What's the point of valet parking?

Went to some bar the other night, they had valet up front. When I had an older car, I didn’t really care. Gave them the keys and a tip and went about my business. But I picked up a new ride this year and I guess I’m a bit more cautious. Drove around, found a garage and walked there instead. Thinking back, they likely would have parked me up front, so I probably wouldn’t have had to worry about them scrapping the shit out of my car if they rush out the lot. What do y’all typically do? I don’t see it as a luxury; risk seems much greater than reward. Maybe if I’m old and can’t walk far I’ll use it but then, hopefully uber will be around. Just don’t like handing keys over to a stranger. Black car or hacksaw? Buy a new car if old car gets damaged?

Valet parking has two "points’:

  1. Provide a luxury service to patrons

  2. Park more cars in less space

Number 3 probably should be moved to #1.

I won’t valet park unless there is no other viable parking option. I’ll walk a bit further and park my own car, and I don’t even have a nice car. I just don’t want 22 year olds who don’t give a crap driving and having access to the stuff that’s in my car. Add in the virtual obligation of tipping, for a service I don’t want to begin with, just makes me hate it even more.

While mayor of Monterey, CA, Clint Eastwood learned very quickly that he shouldn’t drive his Ferrari to restaurants that had valet parking; he drove his old Ford F-150 instead.

It seems that the valets didn’t race around the parking lot in the pickup truck.

in OC i think you have to pay not to valet. it is pretty cool seeing all the really expensive valet’d cars sitting in front of the Red O or Javiers. Isn’t that the main draw – being seen getting out of a ridiculously expensive car with a hot POA?

Yes, but if you don’t have either of those, valet parking is no bueno.

A couple years ago I went to a bar for a work happy hour that had mandatory valet parking despite having a huge, open parking lot. So I just moved the cone and parked my car in a spot. When I walked back I had a very angry looking valet guy that followed me back to my car. He was not impressed with me taking parking matters into my own hands.

In crowded locations, the valet service will rope off the street in front of the business for valet parking. If they did not do this, there would be no convenient parking available nearby for their customers.

However, I have also seen valet parking in restaurants in suburban areas with large and mostly empty parking lots. I suppose this is just a luxury service and possible labor subsidy to local high school students.

I was gonna say, have we learned nothing from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?

This is something I can simply not bring myself to spend money on. I even cringe at parking in a garage. I’ll put in some serious effort to find street parking, but I know the intricacies of the downtown area pretty well by now. Of course I’ll spend stupid money on other ridiculous things but paying 30+ bucks to park a f*cking car just seems so outlandish. I’m sure that’s some behavioral bias that I hopefully never have to remember again.

mandatory at my work. its kinda annoying. i have to text 10 min early for my car. sometimes when there is too many people leaving at same time. i have to wait.when i forget something in car. i have to text them to bring it up. i just feel its extra work and non productive. plus i hate the idea of having someone else drive my car. good news is work pays for my parking, and we are told not to tip. :). plus i am good friends with all the valet so when i have to wait. i just make small talk.

^ ugh, I’d really hate that. Don’t want someone pushing my car hard when the oil is very cold after a long day at work.

^ can’t imagine that. I already hate waiting for elevators

More cars in less space is the “idea”. But it’s usually to make money A better question is why do states like NJ make it illegal to pump your own gas?

They claim it’s an insurance thing, but people don’t really care why because gas in NJ is much cheaper than in neighboring states. I live in PA and work in NJ and always buy my gas in NJ. The savings range from $0.30 - $0.50 per gallon depending on the station.

NJ is going to raise their gas tax a fair bit, but it will still be cheaper.

It’s some labor protection law that was passed a long time ago. It’s infruriating because the gas pump is explicitly built for self operation, and the guy just does the credit card thing and such, that you could easily do yourself, thus saving the cost of employing the attendant.

“Insurance thing” yeah… like drivers in other 49 states are suing gas stations into bankruptcy.

On this topic, are you supposed to tip the guy? I was driving in NJ the other day, and the guy kind of stood outside the car window, expecting a tip. So I gave him like $1. The fact that this job exists seems like a tip already.

Also, what’s the deal with those toll booths that charge 75 cents? I stopped at like 3 different toll booths to pay miniscule tolls. I would pay them MORE money to just have one booth and not cause traffic jam. The state would likely save money that is used to hire those old ladies also.

this post makes me think the US is more socialist than Canada. full serve gas stations. old ladies in multiple unnecessary toll booths. you guys are crazy. pay the bums to stay home and be done with it.

I was at a hotel in Florida last winter that was all valet parking. The rate was very reasonable though.

Approximatelly 40 years living in NJ and never heard of tipping at the gas station.

Shit, I knew that guy was taking advantage of people who don’t drive there.

I’ve also never understood the rationale for the toll system on the Garden State Parkway and the AC Expressway. Both do have a lot of exits relative to the turnpike, so I guess they didn’t want to have to give out entry tickets at every exit. Kind of antiquated now though with EZ Pass and license plate tolling.