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15 Things You Need To Know Before Handing Your Keys To The Valet

High Life
15 Things You Need To Know Before Handing Your Keys To The Valet

Your car, your automobile, the humble motorcar that has gone from an upgraded carriage to a precision work of engineering art. Some people view cars as a valuable tool, one that merely gets them from A to B; something that allows drivers to travel to and from work, pick up kids from school or after-school activities, even set off across the country with the top down with the wind in your hair!

Though for some, a car equals their most prized treasure and it surpasses the value of all else in their lives, even friends and family! They’ll take care of their motors as though it is their child, going so far as to polish off the paint, leaving it immaculate inside and maybe even giving the car a name!

Though some people are too busy to keep their beloved wheels in peak condition and pimped out, so that is what valet services are for. In some cases, even parking a car away safely for when people return and need it to ferry themselves home. However, everyone has seen Ferris Bueller and what the two valets do with Cameron’s father’s beautiful vintage Ferrari when they are supposed to take responsible care of the vehicle. Instead, the pair of them embark on a high-speed joyride around the city of Chicago while Ferris and friends busy themselves with indulging in fancy restaurants, visiting museums and seeing parades. So what exactly are valets secretly up to when they handle our beloved automobiles?

15. The Long Way Round

Parking a car is often a nightmare, especially during the busiest times of day, or on the weekend in a shopping mall. A person can spend forever going around and around trying to find the right place to fit, and may waste an entire day doing so. It is no wonder then that the more affluent in society decide to skip the tedious exercise in finding a space and use a valet service. Imagine being at a job where you have access to some of the best supercars in the world? Do these members of staff want to instantly drive a beautiful vehicle straight to a parking space? Of course not! Plenty of valet drivers will purposely take an extended route to park or even take the car around the block for a while.

14. Fender Benders

Everyone dreads a fender bender. Not only is it a huge hassle to knock into another motor and cause not only damage to your car and the one you slam into, there is also the long, drawn-out affair of getting insurance companies involved. Plus there are the prolonged expenses of repairing the damage and getting the insurance to pay; even if the drivers have not caused the crash! Plenty of valets tell tales of how they accidentally slammed their car into another one, sometimes even going so far as to commit the accidents right in front of the person whose car it is. What is more surprising is that sometimes a valet will get away with crunching a car in front of a client, maybe still getting a tip from the oblivious customer.

13. Take Out Any Valuables

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but one can never be too careful and a person should never rely on the professionalism of others to not do an honest day’s work. For some people, working as a valet could act as a temporary gig for a short period, or even a single shift, and chances are they might take advantage of being in possession of different cars to pilfer the goods inside. Bear in mind that a valet has the keys to your car and that includes the trunk, which nosier valets may use to snoop through a client’s stuff. So you’ll want to keep valuable treasures safe, be cautious and take valuables out of the car or leave them at home, or you may never even see these valuables again!

12. Avoid Giving Your Stickshift To A Valet

Most drivers nowadays don’t use stickshifts as technology has grown more efficient, and more often doing away with old-fashioned gasoline in favor of electrical. Although, like the valets in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, every now and then a vintage car of automotive excellence crosses a valet’s path and they cannot resist a spin around the block – or city. Although even the more honest and fastidious of valets can wreck a motorist’s pride and joy without even intending to (which even the joyriding valets don’t wish to do)! So if a valet that doesn’t know how to use a stickshift manual car gets behind the wheel, taking the car a short distance could ruin their gearbox and a day out or evening out could eventually lead to much greater expense than a little tip.

11. Valets Hate Valet Mode

Modern cars have a lot of tech built into them and are getting smarter all the time, to the point where cars are starting to drive themselves! So now a driver has the ability to override their motor’s horsepower so no one – like a valet – can abuse the car by speeding around in it. This is precisely what the owner of a Dodge Challenger Hellcat did in Orlando, Florida. He also installed a dash cam to see if any valet tried to flout the valet mode, which forces a car to remain in second gear to restrict the power, as a slow drive is needed to park. Owner Brandon Neider managed to record two valets calling him “an a**hole” for putting valet mode on as they could not manage more than a few revs. However, Neider was overall pleased with the valets’ services, insults and all!

10. Hungover Drivers

It takes a little skill and training to spin around a luxury car, as their clutches and gears are of such a different caliber of power that many can endanger themselves. So it makes sense if the person piloting the vehicle is themselves firing on all cylinders, doesn’t it? Not for valet drivers, it doesn’t! According to valet parking staff’s confessions, most of the staff turn up for work with a hangover. Hangovers, at the very least, make a person ill and sluggish. What’s worse though is that if a hungover individual hasn’t gotten enough sleep, there is a very good chance that alcohol could still be in their system, making them drunk! Perhaps, bearing in mind the private lives of valet staff is required when handing the keys of that Bentley over.

