You love your car. You keep it clean and running smooth and take pride in it. So it makes sense if you want to park it yourself. But when you pull up to your destination after a long drive on a cold and rainy night or a scorching summer day, valet parking becomes a very attractive option, especially in large venues where parking may not be very close. But if you’ve never used valet parking, it can be confusing and it does indeed come with its own type of etiquette. Here are a few basic do’s and don’ts to make your valet experience easier and more enjoyable!


Don’t worry. These folks are professionals.


Valet parking is usually safer than parking yourself and valets park hundreds of cars every week of all shapes and sizes. They know what they’re doing. When valets park in valet-only areas, they are moving vehicles along with a handful of other valets that are used to working together. Conversely, parking yourself in a public garage means you are competing with dozens or perhaps hundreds of other drivers trying to squeeze past each other. On top of all that, valet companies and their garages are insured to cover physical vehicle damage from employees or other hazards.


Do remove your valuables.


Always play it safe and take your valuables with you. In fact, take everything you think you could need out of your car. This includes sunglasses, wallets, mobile devices and, if you’re at a hotel, your phone charger. In addition to ensuring safety, you won't need to have your car brought back up later if you realize you forgot something.


Don’t lose your claim ticket.


When you leave your car with valet, they'll give you a claim ticket to identify it when you leave. Put it somewhere safe! We suggest slipping it into your wallet with your ID so you won’t lose it.

If you do lose your claim ticket, there’s always a way to recover your car. But it often takes longer and - if you are retrieving your car during a busy time like after an event - this can seriously back up the line and cause frustration both with the staff and other customers. Just treat your claim ticket like your car keys. Don’t lose it. It’s just good valet etiquette, which brings us to our next point:


Do consider tipping.


Many people simply don’t know how much to tip, or if they are even supposed to. Tipping is not required, but it is polite to hand the valet a few dollars. Two to five dollars is a standard tip, depending on where you are. But feel free to offer more if the valet does an outstanding job. Many customers tip only when they leave!


If you are interested in learning more about valet parking or hiring a valet service for your own event visit Unparallel Parking online. We are full-service valet parking professionals in the Twin Cities who are ready to give your event the perfect first impression!