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Hi All,

As someone who lives in the land of valet parking (Dallas), I tend to get a lot of 'preferential treatment' with my Coupe, more than I did with my previous Porsche. One of the more interesting aspects is the fact that none of the valet drivers give me a valet ticket, instead they just give me their name and usually park the car in front of wherever I'm going.

Two questions I had for those who've been experiencing this longer than I have:

1. Is this normal? Are they completely limiting liability by not providing me a ticket or is this just a way for the parkers to pocket anything I give them (this happens at places where valet costs money, sometimes up to $10), or both?

2. How much do you typically tip a valet person who leaves your car out front as opposed to parking it with all the 'other' cars? I guess this depends on where you're parking, as well. I go out quite a bit so this is common in front of nice restaurants, bars, clubs, and other shady parts of big D ;)

Thanks!
 

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This has happened several times to me here in Southern California. I do tip a little more than usual as most of the time they cut me to the front of the valet line when I have an 'assigned' valet.
 

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i have the 20 bucks rule...

you give them $20 upfront and then they park it in front. i have done this for some time in L.A. and Vegas.

i have never had any problems

-willie
 

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from experience

having run a valet service for 4 years to put myself through college, I can tell you firsthand this is to get a better tip. We'd hope to (and usually) get a better tip for parking the car upfront and keeping a close eye on it. $20 would be the minimum tip for this type of service. A $100k car would usually be a $50-$100 tip.

The not giving of a slip is because the valet has your keys in his pocket, guaranteeing he's the only one who will be able to pick up your car at the end of the nigh and therefor the one who gets the tip for taking care of you.

Funny story, one night one of my valets did this (regular practice for some of the regular customers) and while in Dynas Zubras (18 y.o new draft for the Philadelphia Flyers) new car, a M3, the keys to another regular customer fell out of his pocket and slipped under the cars seat. It was a slow night so he knew which cars he was in, and all the others had been parked so we could look for the keys. Thank God the reason he was there was he was dating one of the bartenders so we sent someone out to Jersey to get the keys and back before the other owner came out.

Now, I always tip $10 upfront, and $10 on the way out as long as there are no problems.
 

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Let me pick on mille162's wealth of experience. Even parking up front, I'm not thrilled about handing over the keys to some tetesterone laced youngster. What about offering an upfront tip for permission to self-park in the valet area? I tried that once, at a restaurant, but was declined. When I was in college, we sometimes worked for a valet service and I know a few things that were done that I would not want to happen in/to my car. Let's just say there was an occassional joy ride taken.

Back to the tipping for up front service. You say you do $10+$10. I've done $20+$5, figuring the guy needs to know right away he's being taken care of. I wouldn't think the $5 on the tail end is short, it's kinda just like a small second thank-you. It always seems to be appreciated. I don't think the Maser, much as I love her, requires a $50 or $100 tip, even though one could say she's a $100k car. I'll leave that to the Ferrari's and Lambo's.
 

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willie said:
i have the 20 bucks rule...

you give them $20 upfront and then they park it in front. i have done this for some time in L.A. and Vegas.

i have never had any problems

-willie


I have this same rule. 9 out of 10 times i'll even keep my keys in my pocket
I'll write my cell phone # on the window/dash ticket.
 

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The Trident said:
Let me pick on mille162's wealth of experience. Even parking up front, I'm not thrilled about handing over the keys to some tetesterone laced youngster. What about offering an upfront tip for permission to self-park in the valet area? I tried that once, at a restaurant, but was declined. When I was in college, we sometimes worked for a valet service and I know a few things that were done that I would not want to happen in/to my car. Let's just say there was an occassional joy ride taken.

Back to the tipping for up front service. You say you do $10+$10. I've done $20+$5, figuring the guy needs to know right away he's being taken care of. I wouldn't think the $5 on the tail end is short, it's kinda just like a small second thank-you. It always seems to be appreciated. I don't think the Maser, much as I love her, requires a $50 or $100 tip, even though one could say she's a $100k car. I'll leave that to the Ferrari's and Lambo's.

Yea, the $50/$100 tip was usually well north of $100k cars, but every once in a while you had someone looking to show-off!

For valet's that are full or really crowded, a $20 gets you taken care of right away and usually finds a spot at the front. I usually try to park it myself, so I look for self-park lots and offer the attendant the same $20 to keep and eye on it or in a safer spot (although I still have ended up with 2 door dings)

When the valet comes up, first thing I ask is "Can you drive a Cambriocorsa?" I figure if I ask "paddle-shift" they'll say yes thinking it's the same as the steering wheel buttons or they read about it in a magazine and figure they can. "Cambriocorsa" they usually haven't heard of. A few places see regular Maser/Ferr. so they're ok. If they ask "umm, what's that" I tell them it's not like driving an automatic and I have no problem parking it myself if they can give me a good spot I don't have to walk far from. Again, $20 goes a long way here in keeping other cars from being parked too close

When I ran the service, we did run into a few valets that had a tendency to find the traction button and would do burnouts in the back lot. Every blue moon you'd find a car nut with a really nice car who would let you take it out for a ride. Really cool guy hopped in the passenger seat and let me take his NO2 Viper GTS up onto the expressway (we were about 1/2 mile from the onramp). Another had one of the first 355 F1's and after explaining how to shift, told me to go take it out for a half hour and have fun (he had a dozen cars and we often BS'd about them). Got paid cash to drive cars around for a living and at the end of the night I was the last one the now drunk girls would see before going home....those sure were the good 'ol days!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks!

