What happens if you park in a valet spot?

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When you pull up to a shopping mall, conference centre, concert, or private event, the last thing you want to do is spend time hunting for a parking spot.

Many locations offer valet parking services for those who want a better, and more convenient, arrival and departure experience. However, if you’re someone who prefers to park their own vehicle, you may wonder if that epic parking spot you just found was truly up for grabs or if it was designated for valet services.

Parking spaces designated for valet service providers
Some locations such as shopping centres often have designated valet-only parking areas. These are used by the valet service provider under contract to the location, tenant, or landlord. 

It is the property owner who designates the number of parking spots allocated to valet parking. If you opt to park in one of these spaces without paying, you are taking inventory away from the valet business.

The action taken could include:

  • Ticketing
  • Removal of your vehicle

However the above possible outcomes are at the discretion of the landlord, rather than the valet service provider.   

How to avoid parking in a valet parking spot
Look for signage indicating that parking spaces are reserved for valet customers. There are often whole sub-sections of parking lots held for valet customers. You may even notice gated access to these areas or traffic cones indicating the perimeter of the valet zone.

If you’re unsure, locate a valet on site to confirm that you’ve selected a spot intended for public parking.