Whether you’re at an airport, a hospital or even a big office complex, finding parking in these spots can be a real pain.
INRIX estimated in 2017 that drivers spend up to 17 hours annually looking for parking. What’s more, more than 60% of drivers have reported getting distracted while driving through a parking lot. That can have some bad consequences as 80% of bumper scratches occur when a driver is parking their own vehicle.
If you’re at an airport or a hospital, using valet parking can be a godsend. Leaving your vehicle and picking up a valet parking tag can put you at ease and it leaves your car in good hands.
When it comes to valet parking, there are plenty of benefits:
- No more stress: As previously mentioned, driving in big parking lots is stressful and can have disastrous consequences. With valet parking, you can turn your car over to an experienced staffer and make your whole experience easier. If you’re traveling, you can worry about your upcoming flight instead of where you’re going to park. If you’re at a hospital, you can focus on why you’re there instead of dealing with parking hassles.
Leaving your car with a staffer and getting a valet parking tag makes things extremely convenient.
- More car security: If you’re travelling, sometimes it can be hard not to think about what’s happening with your car. This can be especially true if you don’t valet park.
With valet parking, you can rest easy because your car is going to be parked safely. If that wasn’t enough, you can also have your car valeted i.e. cleaned and washed. You can focus on your business trip or family vacation and have a clean polished car to return to when you get back.
- More time: If you’re taking a flight, a general rule of thumb is to get there at least an hour or more before your flight. If you’re spending time trying to park your car, this can eat into the time you have to check your bags, get through security and find your gate.
Using valet parking gives you plenty of time to focus on all those other things. You can leave your car, grab a valet parking tag, get through security, find your gate and grab a bite to eat before your flight.
Valet tickets and valet tags can make travel more convenient, but it’s also important to know the proper etiquette for using a valet parking service.
Before you drop off your car and exchange it for a valet parking tag, try and clean it up a bit. You don’t need to do anything fancy, but cleaning out old food bags and trash is a good start.
Make sure you’ve got some cash. Tipping is customary with a valet service and the last thing you want is to pull up with an empty wallet. Keep in mind that drivers usually tip between one and five dollars for valet parking.
When you leave your car for valets, follow their lead. Most valet services have a drop-off system that works efficiently. That means they’ll tell you where to drop off and pick up your car. Don’t mess everything up by not paying attention and parking somewhere you’re not supposed to.
Stash away your valuables. Most valet parking services are filled with honest people who will do a good job. But if you’ve got valuables in your car, tuck them away, lock them in the trunk or take them with you if they’re small enough. You can never be too careful.
Make sure you grab everything you need. Double and triple check to make sure you’ve got everything you need before you leave your car. If you forget anything, a valet can get your car for you, but it may take awhile if your car is parked in an offsite lot. If this does happen, make sure to tip your valet a few extra bucks to let him/her know it’s appreciated.
Using valet parking services for whatever purpose you need definitely makes things easier. Following the proper etiquette when leaving your car will make for a smooth experience and you can rest easy knowing your car is in good hands.