How much do you typically tip when using valet parking?

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.


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.

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.

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.

Two bucks.

I rarely have reason to use valet parking, but when I do, I usually tip $5.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.