How much to tip valet drivers in 2021

Posted in

Across America, most people are aware of the importance of tipping, which means that tipping correctly is considered customary and is accepted by individuals and businesses. Tipping poorly or incorrectly is often regarded as disrespectful to the person performing the provided service.

To avoid tipping incorrectly, it is essential to be educated about proper tipping practices in your area as gratuity varies from place to place.

With the different gratuity expectations based on location, industry, etc., It can be confusing and overwhelming to determine how much to tip, but we are here to help!

Keep scrolling for a detailed breakdown of the history of tipping, tipping best practices, and ultimately how much to tip valet drivers in 2021.

History of Tipping

The act of tipping is defined as giving an amount of money to someone who has provided some form of service for you. This sounds relatively simple. However, the history of gratuity and tipping as we now know it is a long and complicated one.

The word tip stands for To Insure Promptness.

As for its origins, the practice of tipping has an intriguing past. Some experts credit the origins of tipping to medieval master-serf relations, whereas other experts argue that the practice began in 17th century England. Overnight guests to private homes were expected to provide sums of money to the host’s servants.

In time, this practice spread from private homes into London and other commercial establishments and eventually found its way to the United States.

Tipping Best Practices

Most service people from wait staff to bartenders to bathroom attendants to salon and spa workers should be tipped as customary in American culture according to Travel Experts.

Hence, it can be confusing determining who to tip, when to tip, and at what percentage as stylists, manicurists, and delivery drivers are all tipped differently.

Further, research shows that 67% of people always tip their hairstylist, but only 27% of the same people tip hospitality or personal care services.

This statistic is interesting as both hospitality and personal care services deserve gratuity in their own right.

However, a misunderstanding or lack of education leads to confusion, and in turn, people tip incorrectly or don’t tip at all.

When it pertains to gratuity, Diane Gottsman, author of “Modern Etiquette for a Better Life, suggests tipping at least 15%, with 18% to 20% being average.

When in doubt (*if you are happy with your assistance), tip more than expected especially with exceptional service!

Valet Drivers

When it pertains to valet drivers specifically, gratuity is generally customary in the United States, even when the service is complimentary. *However, whenever you are in a foreign country, make sure to look up the customary tip practices.

Generally, experts suggest leaving a larger tip to valet drivers, particularly if you have an expensive car.

The theory behind this is that by giving valet drivers more financial incentives, they will feel more inclined to take better care of your vehicle when driving and parking it.

According to the NC Consumers Council,  you should tip between $2 and $5 when your valet driver returns your car to you.

However, when valet parking is complimentary, you should always leave a tip for the valet driver as it is the primary source of income for the valet. Again, when in doubt, opt for tipping on the higher end (i.e., $5.00).

Some experts also suggest tipping the valet driver twice. Once, when the valet driver takes your car and once more when the valet driver returns your car in good condition.

With both tips, the total amount you should tip your valet drive should be between $4.00 and $10.00.

Keep in mind when considering gratuity that tipping is an expression of gratitude. If someone takes good care of you, make an effort to take care of them in return.

*Note that any reference to currency is USD

How e-Tip Can Help

The biggest struggle we see when it pertains to tipping is not a lack of wanting to tip, but instead the inability to (i.e., no cash on hand).

If you don’t have any cash and need to tip, it isn’t a problem with eTip. With eTip, we have made tipping as seamless as opening your phone camera, scanning the QR code, and selecting tip amount.

Our goal is to make it easy to leave cashless tips. Our mission is to use the power of technology to  create a seamless, secure, and instant digital payment solution that allows customers to express gratitude through generous tipping to individuals and businesses through our services.

We created eTip with individuals, tippers, and businesses in mind. We are here to support you and look forward to having the opportunity to serve you.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns!

Join the eTip community!

We'll send the latest content & special releases directly to your inbox.

Ready to join the community?

Receive the latest & greatest content from eTip, sent directly to your preferred inbox!