You love your car. You keep it clean and running smoothly, 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 or accessible.
If you’ve never used valet parking or hired a valet company, the process can be confusing, and both do indeed come with their 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. Plus, 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
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. You then ensure 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 a 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. We cover that topic in depth in our valet parking services blog. But it often takes longer, and if you are retrieving your car during a busy time like after an event, it 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!
DON’T Accept Less Than Stellar Service
Valet parking services are paid to serve you. That should always be their number one priority. Of course, to know if you’re getting stellar service, you have to know what that looks like. Luckily, we’ve got your back! Check out our blogs on the subject that detail the qualities of a good valet driver.
Glassdoor, a well-known employment site, states that “accountability and personal integrity are important as a valet,” and we couldn’t agree more. Because the employee has direct access to your car, they must be comfortable and confident handling that responsibility with care—and have the strong moral compass needed to do so. That’s why we at Unparalleled Parking background check all of our employees; we want nobody but the best to handle your vehicle!
DO Expect Punctuality
Your valet parking service should run like a well-oiled machine. They should have the parking route established as you roll up and take your car with near surgical precision—though not without courtesy or kindness, of course. This goes for if you’re hiring them or if you’re simply attending an event which has such a service present.
Punctuality is important because it gets you or your guests to your event sooner—it is a luxury wrapped up in convenience, both of which are the purpose of valet parking in general. Your valet parking services should leave you in awe at their efficiency!
DON’T Hire a Valet Parking Service That Doesn’t Carry Insurance
Your valet parking service should be skilled in the first place—but they also need to be prepared should the unexpected rear its head. While they can account for their own employees and their driving skills, they cannot control other drivers on the road or in the lot.
That’s why your valet parking service should always carry insurance which covers the proper parties in case of damage. It’s not a dig on a company’s abilities; it’s just common sense.
Unparalleled Parking: The Ideal Twin Cities Valet Parking Services
If you are interested in learning more about valet parking or hiring a valet service for your own event, contact Unparalleled Parking online. We are full-service valet parking professionals in the Twin Cities who are ready to give your event the perfect first impression!
You can reach our Minneapolis office today at 651-300-1515.