Thanks for all the advice, I've been typically giving around $20 so I guess that's good.

Although, I have noticed even when they don't give me a ticket the guy who takes my car still puts my keys with everyone else's, and I typically don't tip until I leave.

I guess they figure I'll remember who it was who took my keys, which typically is NOT the case!
 

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Gavin01 said:
I guess it depends on who is running the valet service. How much would you pay if it was this group - http://www.valetgirlsparking.com
:D

Wouldn't let them park it. Pretty girls are a dime a dozen it seems. A door ding or fried clutch on the other hand is much more expensive!
 

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A few comments:

Don't just ask if they know how to drive paddles, ask if they know how to shift a Maserati into reverse! My experience is 99.95% do not.

Always, ALWAYS mentally record your odometer reading. The one time that someone goes for a "pleasure cruise" in your car, you want to know it, and go ballistic.

Always, ALWAYS do a quick walkaround when you pick it up. The time to find dings, wheelscrapes, etc. is before you leave the place. The next day, you'll have a tough time proving who/what/when/where.

Nothing wrong with a little healthy paranoia...
 

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mille162 said:
Wouldn't let them park it. Pretty girls are a dime a dozen it seems. A door ding or fried clutch on the other hand is much more expensive!
True experience. I was in downtown Dallas in my brand new Viper and reluctantly allowed a member of the "Bimbo valet squad" to park it up front. Her high heel got stuck on the accelerator and redlined it (in nuteral thank God!) for what seemed like an eternity. When I came out, the *itch was laying on my hood so some guy could take pictures of her. I was PISSED!!!! No tip and a nasty phone call to the club. Never went back.
 

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Joy rides, and the like

It has happened two or three times to me that at the end of a short park time (1-3 hours), returning to the car, the hood was unusually warm/hot.

But the interesting one was this, about 10 days ago.

I valet parked the car. The fuel tank was very low and the reserve fuel light had been on for 20 miles or so.

When I returned about an hour later (I had told the valet it would be a couple of hours), the engine hood was hot, the reserve fuel light off and the fuel indicator not quite at 1/4 but clearly higher than I had left it before.

This was in San Francisco.
 

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$8 Minimum. The better the valet is expect to dress, the better the tip. For Special treatment $20 minimum, upfront, and 5 on the backend.

These valet tip rules are comparable to the waiters 20% tip rules, more or less depending on the service and circumstances.
 

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I never valet as I was one when I was a freshman in college.

I will just park it myself. I know what goes on
 

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People are pushovers here in Dallas... I park my own... period. Just drive in to the lot, look where the nice cars are and park it.... hand them a 10 on the way in and a 10 on the way out after a quick once over. Parked my own about 10 times so far and no questions. Keep my keys every time... no tickets given to me. No way I let some punk park it. Tried that a few times with my E55 and 355 and heard them rev it to 4K in the lot. Stopped letting some a hole park it after I witnessed a valet trying to squeeze in a new Z06 and ruined a wheel on the curb. They dont like it when you park your own? Tough sh1t. Not an option. I pick the spot, park it and tip. If there are any problems, smash one of them in the teeth and they get the message.
 

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Yikes. My baby is going to NYC with me this weekend and I know I'll have to face this moment of truth...and I have little faith that anyone there will know how to put the Maser in reverse!
 

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I never go to restaurants that have exlusive valets....am I missing something? I park my own car. I even pulled up to the Ritz in Naples, Fl once and insisted on parking my F150 myself...you shouda seen that pimple-faced kid look at me like I was the biggest loser in the world! I still laugh about it. What woulda been funnier would have been to flip him a $50 and insisted on it being parked up front.....didn't think of it at the time though. I also like to watch the guys have to climb into the back of the truck to get my luggage in their cute little duds.....high comedy that is.
 

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Valet Parking Ritz Carlton Naples - $10.
Drinks at the Beach Bar - $40
Refusing to allow pimply face valet to park your Ford F150 - Priceless
 

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maseratifan said:
What woulda been funnier would have been to flip him a $50 and insisted on it being parked up front.....
i love to do this in vegas with rental cars

as for the on topic comment I havent had a lot of valet stuff with the maser since I have only had it for a year...the Hotel Raphel in KC was it's only over night...I was in town for a Social Distortion concert pulled up and I thought the 17 year old kid had a heart attack...he was too scared to drive it so it sat infront of the door to the lobby all night.
 
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