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How do you deal with valet?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by jonbcampos, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. jonbcampos

    jonbcampos Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
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    Location:
    Frisco, Tx
    I'm about to take delivery and curious how people deal with valet? Do you find out if the people even know how to put the car into park? I know that any damage is covered by them but I'm curious how we know they even know some of the basics.

    Thanks for any insight.
     
  2. Andrew

    Andrew Model S #6151

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    Mar 11, 2013
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    Location:
    Santa Monica, CA
    I avoid it if at all possible. Since we're in Los Angeles and Teslas are becoming much more common, I'll probably be okay with it after another six months or so, when more valet operators are familiar with the car. (I remember having problems when I first got our Prius, too...).

    If there's no other option, I'll ask if I can park it myself, and they'll usually have me put the car right out front. I'll still pay the parking fee & tip, of course. Side benefit, it's fun to be parked next to the Lamborghinis and Ferraris, yet get far more attention. ;)

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    Also, CONGRATULATIONS! :)
     
  3. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    I've let a valet take my car. It hasn't been that big of a deal. Most at this point recognize the Model S as a nice expensive car and if you tip them well, they appear to do a fine job with it. I always ask if they've driven one before, and even if they have I remind them about how to "start" and "stop" the car, as well as put it into park/drive/reverse. If you have creep enabled, I'd tell them about it. I haven't told any of them about the phone app, and I've checked periodically to see if it was still parked. Never had an issue with joy rides, but I've heard of it happening to a few of the TMC members. Not sure it's a common thing, however.

    In reality, I don't go to many establishments where valet parking is truly more convenient than self parking, but when I have, I've been able to park the car myself and give the valet the key fob or they have let me park it right out front.

    Hopefully there will be a valet mode soon.
     
  4. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    Location:
    Sonoma, California
    I do not like someone else parking my cars, not just the Tesla. I always ask if I can park myself, if they say no I ask if they have driven a Tesla. You will know if they have, went to SF for dinner and pulled up to the Valet got out and asked the above question and he answered back that he would lock the car with a double click on the top of the key fob. He ended up parking the car out front of the restaurant anyway. Went to a resort for breakfast in North Lake Tahoe and it was valet only, drove up and asked to park myself. The valet directed me to back into a spot at the entry of the resort. Gave nice tip to both valets.
     
  5. visagrunt

    visagrunt Member

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    Feb 12, 2014
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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    The places that I go with valet parking (e.g. Fairmont Pacific Rim), I have no worries about them. If I am only in briefly, the car will probably wind up parked at the EV charger, anyway. (I have seen one other there). So lots of onlookers. :)
     
  6. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    Location:
    Miami, Florida
    If you search around this site, you can find a few website links for pages that owners made to put on the touchscreen to explain how to stop/start car, what to do with the key, etc.

    At the beginning, I always took a couple of minutes to explain to the guy taking my car how to use it, and how to shut it "off". When picking up my car, I explained to whoever was taking my ticket that the car was unusual and I needed to speak to whoever was getting the key to explain how to get in and get it started.

    It doesn't always work, but I've had more success than not. Just last night I found my hood popped -- this is a frequent occurrence (I'm assuming they are hitting the key), and there is a warning on the dash when this happens. It's also good to remind people that you can track the car at anytime on your app, so you know if the car is moving, where it is, how fast it's going etc.

    Good luck and congrats!

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    I should also mention that with the shift stalk, valets will know how to use it because it's exactly the same as Mercedes' from 2008-2012 (they slightly changed it for 2013 models). So no worries with that -- it's more telling them not to hit the key (and accidentally open the frunk), and how to turn on and off the car (or not, as the case may be).
     
  7. jonbcampos

    jonbcampos Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
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    Location:
    Frisco, Tx
    Valets

    Thanks for the info everyone! Sadly in Dallas there are some places that only provide valet. I've never had a car before that this has been an issue... but we know. As I'm dating I'm trying to find the right way to nonchalantly deal with valets (so that I'm not looking that 'that guy/jerk') while definitely worrying that something bad will happen.

