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Summary
  • If the valet attendant damages your car, inform the attendant and their superior and get a damage report.
  • It’s also a good idea to get security camera footage and ask eyewitnesses what they saw.
  • Don’t be quick to file a lawsuit and instead see if you can have the valet company cover any damage your vehicle took.

Valet parking is a useful and convenient service, though it’s worth mentioning that such convenience doesn’t come without risks. You essentially hand your vehicle over to another driver and trust them not to damage it as they park it for you.

On the bright side, you won’t have to worry about tedious things like parallel parking or finding an unoccupied spot in the lot. However, even if valet drivers are professional parking experts, the odds of one crashing your vehicle are low but never zero.

So what should you do if your valet attendant accidentally damages your vehicle?

What to Do When Your Valet Returns Your Vehicle With New Damage

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As soon as you notice that something’s wrong with your vehicle, bring it to the valet attendant’s attention.

Inform the Valet Attendant and Their Superior

As soon as you notice that something’s wrong with your vehicle, bring it to the valet attendant’s attention.

Stay calm and civil. Don’t automatically place the blame on the valet staff, as it’s possible that the valet parked your vehicle safely, but another driver crashed into your vehicle or another person vandalized it.

Even if the valet attendant fails to park your vehicle safely, it’s important to keep your cool. Just because they’re at fault doesn’t mean they deserve to be attacked or harassed. The valet staff will be more cooperative if you keep a level head.

After informing the valet attendant, they will likely refer you to their manager. They should provide you with a written report detailing the nature of the damage, when and where it happened, and what caused it. Review it to ensure it’s accurate.

Take Note of Where the Car Was Parked

In some cases, the valet is not to blame for the damage to your vehicle. Sometimes another person is the culprit, possibly a vandal or thief. Regardless of who’s responsible, it’s important to let valets explain their side of the story and let them help in any way they can.

Check for Witnesses

Ask around and check for possible witnesses. This is important, especially if you’re unable to get any footage from security cameras. Aside from getting their account of what happened, make sure you collect the witnesses’ contact information. This will come in handy in case you need to provide the insurance company or the valet company proof of what happened.

Take Pictures of the Damage

It’s important to document any damage your vehicle sustained after valet parking. Keep a sharp eye out for scratches, scrapes, and dents. Be sure to take clear pictures of the damage to show the attendant proof that something happened to your ride.

Since getting proof of damage is important, it’s good practice to take photos of your vehicle before letting a valet attendant drive it. This way, you can easily pinpoint any new signs of damage by looking at pictures from before and after the accident.

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Who Covers Repair Expenses?

If you’re wondering if the valet company or the insurance company covers repair expenses, the answer is it depends.

Most valet companies carry insurance that covers any damage vehicles sustain under their custody. It’s required by law in some states for them to carry a minimum amount of valet insurance.

Texas requires a minimum of $300,000 in comprehensive liability coverage and garage insurance. This insurance is only used in cases where the valet is confirmed to be responsible for the damage a vehicle sustains. However, some valet companies also cover any damage your vehicle sustains under their care whether the valet is responsible or not.

Despite this, not all valet companies cover repair expenses. If you are denied compensation, it might be worth calling your insurance company. It’s important to confirm whether or not your current insurance plan covers this kind of damage.

It’s also a good idea to get in contact with your insurance company if the valet isn’t responsible for the damage. This typically occurs if another driver backs into your ride or if a vandal deliberately scratches or dents the vehicle.

What Happens If a Car Is Stolen From Valet Parking?

If your vehicle is stolen from valet parking, the valet parking company may be held responsible and required to pay you damages for the missing car.

Bear in mind that vehicles are seldom stolen this way because valet parking companies vet employees carefully. Potential thieves are also singled out quickly since establishments that offer valet parking are often equipped with security cameras.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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