How to Choose the Best Valet Service for You

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

One of the best ways to impress guests on your next event is to hire a valet parking service. You can also hire a valet parking service when you fly overseas for business or leisure. A valet parking service allows guests to spend more time having fun and less time wasted on finding a parking space. More importantly, valet service eliminates the need to walk to and fro the parking area to claim your vehicle.

Do note that not all valet parking companies are created equal. Just like anything in life, some are better than the others. To make your next event a successful one, it is mighty important that you choose the best service provider! If you are considering hiring a valet parking service but you do not know where or how to start, consider these helpful tips:

Ask for Referrals

To ensure an almost flawless valet service, try to get as many referrals as you can from friends, colleagues, and relatives. You can also ask your event planner, caterer, and service events rental companies for referrals. These people have virtually countless connections in the events business so it is fairly easy to come across valet parking service providers. Of course, it is one thing to land a valet service company and another to score better service. Our advice is to dig deeper to get the most value of out your money.

Ask for In-Person Consultation

A site visit is important especially if you are putting together a special event. If you have set your sight on a specific valet service company, we recommend requesting an in-person consultation. A site visit is important because you can see for yourself how the company handles customers. Also, through face-to-face interaction, you can gauge the professionalism and reputation of the service provider. Site visits are typically free and if a company is charging for a site visit, consider that a red flag.

At the very least, the service company should provide a brief explanation how they manage parking arrivals, how the attendants park the vehicles and how efficient the traffic plan is to reduce delays in parking.

Request a Quote

Once you are done meeting with the valet rep for a site visit, ask for a written quote. Make sure you spell out the time their staff members arrive, the number of the staff, and the total cost of hiring the valet company. Ask if they charge by the hour or with a minimum flat rate. The average length of service for valet parking is 3 to 4 hours for short events. To avoid any confusion on the rates, spell out the charges so there are no hidden fees on top of the actual cost of the service. Shady valet companies tend to offer lower rates to attract customers, only to charge even more through hidden rates.

Remember, you only need to pay for the actual time the staff worked. If in doubt, make sure to require a copy of their event report with the invoice.

Insurance

Accidents are inevitable so make sure you are prepared for any untoward incident that could happen before, during, and after the event. The valet company should provide all the important insurance coverage to protect you and your guests from accidents. If the valet operator is not insured or under-insured, consider that as a red flag. Reputable valet services provide an umbrella policy that doubles the minimum standard for liability insurance.