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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here in Chicago at various restaurants and bars I've had excellent treatment overall. My questions stem from interest in the forum community's opinion of proper valet etiquette:

1. Should I ask if they can keep the car out front (so far every place but one has done this without being asked and the one asked if I wanted it left out front for an additional fee)

2. In addition to asking, should I tip up front in the hopes of better treatment/care of the vehicle?

I think it is rather obvious that it is a win/win situation for them to keep it out front. I get to see that my car isn't being driven around by the valet, and they get the attention of having an exotic vehicle in front of their establishment, which boosts their image and reputation.

Another factor is that many valet seem to be scared out of their minds to try to even drive the thing very car, due to the being scared of damaging the vehicle and/or the R-tronic not being the most intuitive if you've never seen it. I saw one guy fumble with the R-tronic shifter for several minutes before cautiously driving the car forward about 10 feet further into the valet zone and leaving it parked there.

I realize that many of you would simply not trust your car to valet at all, but that is simply not a reasonable option for me.
 

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I wish the valet key would only let the driver go less then 20 mph, that would solve a lot of the joy ride problems people have with a valet
 

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I agree with the speed restriction of 20 mph, but I also want it so the car cannot be driven more than two miles from the last use of the owner key.
 

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this is really interesting, as in the UK, this doesn't really happen - valet parking i mean, not valet joyriding. i personally liek the idea of a valet having the car in my sight at all times, but on the other hand - esp. with R-Tronic, i would not let anyone, anywhere near it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I only have 1 UK experience observation, but I was in London once at the high end sushi restaurant Zuma and I was waiting outside for some friends to arrive. A guy rolls up in some sort of high end MB AMG (I don't remember exact model) and hands the valet a 20 pound note (this was when GBP/USD was north of 2) with an interaction that seemed to indicate "take care of this." After the guy went inside, the valet rev'd the engine, called a buddy over to show him (his buddy is leaning in the passenger window). The valet then proceeds to tear out of there and drive it around the block in a rather reckless fashion.

So yeah, having my car in sight is top priority. In addition to keeping it out front, so far I've been able to secure line of sight seating or positioning to keep my eye on it. But maybe I answered my own question about the up front tipping - in my observed case in London it clearly did not help.
 

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I personally avoid valet parking whenever possible. The following happened to my friend at a nightclub once. He drives a Porsche 911 and drops it off at the valet in front of the nightclub. 10 minutes later, he forgot his coat jacket in his car and returns to the valet and asks them to retrieve his car for him so that he can get his jacket. Unfortunately, his car was nowhere to be found. Apparently, the valet guy was taking it for a joyride, assuming that my friend would not exit the nightclub until the wee hours of the morning. When he finally gets his car at the end of the evening, he noticed that 20 extra miles had been logged on his odometer. From that day forward, I vowed to park the car myself- and if they are 'valet parking only,' I just ask to park the car myself instead of have the guy drive it. With valet parking, there's always the conflict of interest- the convenience of having someone park the car for you is nice, but not at the expense of having somebody possibly drive your car recklessly. Think about it- why would the valet take extra car with your car? If anything, they will 'drive it like they don't own it,' because you won't be there to see how he is driving the car.
 

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You concerns are all well justified. I always ask one of the valet to let me do the parking in their valet designated parking space and so far, I've never experienced any problems. Most of the time, they always tell me to park it in front. I still give them the car key and bill of 5 (more than enough). Don't forget that you don't have to let them park it for you.

I don't remember where I read this (most likely in 6speedonline.com) but a GT2 (or GT3) owners brought this car to a Best Buy (why Best Buy? go figure) to install a sound system and the guys there were having fun with the car in driving it at 90mph+ in the parking lot. Yes, the parking lot. Result? They lost control of the car and smash it on a wall. Damages were horrible: suspension, axle, etc.

 

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I usually wind up with descent Valet service.I tend to frequent the same places and am sort of family with even the waiters. Even though the parking at say the Rainbow Bar and Grill is absolutely terrible, I get a safe spot.The owners ,Michael and Tony are usally right out front greeting the customers and have an eye on the parking situation.Check the place out .If you like rock and roll memorabilia,and good food.On the Strip in Hollywood.(next door to the ROXY) :cool:!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Noooooo Valet, ever, on any of my cars! Including my everyday F150, so especially not my high end cars.

Once had a buddy tell me a high end restaurant hired his teen daughter to valet park cars.....and she couldn't drive a stick! She told some horror stories about bad driving and the terrible things other valets did while parking the cars.
Noooooooooooooo:eek:
 

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I'd never valet the R8.

Never valeted my S6 or my old S2000. To tempting.
 

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I live and work in the Los Angeles area so Valet parking is a way of life. It's either that or you end up parking in a dark, unattended lot somewhere off the main street... much worse than the valet option.

When valet parking I usually pull up, (they get all excited to see a 'supercar' in their lot) then when they grip the door handle and open it I say "hey - do you have someplace nice I can put this?" 9 times out of 10 they say "put it right here..." and move an orange cone or some other lesser type car... then, of course, I slip them a $10 or $20 for the trouble depending upon where and when.

They get it. There's no issue with most of the LA valets as they are regularly parking high end metal. And if they don't let you park it yourself due to a high traffic lot or no place special, I've let them park it and get the best spot sorted out themselves. In most of the places here they are too **** busy to be running around the streets all "Ferris Bueller-like" joyriding my car...

... but just in case, I note the mileage and always have my lojack on hand...! ;^)

Lighten up fellas ... it's a car - it's not your wife!

(Although I'm convinced some of us would rather trust the wife with the valet and park the car ourselves...!)
 

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An after market vehicle tracking device. Theft deterrent. Like G.M's On Star feature. On Star tells me in an e mail things like Mileage,driving habits,Remaining oil life,and they can always find me if I have troubles.I have On Star on my Hummer. And am REALLY LUCKY I do.It's all about a sattelite connection .:) Then you just wait for assistance...SWEEET huh?:cool:
 

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LoJack offers a vehicle recovery device and a tracking device. There are three different versions. LoJack usually refers to the vehicle recovery product.

What is LoJack and how does it work?
LoJack is a Stolen Vehicle Recovery System that allows police to track and recover your stolen vehicle. A LoJack Unit is hidden in your vehicle by a certified technician and is registered in the LoJack database. When you file a stolen vehicle report with the police, police computers send a silent radio signal to your car, automatically activating the hidden LoJack transmitter in your vehicle. Police can then track the signal and locate the vehicle.

LoJack Early Warning Recovery System, which is an additional layer of protection on top of the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System. Early Warning automatically contacts you if your car has been moved without your permission. The early warning version adds an extra keyfob that you carry with you. If the vehicle is operated when the keybob is not close to it, you get a phone call, email or page. This lets you know that the vehicle is being used and you can determine if it is alright or if you need to take other actions.

ProximityPlus is a new GPS tracking device, installed in your vehicle, which enables you to quickly and easily identify your vehicle's location and gather information about the driver's usage of the vehicle – all from the convenience of your home computer. It enables you to pinpoint your vehicle's location, monitor your drivers' speed, and ensure that they have not strayed from any pre-established driving routes. Furthermore, ProximityPlus will send you email or text alerts notifying you of any violations to your mutually-agreed-upon plan, so you can have important safety discussions when your drivers return. The ProximityPlus unit is small, portable and light – enabling you to move it from vehicle to vehicle.
 
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