Tips for Tipping When You Opt for Valet Parking

Author // NPR Car Talk
Posted in // Custom parking tags, Valet parking tickets, Valet ticket app

Valet parking ticket

Valet parking has been around for a long time. The term itself was coined in 1959 and is derived from the French term “valet de chamber,” which means male, household servant. There are a number of reasons people opt for getting the 3 part valet ticket. It certainly takes a lot less time and effort than driving around looking for a parking spot. If you decide to have your vehicle parked, you have to decide how much you will tip your driver when they return your car or truck.

  • Try not to go overboard. Sure you want to reward good service when you get it but that does not mean you should fork over a ton of cash. Around the country, tips for valet parking range anywhere between $1 and $5. You should never give less than $1. If the weather is really bad or if the person has really gone above and beyond the call of duty, you may want to give a little extra but try to keep your tip just above the $5 point.
  • You should not base your tip on the price of the valet parking. There are times when the valet parking tickets are free. This should not give you the idea that you should not give your valet parker a tip. The rules for tipping when you have your 3 part valet ticket do not change when the price of the parking is different. Keep in mind, your tip is your way of thanking the valet attendant for taking care of your vehicle.
  • Give a little extra if you have a lot for them to carry. If you have a valet driver who helps you with your bags or other items, you should make it a point to give them a little more than you would if you had nothing with you. Anytime they go out of their way to be more helpful, you should reward them with a better tip. That is just the polite thing to do. Here are some instances when tipping more makes sense:
    • You have special needs that are accommodated appropriately.
    • You request a specific parking spot.
    • You forget items in your car and the valet retrieves them for you.
    • The weather is really bad.
    • You get extra services from the driver such as directions, restaurant recommendations, etc.
  • If you are coming and going a lot, you are not obligated to tip each time. If you are staying at a hotel, for instance, and you have to put your car or truck in the valet parking, you should not think that you have to tip every time to get your car. When you are in this situation, you may want to tip every other time you get your car back.
  • You can tip twice. There may be a different person who takes your car than the person who brings it back. While there are no real rules for this kind of thing, you can opt to tip both people, if you like. This is really just a matter of personal preference.
  • Have some cash on hand. If you know you are going someplace and will be getting 3 part valet tickets, you should make sure you have some cash with you. The best thing is to have a five dollar bill along with a few singles so you can give the driver the right tip. Some people do give the driver a ten dollar bill and get change but you never really know if the person will be able to make change for you so your best bet is have the smaller bills in your wallet.
  • Think about where you are. If you are out and about in New York City or Miami, you are going to want to give more of a tip than if you are in another part of the country.

While most people do tip the valet parking attendant, the actual amount you give when you have a 3 part valet ticket is really up to you. Tipping valet parkers well is one way to show your appreciation for the service you are receiving and is a good policy for your karma.

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