Are You Tipping Too Much? This is How Much You Should Tip a Valet

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A valet is a person who is employed by a facility, such as a hotel or restaurant, to park and retrieve customers’ vehicles for them. You’ve likely gone out to a fine establishment only to notice a long line of cars waiting for a valet to take over and park for you. This is often done to save customers from having to walk long distances or waste time finding parking. Not only that, but because a valet is in charge of parking your car for you and holds onto your keys in the process, they can usually accommodate a higher volume of cars in one lot.

Essentially, valet is done for the convenience of the customers, often serving as the first interaction between an establishment and its visitors. Many customers, however, wonder whether they should tip valet attendants. This is an especially common question since most customers don’t choose to have a valet handle their car. Rather, the service was simply a perk offered by the establishment. 

Nevertheless, tipping your valet is a great way to express appreciation for these hard-working individuals. This article will detail how much is the ideal amount to tip a valet.

Should You Tip a Valet?

Close-up Of Valet's Hand Giving Car Key To Businessperson
Source: Andrey_Popov /
A valet will typically take your keys to park and retrieve your car for you.

There are many things you should never tip on, but valet is not one of them. Whether you tip a valet is up to you, but many people feel it’s appropriate to at least hand over a dollar or two once they retrieve your car. This is a great way to express your appreciation for their service. A valet will often have to stand outside in the cold or inclement weather, and leaving a tip can certainly brighten their day.

How Much Should You Tip a Valet?

man sitting behind the wheel of the car gives money to another man
Source: Dmytro Lobodenko /
Tipping a valet is a great way to express gratitude.

Typically, leaving somewhere between $2 to $5 is the perfect tip for valet, especially when it comes to just parking. However, some valet attendants — such as those who work for hotels — also offer services like unloading and even carrying luggage. Generally, the more a valet does for you, the more money you should consider tipping them. Even so, you certainly shouldn’t leave more than you’re comfortable with.

How Much Does a Valet Make Per Year?

Source: AndreyPopov / Getty Images
Valet attendants do not make a living salary.

The average valet attendant makes around $16 per hour, or a little over $32,000 per year. This is a far cry from a living wage in the U.S., which prompts many valet attendants to rely on their tips for income. Tipping just a few dollars can make all the difference to these professionals.

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