enable passengers to contact the special service provider. Public toilets and telephones are wheelchair friendly.
Restaurants and Bars
There are two eateries in the terminal, Burger King and Greggs. There are also two coffee shops onsite as well as two bars that serve wine, spirits and beer. Take-away options are available at the restaurants and coffee shops.
There is an Executive Lounge next to the Chameleon Bar on the first floor of the terminal building which is open from 04:30 to 19:30.
Money and ATMs
Cash machines are located on the ground level next to the stairs and Caffe Ritazza. There are no bank branches or currency exchange services at the airport.
There is some good shopping here, with shops selling everything from beachwear to novels. Biza Tax & Duty Free stocks duty-free perfume, alcohol, cigarettes and cosmetics. Other beauty products can be snatched up at Boots, along with pharmaceuticals. Accessories can be had at Accessorize, while aviation enthusiasts can grab a souvenir at the Aviation Gift and Hobby Centre. A wide selection of books can be found at WHSmith, while gadgets can be had at Dixons.