What spending 2 years working as a valet taught me about the common sense of hotel guests.

Consumer Mistake #1

Imagine handing over not just the key to your car, but also the keys to your house, your office and all the other keys of your life — to a complete stranger. Would you do it?

I can tell you that thousands of people do this every day and think nothing of it. 

I saw it happen again and again, right where I worked — on the front lines of the valet parking industry.

You may ask “What can go wrong?”

We lose keys!

Yes, it’s true. And it is not an unusual thing either.

Sometimes the keys are never found.

More often, the keys are merely misplaced on the cashier’s key board.

But other times the missing keys are mistakenly left in another guest’s car. If that guest checked-out, those keys could be 100 miles away within 2 hours. And when they are eventually discovered, the finder might not realize where they came from, or care.

Getting your keys lost by a valet service is a real hazard of using these services. It’s why I recommend:

  • handing over only the ONE key necessary to operate the car

  • keeping a spare key with you for just in case

  • and using a “Valet Client ID Photo Card” to lessen the chances of your keys becoming lost forever.

Consumer Mistake #2

Another mistake that valet customers make is they fail to check their car for new damage when it is returned to them. They just hop in the car and drive away, fully trusting that everything went perfectly.

Big mistake!

Once you pull away, your chances of getting compensation for any damage they caused plummet to near zero, because they will say that a fair determination of where the damage happened cannot be made.

Consumer Mistake #3

Whoever told everybody that you only tip valets on the way out? 

That tip does nothing to influence the level of care shown to your car, (unless you are a regular valet customer).

It’s better to give the bulk of your tip when you arrive — to influence the care and service. And then as a thoughtful courtesy, you give a smaller tip on the way out AFTER you verify that your car was not damaged and that nothing is missing.

To learn more about how to smartly defend your car when using valet parking services, sign-up for my free online mini-course, “The Complete Guide To Valet Parking.” After reading it, you will be tremendously more knowledgeable about the topic. Sign-up HERE.