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Tipping the car valet - before or after?

Toronto, Canada
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938 posts
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Tipping the car valet - before or after?

So....when you pull into the "free" valet car parking at the major hotels on The Strip, do you tip the valet before or after he returns the car to you?

Or do you tip both valets? If you pull in, and hand the valet, say $5, does that look after the tip for the guy who gets you the car? Do the valets pool their tips, then split them at end of shift?

Say...I pull in around 6:00pm, go to dinner, see a show, do some gambling, and leave the hotel sometime after midnight. By this time, it may well be a whole new group of valets on shift. I don't want them to think I'm a cheapskate if I tip the crew before them, and not them.

Also...since the Platinum is supposed to be free valet....but I don't mind tipping for good service....should I single out one guy, tip him, say $50 for the six days where there, and then leave it at that? Or...is that low?

You sophisticated sorts, provide some discussion and guidance

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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1. Re: Tipping the car valet - before or after?

It's usual and customary to tip once for valet parking, when you pick up the car.

You are correct, the "midnight crew" will think you are a cheapskate if you don't tip when they bring your car around, since it's usual and customary for them to receive a tip from each customer when they bring a car up. :)

Even when using the same valet service multiple times over a period of days, it's usual and customary to tip each time when they bring your car around.

I can't worry, and don't worry, about who splits tips or pools tips, it's really not my concern to be that involved in their business.

I only know what it usual and customary.

Edited: 04 May 2010, 08:13
2. Re: Tipping the car valet - before or after?

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Toronto, Canada
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938 posts
12 reviews
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3. Re: Tipping the car valet - before or after?

Ok then...so your saying don't tip in advance to get your car quickly? Or, tip a large amount up front at the beginning of our stay?

Maine, USA
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1,561 posts
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4. Re: Tipping the car valet - before or after?

The info I have received is that it is customary to tip when you pick up the car. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g45963-i10-k332179… Obviously, if you pick up the car five times, that means you tip five times. Most places have "free" valet, but that is like getting free drinks while gambling. You still tip, each and every time, when you get your drink not when she takes the order. It wouldn't be the end of the world if you skipped one tip, or if you tipped on both ends, but you asked a question.

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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50,116 posts
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5. Re: Tipping the car valet - before or after?

"Ok then...so your saying don't tip in advance to get your car quickly? Or, tip a large amount up front at the beginning of our stay?"

Yes, that's what I'm saying. I tend to avoid using valet at busy times like when a show lets out, so I've never been overly concerned with waiting a few minutes for the car.

I'm not clear on how tipping up front at the beginning of a stay would help, unless the property only had one person running their valet stand. If I give "Joe" $20 when I arrive on Friday, why should "Bob" either know or care about that when I come down on Saturday morning to get the car. Bob is still going to expect a tip...because it's usual and customary to give him one. :)

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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50,116 posts
48 reviews
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6. Re: Tipping the car valet - before or after?

"It wouldn't be the end of the world if you skipped one tip, "

I agree it wouldn't be the "end of the world", but I can't imagine a situation where I wouldn't tip a valet any more than I can imagine not tipping a waitress or bartender. (Barring that 1% chance of having horrible service of course!)

Why would you "skip" a tip?

Jersey
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31,600 posts
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7. Re: Tipping the car valet - before or after?

They are not going to refuse a tip when you leave the car off, but I don't think it is at all expected. Most people only tip when they get the car back-that is what I do.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Tipping the car valet - before or after?

touring24...thanks for the link to the tipping discussion....it's always interesting to see what people think about tipping.

I've very seldom been in the position where I use a car valet....the one time I did, was in downtown Toronto, and we went to Ruth Chris for dinner, which is in a large hotel downtown.

I wanted my car to be available quickly after dinner, since we were going to a show afterward, so, I tipped the valet $10 when I dropped it off, and asked him to "keep it handy".

When we came out after dinner, he hadn't even parked it in the garage, just left in the front driveway parked to one side...well...that was handy, like I asked...he handed me the keys, and since I had already given him $10 up front, I didn't really feel obligated to tip any more...I think he was ok with that, as he was very pleasant about it.

Edited: 04 May 2010, 08:59
Providence, Rhode...
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114 reviews
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9. Re: Tipping the car valet - before or after?

I have always just tipped when I pick up the car and it's never seemed to be any problem. I don't think the valets are expecting tips at drop-off.

SGF, MO
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7,265 posts
237 reviews
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10. Re: Tipping the car valet - before or after?

What, I'm going to tip the guy before he smokes my tires on the way to the lot?

I'm going to watch the guy bringing the car up, see if he does a uniroyal spin up to the stand, circle the rig once for damage inspection, then tip him.

If I see the original hot rod, I'll toss him some paper too.