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Tips for consumers before choosing a Valet Parking Service

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When you hire a Valet Parking Service for your private affair often times it's a necessity as well as a luxury. You want your guests to be pampered from the moment they arrive. If you are planning a corporate event or hosting a private party, at your home, you should feel confident that your guests are treated like royalty and their vehicles are safe and secure. Here are a few consumer tips you should know before calling a valet company.

First things first. Make sure the valet service you are about to hire is fully licensed and insured. It's always a good idea to request a valid copy of all documents before signing any contract. Have them fax or mail a copy of all binders, licenses, and permits before sending a down payment.

This is standard practice for any legitimate company. Also ask for a current copy of their city/ county license, and valet insurance binder. Typically every city or county has different requirements. Some areas, such as downtown areas, require special permits, in addition to licensing and insurance. Unfortunately, there are a lot of 'fly by night' valet service companies out there. The last thing you need is to deal with problems caused by unprofessional parking services.

Also check with your local government to see if you need any additional licenses or permits. It might be a good idea to inform your neighbors that you are hiring a valet service, they will surely appreciate you notifying them before parking in front of their homes.

1. How many guests are you expecting?

This will determine the total number of valet attendants you will need. There is no standard formula for this because every event location is different. For the most part, figure that your guests will arrive in pairs, so expect about 50 cars per 100 guests. If the parking is relatively close one valet attendant per 50 guests should do. This is not an exact science, there are many variables to consider. Some valet services will send a representative to survey your location at your request. Remember, the valet parker is the first person your guest will see. A first impression is a lasting impression.

2. Will your guests all arrive at once?

Expect everyone to show up at the same time for weddings, and other formal events. Be sure to have enough parking attendants to handle the rush. Informal gatherings such as holiday parties are generally more relaxed. Guests tend to arrive sporadically.

3. Is there sufficient parking close to your location?

Determine the number of parking spaces near your location. The valet service will be able to maximize your parking spaces, but make sure the valet drop off area is close to the entrance of your function. If the parking attendant has to run a block away to retrieve the vehicles, or if your driveway is far from the entrance, expect to hire a few extra people. Another option is to rent golf carts and shuttle guests from a remote location if needed. You want to make it as comfortable as possible for your guests.

4. What will the weather be like the day of your event?

For example, if you're planning a June wedding in February, Its virtually impossible to predict the weather in advance, so be prepared for the worst. In your valet parking contract, require that the valet attendants have umbrellas for rain and snow removal equipment such as ice scrapers, salt or sand, and snow shovels during the winter months. It's always better to be safe than sorry. Also make sure your guests have a comfortable place to wait for their car to be delivered.

5. How much should you expect to pay for a valet parking service?

Most companies will quote a job by the hour, per attendant and add in insurance, and permit costs. I wouldn't recommend going with the lowest bid. Go with a company that has been around a while and can provide solid references. There's an old saying "You get what you pay for"... It couldn't be more true in the valet business. Do your homework and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how smooth things go. Locate a pre-screened, licensed, insured, Valet Parking Service using our nationwide directory.

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