9. Tip Well

Valets are low paid, and much like most of such staff – those who work in hospitality and similar industries – they are heavily reliant on getting generous tips from customers. A well-tipped person can make the difference between service with a smile or service with a spit (in restaurants) and the same goes for a valet. If a customer makes it known that they tip generously (usually by leaving a tip on the dash) it sends out the right message to valets, and the driver is more than likely to treat the car sweetly. If that driver goes back to the same place they’ll know the same good service is assured, due to a decent tip. So it is quite advantageous to acknowledge the service of such staff by making sure that a little generosity goes a long way.

8. Racing

Having luxury cars at your fingertips is no doubt a strong lure for the valet, many of whom are young men. The temptation to drive the car for longer than necessary, kidding oneself into believing they are a rich, successful entrepreneur with a car full of babes for 30 minutes or so, before returning back to normality. Also, where else is the average young guy going to test out the speed of these luxury motors? So it is not uncommon for valets to race those cars in parking lots, seeing how fast they can cover the distance from one end of the lot to the other; good to know cars are being looked after while people are going about their everyday lives. Bet these racing valets don’t fill up the gas though?

7. Drug Driving

As previously mentioned, things left behind in a car are at risk of getting lifted out of your car and its trunk. Moreover, the easiest way for people to steal is by picking out any drugs that are left behind in the vehicle, which prove to be easy pickings for any valets according to the rumors of people that worked that job. Also, stealing any narcotics that drivers leave behind is a very easy thing to get away with because there is no way that a driver that is now light on some drugs is not going to inform authorities at any point and a client having drugs in their vehicle could have ripe blackmail applications. So if valets are partial to drugs, they have been known to find them in customer’s cars while parking them.

6. Reorganizing The Motor

An automobile is in many ways like a home away from home, especially newer models that feature various entertainment systems on board. Also, when in the driver’s seat, it is vital for the driver to ensure that all of their mirrors and seats are in place to maximize their motoring efficiency, which are aspects that are potentially at the mercy of a valet. So if a driver is rude to a valet, then the valet will most likely mess up all of the mirrors and put the seat out of its position, as well as mess up the radio settings. Because it’s the little, minor annoyances in life that will cause the most suffering! Remember what Tyler Durden says in Fight Club? Don’t mess with these types of workers!

5. Can I Have My Car Back?

This one might seem like the most obvious of all the services provided by a valet, but not necessarily, because if you’re not careful, the car could be gone for quite a while. Former valets warn that if a driver actually does not specify that they do not need their car any further that evening, then a valet could even drive the car to their home for the night. For what reason would a valet do this? One thing is that a valet can get to show off a beautiful vehicle outside their pad, or another reason might be that a valet can spend the evening at home when they should be at work while still getting paid. It is quite a risk leaving your property in the hands of strangers; make sure a car stays safe and located where it is supposed to be.

4. Kobe Bryant

Valets working in cities like Los Angeles often rub shoulders with some of the elite and will park the cars of famous stars. Some are nice, and others are quite rude. Courtesy of a blog called Pyle of List, there are plenty of tales that concern the rich and famous in Hollywood surrounding their cars, of course. The blog does not favor Kobe Bryant; it seems to imply that his rudeness seems to stand out for any valet that dealt with him. Pyle of List claims that Bryant turned up for a fundraiser, claimed to only be there for 30 minutes, but left valets for hours in 95-degree heat. Bryant allegedly emerged eventually, only to sign the ticket as an autograph absentmindedly and not leave a tip!

3. How Much To Tip?

Tipping is always thorny ground for the customer and for the staff, it is a fine line of etiquette that most people are keen to get right (although some are rather stingy). But tipping a valet correctly opens up potentially better service, like a nearer parking space. Some valets recommend charging $1 for every $10,000 that the car in question is worth, which is a great idea if valets are parking Rolls Royce’s for a living, not so much if the motor is a clapped out old vehicle. Though someone in a Ferrari can afford a tip of several hundred bucks, it is quite a mercenary level of tip, so the recommended level is somewhere between $4-$10 per car. But hey, why not squeeze the purse strings ofa hugely wealthy millionaire with a supercar?

2. Key Ring To Boxing Ring

Celebrities often have weird run-ins with celebrities, and even valets often have their bizarre stories to share, one story that is courtesy of Pyle of List tells of one valet that tried to fight Oscar De La Hoya! The valet said that he could go ten rounds with the world champion boxer to his peers and then went on to say to Oscar De La Hoya that he could go ten rounds with him when the boxer emerged to get his car. Fortunately, Oscar kind of laughed off the jibes from the valet – instead of launching a massacre – and even gave a generous tip. So apparently the way to get a tip off of a fighter is to challenge them to a fight in a parking lot?

1. Take What You Need

Another obvious one: forgotten items are often the bane of many people’s lives. So parking cars in a place that has valet parking services will become somewhat tedious for a customer and valet if the customer continually forgets their stuff and leaves their phone behind, or an item of clothing or some such. Perhaps forgetfulness could even get misconstrued by valets as a distrustful client that is trying to keep tabs on the valets and the safety of their vehicle. So perhaps forgetfulness leads to a miscommunication that gets cars damaged by a disgruntled valet. Whoops! And this miscommunication might result in all kinds of bad things valets might do to cars of owners they don’t like, or even leaving with a car after returning some errands!

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