The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

View Poll Results: How much do you typically tip when using valet parking?
I never tip for valet parking. 1 1.32%
I give a $1 tip. 8 10.53%
I give a $2-$3 tip. 35 46.05%
I give a $4-$5 tip. 14 18.42%
I give a $6-$10 tip. 0 0%
I give an $11-$20 tip. 0 0%
I tip more than $20. 0 0%
My tip varies depending on the base parking fee. 4 5.26%
What is valet parking? I never use it. 14 18.42%
Voters: 76. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-29-2010, 10:46 AM
Asimovian Asimovian is offline
Pseudolegal
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 8,037
How much do you typically tip when using valet parking?

Question's in the title. Poll to follow.

If you're one of the people who said that your tip varies based on the base parking charge, please post in the thread to let us know how much you'd tip in the range of situations. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:10 AM
control-z control-z is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
I never go anywhere that requires valet parking. I guess the closest cities that would have it are Richmond, VA or Washington, DC.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:15 AM
running coach running coach is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Riding my handcycle
Posts: 15,721
Never use it. Ain't nobody going to get their mitts on my 1998 Chevy Venture minivan.

Besides, if they scratch or dent it, how will I know?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:17 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Nanjing, China
Posts: 8,963
I think the only time I've ever valet parked at home was one, snowy day at the mall. The figure $5 seems to come to mind, but I don't remember if that was tip, tip plus parking, or just parking.

Here in the big friggin' city where they have the nerve to either charge you for a parking spot or don't have parking spots but only valets, well, I used a valet all the friggin' time. If I'm charged for the valet, then I usually give an extra $10 to $15 pesos. If it's a tip-only valet, then usually I give $30 to $50 pesos. My vote above reflects the average translated into dollars.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:19 AM
DiosaBellissima DiosaBellissima is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
I only valet park in Vegas when I'm there every 2 weeks- where I do so exclusively because 1: it's free 2: it's way easier than trying to navigate through parking garages and the back of casinos.

I have to admit, I always wonder if I am tipping the right amount, because I've heard amounts allllll over the place. Some people say you just tip when you drop off, some say you just tip when you pick up, some say you do both.

Personally, I don't tip when I drop my car off (I rarely notice anyone else doing this-- and I do watch), but tip $1-$4 when I pick my car up, depending on how fast they are. I'd say it's almost always $2, but sometimes a little more, very rarely less. If they get my bag (which I almost always get myself), I'll give them an extra $2.

Vegas is an odd duck, though, what with the prevalence of free valets.

Oh, and interestingly: I had a friend that always tipped $20 when she dropped off her car and $20 when she picked it up. She was by no means wealthy, but someone had once told her that was the norm!

Last edited by DiosaBellissima; 09-29-2010 at 11:19 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:22 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 15,241
A coupla bucks. But I rarely use the service. If it is optional, I park myself. If it is a restaurant, I'd dine elsewhere.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:27 AM
elmwood elmwood is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 9,306
15% of the value of the car. Any less, and you're just another stiff.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:28 AM
DiosaBellissima DiosaBellissima is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood View Post
15% of the value of the car. Any less, and you're just another stiff.
This is exactly why I don't drive my Bentley when I'm going out. It's a recession, guys!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:31 AM
Asimovian Asimovian is offline
Pseudolegal
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 8,037
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood View Post
15% of the value of the car. Any less, and you're just another stiff.
Ah. If only I still had my '83 Chevy Chevette.

Of course, that car would never have MADE it to Vegas to park in valet...
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:39 AM
furryman furryman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Collinwood, Collinsport
Posts: 2,372
The people get paid to do that don't they? Why should I give them extra? Of course if I was a millionaire I'd tip everybody with 100 dollar bills just to show off.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:42 AM
Asimovian Asimovian is offline
Pseudolegal
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 8,037
Quote:
Originally Posted by furryman View Post
The people get paid to do that don't they? Why should I give them extra?
Do you feel this same way about wait staff at restaurants?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:55 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
And Finn The Human
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 19,117
I only run into so many valet situations in a year, and it's usually when out having a good time and already dropping good money so I tip $5.

My family was mad that I tipped a valet $5 (too much) at my brother's wedding reception, which was being held at my cousin's swanky party space downtown. I was all "It's a joyous occasion! I am feeling great! You're all lucky I didn't give him $5 AND a kiss!"
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-29-2010, 12:18 PM
villa villa is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: True Blue Virginia
Posts: 7,622
$2 or $3, if I have it. I hate valet parking. I already pay $240 a month to park there, and it only happens when I have had an offsite meeting, so I arrive after all the self park spots are gone.

I then spend the whole day thinking my key chain feels odd (as it does today) for not having the car starter on it.

On the other hand, much as I hate doing it, it isn't the employees fault, and they are nice guys. I don't know what to do when (as in the last couple of times) they just hand me my keys and point to the car for me.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-29-2010, 12:41 PM
gwendee gwendee is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Charm City
Posts: 3,488
Where is it? At a shopping mall, where they're probably parking 20 cars an hour? I figure everyone's tipping AT LEAST a buck and $20 an hour is decent. At a small restaurant where turnover isn't quick I'd tip more.

