The special risks of brand new valet services...

The amenity of valet parking services will continue to spread to more venues. I've noticed that people often are excited when a new valet service starts-up to address a parking need, like at Orlando International Airport, (which just announced their new service.)

There are pros and cons to handing your car over to an inexperienced rookie valet workforce.

The Positives:

  • Monkey business less likely. They are less likely to speed and take other liberties with your car WHEN THEY ARE BRAND NEW.

  • Less likely to steal your stuff WHEN THEY ARE BRAND NEW.

  • That's about it.

The Negatives:

  • Rookies are more likely to lose your keys.

  • Rookies are more likely to lock your keys in your car.

  • Rookies are more likely to do unimaginable dumb stuff, like drop your keys down an elevator shaft or through a storm water grate.

  • Rookies are more likely to unknowingly take your car keys home with them.

  • Rookies are more likely to park your car under a leaking pipe or a leaky area in a garage, possibly resulting in your paint being permanently blemished.

  • Rookies are more likely to fail to ensure your car is secure when they park it. They can easily leave a window down or leave the car unlocked.

  • Rookies are more likely to forget to mark on the ticket where they parked your car, or may write the wrong location coordinates on the ticket. If this happens, you will be inconvenienced with a longer wait while valets run through the parking garage (or parking lot) looking for your car.

  • Rookies are more likely to leave your lights on.

  • Rookies are more likely to drive the front of your car over the curb, scraping it. And they are more likely to kiss the wall with your car when they park it.

  • Rookies are more likely to leave your car in drive when they park it. This can cause it to roll into things, like a wall or a lake.

  • Rookies are more likely to park your car in a dumb spot, where your car will be more susceptible to damage.

  • If your car has a luggage pod mounted on top of it, rookie valets are more likely to crash it into a garage support beam. And if your car has a bicycle rack on the back of it, they are more likely to back into another car with it.

  • Rookie valets are more likely to scrape your wheels against curbs.

  • Rookie valets are more likely to back into objects with your car and more likely to turn too abruptly, hitting other objects, like the sort of metal and concrete poles you see guarding gas pumps at a gas station.

  • Rookie valets are much more likely to fry clutches in manual transmission cars. And they are more susceptible to losing control of "stick shifts."

  • Rookie valets are especially more likely to damage large pickups and SUVs.

  • Rookie valets are more likely to accidentally scrape keys along your car.

  • Rookie valets are more likely to damage your leather driver's seat with the pen they forgot to take out of their back pocket.

  • Rookie valets are more likely to press every button in your car while trying to figure out how to close your sun roof.

  • Rookie valets might have difficulty starting your car, because they can't figure it out.

  • Rookie valets are more likely to crash your car.

  • Rookie valets are more likely to give your car away to somebody else.

  • And if a rookie valet damages your car, they likely will keep their mouth shut because they don't want to be seen as an idiot, and because they don't want to lose their brand new valet job.

  • If you have a Tesla, they are highly likely to be bewildered by it, but will be all over it taking selfies.

  • If you have just given them the keys to a very expensive car, their nerves make them more likely to smash it.

  • If you have just given the keys of a high powered car to a rookie valet, like a Hell Cat, and if this valet thinks this might be the only opportunity in their whole life to ever drive one of these, they might decide to punch the gas. (High powered cars and valet rookies are a recipe for disaster.)

(I'm probably missing a few things with this list too.)

Whether a valet service is brand new or well established, whether it is at the fanciest of places or at your church, TRUST NONE OF THEM. Verify that they did the job right!

I recommend you read my latest article on how to use valet parking services the smart way. Check it out HERE.