Valet Airport Parking: Tipping Etiquette in 2023

The perfect vacation or stress-free business trip starts with booking skilled Valet Connections DTW parking professionals who can ensure a quick, efficient return. Ready to book your next valet parking service? Your first thought may be: what do I tip them? Here are some guidelines on how to show your appreciation for the experts behind this convenient and time-saving service.


First off, tipping valet attendants is not something that’s mandatory. Like many service industries, this common practice is a nice gesture by customers to show appreciation. That said, the amount you choose to give will vary with your level of satisfaction with the provided service. A general rule of thumb? Between $3 and $5 per car, or you could go with a small percentage of the overall parking fee.

You’ll need to also consider the level of service provided. Did the attendant handle your vehicle with extra care? Were you greeted politely? Did they go above and beyond to make sure you were happy? If so, a larger tip is appropriate. With less-than-satisfactory service, on the other hand, a small tip or no tip is acceptable.

Next, consider the location of the valet service. If they’re located in a busy area such as DTW Airport, each attendant could conceivably be handling several cars at once, particularly during peak travel times. In this case, a larger tip would be welcome.

Time of day is another consideration. During peak hours where valet attendants are working non-stop, larger tips would be warranted, whereas a smaller tip would be acceptable during slow and sluggish times.

In the end, valet parking tipping etiquette can be tricky because it’s not a strict science with set rules. The most important thing is to consider the level of service provided, the location, and busy vs. slow times when wondering how much you should tip. Rewarding a valet or parking attendant for exceptional service is always welcome but not expected or required.  

Let’s go more in-depth on the considerations above.


Valet service includes parking your car at the time of arrival as well as bringing your vehicle back to you when done. Like many other businesses, valet and parking attendants work in shifts. It can be tricky knowing whether to tip the first valet and the second valet, or waiting to tip at the end. The consensus is that you should tip each driver that will take possession of the vehicle. That’s because they are each providing a service, with no guarantee you will have the same valet both times. A good tip also makes sure both people heed any special favors or requests you may have.

Free or Discounted Services

If you earn a free service or use a coupon for a special promotion, you may wonder if you should tip in those instances. Think about what you do when you go to a restaurant and receive a free meal through a discount, promotion or coupon. It’s recommended that you tip on the total amount before the discount, not on the discounted price.  

Basically, you would tip on the cost of what the service would have been if you hadn’t gotten something for free. The same etiquette goes for valet parking. Think about it: many valets receive a small hourly rate, which means they depend heavily on tips. In most cases, you wouldn’t NOT tip your waiter if you had a coupon, so you should tip your valet in the same vein even if you enjoyed a discounted rate.


As we said above, a good rule of thumb for tipping a valet in 2023 is between $3 and $5. Most people tip right in the middle ($4). Keep in mind, this is a baseline. If your driver does something to go above and beyond the call of duty, you can always tip more to show recognition of that extra effort.

Special Circumstances

If you need something extra from your driver, such as when you need them to grab something from your car or you want a parking spot closer to the airport, you should tip extra. This will ensure your request is given the highest priority. Other special circumstances that call for a higher tip include inclement weather, as your valet will be working hard in the rain or snow to get the job done. 

Cash or Card

Eating out at a restaurant, you may tip on a credit or debit card if you don’t have cash on you, which is perfectly acceptable. When using a valet service at an airport, try to keep small bills in your pocket for tipping. Not only is it more convenient for you, it’s more convenient for them as they dash from car to car during busy times.

If you’re going on vacation, you may already have small bills in your wallet for tipping concierges and pool side waiters. Allocate a few of those for your parking attendant.

In conclusion, valet parking is a luxury service that you pay well for. But tipping is a way to show your appreciation for the service provided, just like you would tip well on a nice dinner out with an attentive waitress.

Contact Valet Connections DTW Parking

Here at Valet Connections DTW Parking, we’re just happy to provide quality customer service to our clients. In providing a service to you, our team does not ask for or expect tips, but we certainly appreciate them as a way for our customers to show their appreciation of diligent work! To schedule your next DTW airport valet service, call us at (734) 992-4946.