This is all hypothetical. My car's too embarassing to have someone else park it. I'd rather walk three miles in heels in 30 degree weather than let a stranger I'll never ever see again drive my grocery getter.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-29-2010, 01:02 PM
lisacurl lisacurl is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
I chose 'based on the parking fee' but I've never had to deal with a fee that was more than $20 a day, so it works out to be a $2-3 tip.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-29-2010, 01:08 PM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 7,271
I put $4-5, but that's because the only time I've used valet parking was at the hospital when I was bringing my wife in to give birth. It just seemed like good karma to be generous.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-29-2010, 01:09 PM
Alpha Twit Alpha Twit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
My last day of my most recent trip to Vegas, I was feeling playful and tipped my valet a silver eagle. One ounce of pure silver coinage and he looks at me like I just spit in his hand.

I usually tip a couple of bucks. Maybe more if I see some enthusiasm and hustle in their actions.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-29-2010, 02:35 PM
silenus silenus is offline
Hoc nomen meum verum non est.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 41,125
$2, same as in town.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-29-2010, 04:50 PM
amarone amarone is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,520
The only places I use valet parking are at restaurants where the parking is otherwise free. These restaurants are usually in areas where there is no/little free parking, so I am happy with $4 - $5.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-29-2010, 04:57 PM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Southern Pennsylvania
Posts: 21,600
I hardly ever use it. The only place I remember using it was at the hospital - and that was because I was recovering from surgery, their parking lot is huge, and I wasn't 100% sure I could make the walk. (Although to be fair, they do run a shuttle.)

Anyway, I gave the guy a buck.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-29-2010, 06:31 PM
dzero dzero is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Excellent idea for a poll. It is extremely rare that I am even in a position to use valet parking, but whenever I am, I feel extremely awkward and never know what to do.

I like the idea of basing it on the parking fee when that is an option. In one recent case though the parking was free (I think so anyway), so it's also good to have an idea of what normal range is for tips.

Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 09-29-2010, 08:02 PM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 10,355
I've used it only once, at a hotel where it was part of the accommodation package. I didn't feel the need to pay any extra.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:47 PM
sharding sharding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
I usually do $3, but I'll do more if the valet is especially helpful, or sometimes during longer hotel stays. I never valet my own car unless I don't have any choice. It has nothing to do with the cost; I just don't want anyone else driving my car. When I'm traveling and driving a rental car, I'll usually valet park because it IS more convenient and it's not my car, so I'm not as picky about it.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:59 PM
Spoons Spoons is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 10,794
I usually only use valet parking when I'm staying at a downtown hotel. But the valets are always helpful, especially with directions and luggage, and I am glad of their help. I'll usually tip $3 to $5 or so for each time I take the car out and return; I'll thank the valets with the total amount when I check out of the hotel. If I never take the car out, I'll tip $5 when I leave.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 09-30-2010, 12:26 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 31,002
Two bucks.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 09-30-2010, 01:25 AM
missred missred is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
I rarely have reason to use valet parking, but when I do, I usually tip $5.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 09-30-2010, 07:23 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Nanjing, China
Posts: 8,963
Hey, as just kind of an aside, does anyone have any experience with the integrety of valets at moderately expensive downtown hotels? I'm considering staying at a few on my home to Michigan, and at least two are "valet only." The problem is, I'll have 14 months of accumulated household goods and such in my car that I don't plan on unloading at every stop. Heck, in this case I'd even be willing to tip generously when dropping off my car (normally I only tip when picking up).
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 09-30-2010, 07:58 AM
Gus Gusterson Gus Gusterson is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
We stay at a four-star hotel at least once a year. That's the only time I use valet parking. I give $5 when I drop off and another $5 when I pick up. My theory on tipping is that a few dollars means much less to me than it does to someone who counts on tips for part of his living. When you're paying $300+ a night for a hotel room, it's worth throwing $5 - $10 here and there to the people who make a real four-star hotel what it is.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 09-30-2010, 08:01 AM
Gus Gusterson Gus Gusterson is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
Hey, as just kind of an aside, does anyone have any experience with the integrety of valets at moderately expensive downtown hotels? I'm considering staying at a few on my home to Michigan, and at least two are "valet only." The problem is, I'll have 14 months of accumulated household goods and such in my car that I don't plan on unloading at every stop. Heck, in this case I'd even be willing to tip generously when dropping off my car (normally I only tip when picking up).
You should call and ask whether the parking facility is secure. I don't think you have to worry as much about the valet or the garage attendants stealing your stuff as you do about an opportunistic thief stumbling upon it. The better garages have cameras everywhere and people to watch them. I've had enough experiences where I've been fumbling around in my car and security came over to see what I was up to to know that a good garage actually watches your car.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 09-30-2010, 10:32 PM
Neptunian Slug Neptunian Slug is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
We use valet parking when we go to concerts downtown. Same garage, same group of guys working there every year. $2 normally, $4 in winter. The premium is worth it. My car usually makes it down first while everyone else gets to wait in the cold.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 09-30-2010, 10:45 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
I only use valet parking at the casino or the hospital (and I only used it at the hospital because I was dropping my boyfriend off for surgery and he could barely walk). Both places are free. I tip usually $5 at the casino. I tried to tip at the hospital but they wouldn't let me, said it was against the rules.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.