Hiring a valet parking service at your private residence or corporate center can be an elegant touch, BUT you have to make sure the valet parking company is professional and organized.
A valet parking company can mitigate the worries of people having to park far and walk, especially in congested areas or if the weather is bad! Here are a few tips we suggest when looking for your next valet parking service.
1. Reviews & Referrals – Your friends and Google are the best ways to find immediate information on anything…especially a valet parking service. Have you had an event in the past or attended a friend’s party? Ask them who they used for things like catering, music, etc. They will know of a valet parking company they know and like. One way to find great companies is by utilizing sites like Yelp! or WeddingWire.
2. Requesting a Site Visit – If you call a valet parking company and they charge you for a site visit you should probably hang up the phone. A motivated company will be delighted to meet with you and scout out the area. Google Maps is great for a quick search of the parking area, but it may not tell the whole story. There can be construction, temporary parking restrictions, road closures, etc. Not every event will need a site visit and time is money, but we highly recommend only dealing with companies that are willing to meet their customers to work out any parking dilemmas.
3. Pricing – A reputable valet parking company will typically charge anywhere from $30-$50 an hour per valet attendant. This can vary depending on what type of event you are having, the location, and the time of year. Everyone knows that you get what you pay for. There are many people who operate “valet companies” with only a cell phone and a few of their friends. BEWARE OF THESE CREWS. They will be quick to get the deal, show up to your house with a sign and a handmade keyboard, and mismatched uniforms. We understand that price is a major concern for people when hiring a valet parking service and that is why we try to be as transparent as possible.
4. Quote Request – Obviously we would love if you submitted a quote request to us and booked the price we give you, BUT we understand you are responsible and looking for great value! That is why we recommend submitting 2-3 quote requests for the top reviewed valet parking companies in whatever area you are looking to have your event. Make sure your quote comes in writing so you can reference it when comparing it with other companies. Don’t just look at the price, but also the amount of attendants, insurance coverage, permitting, shuttle vehicles for the valet attendants, the hours of the contract, etc.
Also, make sure to know how much the overtime charge is. Many people will have amazing events and they go past the contract time…this calls for an overtime charge. Just make sure you know the overtime rate and you are comfortable paying what would be rightly due to the valet parking service.
5. Insurance, Parking Permits, & Worker’s Compensation – It is imperative to make sure your valet parking service has sufficient insurance, any necessary valet parking permits, and California required Worker’s Comp.
As we stated earlier, many of the smaller “valet parking companies” will not have insurance when they work. This means that if a vehicle gets severely damaged or someone gets injured then you or your company might be held liable. Accidents WILL happen it is just a matter of when. You, as the consumer, want to make sure you do the proper vetting to make sure your valet parking company is operating with insurance.
Simply ask to see your proof with your name/company listed as the additional insured. Proper permitting is a case by case basis so just make sure to ask when you are shopping around to know whether your event will need one. It is safe to say that if your event will be in Los Angeles County you will need a valet parking permit. Do people hire companies that don’t apply for permits? Yes. Can they be fined or their event shut down if parking enforcement comes through requesting to see the valid permit? Yes. Ultimately, it comes down to the consumer to make the choice, but at Valet Parking Pros we operate within the scope of the law to protect our customers and ourselves.
If you have any further questions please reach out to us. We are the Valet Parking Pros and we LOVE this stuff!