Valet Parking Tipping

by Claire Valenty on April 9, 2010

in Tipping

tipping valet etiquette

You know that when the valet retrieves your car for you at the end of your dinner or other event, you should slide them a few bucks as a tip. However, unbeknownst to most people, you should employ valet parking tipping every time someone parks or retrieves for you. This shows the valet that you appreciate their efforts and they, therefore, will show respect to your car.

Valet Parking Tipping is usually around $2 for each time the valet parks or retrieves your car if there is no parking fee. Now, if there is a parking fee that does not mean that the valet should not get a tip. In fact, the higher the parking fee, the bigger the tip the valet should receive. For example, if parking costs $5, the tip to the valet can still be $2. However, if the parking charge is $10, the valet should be tipped $3; if the parking charge is $15, the valet should be tipped $4; and if the parking charge is $20, the valet should be tipped $5. But, if the valet is not greeting you with a pleasant smile and niceties, no matter what the weather conditions or their personal life, you can always drop that tip right back down to $2. Also, if you have a very expensive car, you are expected to tip more. Yes, I know it doesn’t make any sense because the valet’s providing the same service to you and to the guy driving the beat up car, but, the valet perceives the situation as you have enough money for a fancy car so you have plenty of money to throw an extra couple of bucks their way.

When self-parking in a parking garage or other site, you do not need to tip the attendant.

Photo: Dreamstime/Gira

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian November 14, 2011 at 10:49 am

So whats the reasoning behind tipping more if I have to pay for valet parking?

Stefano October 29, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Could you please help me with the following? I live in a condominium above a hotel. When I bought the unit I also bought the right to a parking space (US$ 200/month). Residents are not allowed into the parking area for safety reasons. This means that every time I leave home I have to call the valet and ask that my car be ready, and when I return I drop the car in front of the hotel and they park it for me. When should I tip: when they bring my car up for me to leave, or when I return home and give them the car to park? And how much should I give? Usually I go to work by bus so I use the car a couple of times a week. I typically give 1$ to the valet who parks the car for me when I return home, and don’t give a tip when they bring the car up for me. Any comments/advice?
Thank you,


Roxy July 26, 2015 at 6:07 pm

What about hotels that charge a daily rate of $40.00? We go in and out at least 3 times. Do we still pay $5. Everything we are picking up and dropping off? That’s over $50. A day to have a car in hotel. 🙁

Sadie Cassidy May 7, 2016 at 11:59 pm

Do u tip a valet at wedding? How much? Before and after?

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