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How to Safely Use Valet Parking

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If you’re dining out at a fancy restaurant or visiting an upscale hotel, you might have the option of having someone else park your car for you and retrieve it later. As convenient as valet parking is, there are some basic rules to keep in mind to enjoy this service while staying safe.

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Get cash out beforehand

Make sure to have cash on hand before heading to any destination that might offer valet parking. You’ll want some greens in your wallet to tip the valet workers.

Remove valuables

Before exiting your vehicle and handing over the key to the valet, make sure to take all valuables with you. This will help reduce the chance that any of your belongings go missing in your absence.

Get the details

Whenever possible, make sure to find out as much about the valet service as possible before letting the valet driver take the wheel. Inquire about what policies the valet company has if your vehicle gets nicked during the valet process. It’s also a good idea to ask where your vehicle will be parked.

Photo: Johanay

Be transparent about existing damages

Inform the valet driver of any damages your vehicle has before letting them drive it to a parking space. This will let them know that you’ll avoid blaming them for preexisting dents or scratches when you pick it up at the night’s end.

Pay attention to the car ahead of you

Remember to pay attention to the flow of cars in front of you so you’re ready to exit your vehicle and hand over the keys as soon as the valet motions for you to do so. This will help the valet service run smoothly and promptly for both the attendants and the other vehicle owners.

Inspect your car before driving it home

Before driving your vehicle home, make sure to inspect it for any signs of damages that might have occurred when in the care of the valet service. Though some valet drivers will inform you of any harm your auto experienced in your absence, others will not. If you catch any scratches or dents before leaving the valet area, the company is more likely to take responsibility for the event and help compensate you for the repair costs.

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