    Hopefully I can get them to just let me park upfront and not worry about anything.

    J

    And thanks for the congrats! Just a few more days and the patience is wearing thin.
     
  8. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    I really hate valet parking. One restaurant I go to in Portland, The Chart House, only has valet. I got to watch them curb the front left rim last time. I'll never go back.
     
  9. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    Atlanta, GA
    I hated having my VW GTI valeted. The Tesla not so much. Just get over it and let them park your car. Not really sure why. I just hang near the curb to make sure they figure out how to get it rolling.

    I have had someone come find me in the restaurant and ask me how to turn it off, and lock the doors.
     
  10. MassX1317

    MassX1317 Addicted to TMC

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    I can one up that. About 5 years ago, I watched the valet drive my car off an elevator which malfunctioned and was 12"+ above ground level. Damaged the front axles and bumper, all of which had to be replaced. They pull the car up like nothing happened and told me my car came in with the bumper hanging off. After about 45 minutes of going back and forth and trying to figure out what to do, I threatened to call the cops and they promptly got me in touch with management, which ended up using their insurance to fix my car. If this happened to my Tesla I would have probably been arrested!
     
  11. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

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    Here in Florida, valets love to ding and scrape cars. So far I have refused to let anyone valet it, as I don't yet have my first ding. The first time I went to a valet-only place I offered $40 to let me park it myself in valet. I have come to learn that $20 is sufficient. I joke with people that I've spent more on valet tips than I would have spent on gas.
     
  12. ahm

    ahm Member

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    I ask to park it myself. It has worked every time. I always be sure to tip the valet.
     
  13. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    You definitely don't want to be "that guy" when out on a date! You can be super-nice about it if you're showing someone how to use the car. Valets are generally appreciative of the time you take to explain it to them, and most are car lovers and will enjoy a two minute tutorial on the car if they've never seen/driven one before.

    FYI, I park as often as possible in front, but in South Florida, this almost always requires paying additional fees beyond the regular price of the valet parking. So, if the valet is normally $20, I might pay $30 or $40 at a hotel/restaurant on South Beach to have them keep the car in front of the building instead of driving it to their lot. For me, it's worth every penny (my wife complains that my efforts to prevent anyone from ever driving my car are going to bankrupt us!), so just make sure this is all done on the QT without your date knowing that you're paying extra to "show off" your car up front, when all you're doing is preventing a valet from potentially screwing up your car. The valets are usually pretty cool about this, and my wife has to ask me how much I paid, because it's all done very discreetly.
     
  14. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    $20 for a valet?!? And I felt robbed paying them $5 to drive the car for 60 seconds.
     
  15. dave

    dave Member

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    I bought a Tesla. I can't afford to go anywhere with a valet. :)
     
  16. jive_devil

    jive_devil Member

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    SoCal
    I've valet'ed many times in L.A. without a hitch - I think every valet in the city has parked a few Teslas by now and they know the drill.
     
  17. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I think I remember using a valet in 1970 or 1971.
     
  18. Cestevenson

    Cestevenson Member

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    Location:
    Dallas, tx
    Yes, Dallas can be tricky. So many valet only places. I just can't bring myself to that point yet. It would be one thing if I do the ding but not some snot-nosed kid who thinks he's a hotshot driving fancy cars- which are fairly common around here.

    I would suggest calling ahead and asking about their self park policy so it doesn't come up in front of the date. Or if they don't, find someplace you are comfortable with so there is a smooth interaction in front of the date.
     
  19. Andrew

    Andrew Model S #6151

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    Santa Monica, CA
    Dude. You'll be driving a Tesla, so you're totally going to get lucky no matter what you do. ;)

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    (Having said that, once you're married it's a totally different story. I drive my husband crazy circling the block looking for street parking to avoid the valet...)
     
  20. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    I've done it once with humorous results. Here's the thread.

    I use the Tesla Tap valet instructions. These were done by a TMC member in late 2012 I'm guessing. Can't remember the details. Keep the link as a favorite in the browser and when you get to the valet put the page up full screen and tell the valet it's there.
     

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