How Much To Tip The Valet

Tipping the valet can be confusing and awkward. A lot of questions arise:

  • Do you tip more if your car is high-end?
  • Do you tip a restaurant or theatre valet attendant more than you would a garage valet attendant?
  • If the valet is free, do you tip the valet attendant at all?
  • Do you tip when you drop off or when you pick up your car? It’s been suggested to tip when you drop off so your car is treated better. But isn’t it awkward to not tip at the end – especially if it’s a different valet attendant!?

A few years ago, one former valet suggested tipping $1 for every $10k your car is worth. But doing so may leave you under-tipping valet attendants. For example, if you own a pre-owned $5k car, you’re tipping $0.50. Here are some guidelines to help you figure out how much to tip a valet.

5 Golden Rules Of Valet Tipping

  1. A standard valet tip is $2-$5. As with anything, tip more when the service is awesome!
  2. Tip when you drop off and when you pick up your car. First of all, it’s just really nice. But they’ll also take great care of your car. And you’ll have the opportunity to tip both attendants if there’s more than one. Expect to spend between $4 and $10.
  3. Tip the valet at a parking garage just as much as you would a restaurant or venue valet. They’re both working hard!
  4. Leave a tip even if the valet is free.
  5. Reserve parking in advance with an online parking reservation company like SpotHero? You should still tip.

2 Reasons For Tipping The Valet Well

  1. Being a valet is hard work, so thank them for doing a great job.
  2. You’ll probably get your car faster if you tip well when dropping your car off.

Valet Tipping Habits You Don’t Even Know You’re Doing

  • You tip more at garages with one floor where you can see them hustle. On the other hand, you tip less at multi-floor garages where you can’t see what’s happened or don’t know the timeframe.
  • You think you tip more or less based on how much your car costs. But parking operators say drivers tend to tip the same standard amount, regardless of how expensive their car is.
  • You tip theatre valets more because of how quickly they get attendees’ cars after the performance.

Image © Morrie’s Luxury Auto