Tipping has a lot of interesting social norms surrounding it. Giving a tip to a valet may seem like overkill when you’re already paying for the service itself. And it can be challenging to know exactly how much to give to a valet. In this article, we’ll break down what goes into a tip and how much you should expect to give.
What Is the Standard Amount to Tip?
Generally, valets don’t expect much from their customers. A perfectly reasonable place to start for a valet tip is $2-$5. This tip reflects an appreciation for the work that valets do without overdoing it. Tipping under $2 can be seen as a slight, as tipping just a dollar may feel like the bare minimum.
Another good way to determine how much you should really give is to consider how much street or regular lot parking would cost you. If you would have parked in a busy downtown area, you’ll probably want to tip a little bit more. Similarly, if your other parking options were very far away, it’s a good idea to tip a little bit more. This reflects the fact that you recognize the value of the service the valets give you.
Tip Your Valet Based on the Service You Get
If you want to think a little bit more about your tip, then think about how good the service you received was. Did your valet greet you warmly and hold your car door open? Did they just stick their hand out for payment immediately? You can adjust your tip based on how well your valet made you feel welcome and taken care of.
Of course, if your valet service provides extra services like sweeping and car washes, you’ll want to increase your tip to reflect that. It’s like any other service; if they go above and beyond, make sure to reward them with a few extra dollars. This goes the other way, too, as a bad valet may provide even less than usual. For example, if they make you wait too long to get your car back, it’s okay to take a little bit off of your tip.
At the end of the day, how much you tip your valet should reflect how well they did their job. There’s no point in rewarding an excellent tip to someone who does their job poorly. Tip however much you are comfortable giving, and don’t stress about it.