The Rich Miser

Tales of the Valet Parking Service: Check It, Or Ticket

valet parking service

So this is another one of my mistake stories, with a lesson that could save you an unpleasant police encounter.

It starts with valet parking service, which I don’t really like. Why? Because it costs money, and because I hate the idea of handing my car over to someone else, who could do whatever they want with it. It’s not like I drive an Aston Martin – I’ve got an Acura. But, still.

At some places, however, parking is a mess and you have no choice. This was one of those occasions, where we had a birthday celebration at a trendy restaurant. So, I paid the $7 fee and gave the guy the keys. I noticed that he was talking on his cell phone, distracted.

Valet Parking

Jay’s Valet Parking at Ferrari of Denver. Credit: BlakeDH

We went in for dinner, and ate, drank, and had merry times. Then we left.

Driving Home

I asked the same valet for the car, which he soon returned. I started driving home, and about 10 minutes in (of a 35 minute ride), noticed another driver trying to say something to me. It was late at night and I was in an unfamiliar area, and ignored him.

About 10 minutes later, I looked at the road ahead, and noticed the problem: my headlights were off. It turns out that the valet parking dude had moved the selection knob from “auto” (where it always is) to “off”, and did not turn the lights back on. What a wanker; I regret tipping him. I’m lucky I did not have an accident or get stopped by the cops.

Not the paddy wagon…

Lessons Learned

First, I’d advise to avoid valet parking service wherever possible. It’s a bad idea for many reasons:

  • It’s expensive
  • Walking is good for you
  • You’re handing over control of your car to someone else
  • You could potentially be held liable if the valet does something bad like run someone over
  • The valet could have an accident, hitting another car or being hit by someone else

Thanks, I’ll walk

Second, if you have no choice, do a quick check of your car when you get it back. Especially, check important safety issues like the position of the rear view mirrors, and the headlights. Ideally, also check the body of the car. If the valet hit something (or got hit) you might have to make a claim right then and there.

Little things, big consequences.

Have you ever had any bad valet parking experiences?

Live it up, spend less.
Get notified of new posts by e-mail.

4 thoughts on “Tales of the Valet Parking Service: Check It, Or Ticket

  1. Mary E Anderson

    Or they could hit a ramp, post, column, another car, etc and forget to mention this minor detail. I’ve had two separate incidents.

    1. The Rich Miser Post author

      Hi Mary,

      Absolutely! I myself soured on valet parking when my car got dinged by a valet several years ago; I did not notice until the next day.

      Thanks for reading!


  2. Anina

    Marido los detesta, solo cdo. No hay mas remedio… Te llegó lo q te puse en el de sleep deprivation? Creo no lo hice bien y lo borré.

    1. The Rich Miser Post author

      Hola! Si, no tengo comentario en el otro artículo. Muchísimas gracias por leer 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *