5 valet parking disasters & ways to avoid them

If you are an automobile enthusiast, you must be acquainted with the nervous and hesitant feeling that you get while taking the valet slip and handing over the car. Well, while most of us do not want to go that way, we sometimes cannot avoid it due to numerous reasons. Well, all the nervous feeling that we face while handing over the car to the valet driver is not all worthless. There have been numerous incidents in India involving valet parking that have turned out to be disastrous. Here are five of them that have been recorded in a CCTV.

A stolen Mercedes SUV

5 valet parking disasters & ways to avoid them

This incident was reported that the popular JW Marriot hotel in Pune, Maharashtra. The five-star hotel took the keys of the Mercedes-Benz ML350 CDI from a patron and handed a valet ticket in return. The CCTV footage from the property shows that a person came minutes after the vehicle was parked in the designated area by the valet driver and took off from the spot. The thief was caught and the vehicle was recovered too.

Audi Q7 theft

5 valet parking disasters & ways to avoid them

The flagship Audi SUV was taken by a thief from a posh five-star hotel of Delhi – The Holiday Inn located in the Aero City. The family arrived in the SUV for a dinner and handed over the keys to the valet parking before heading to the restaurant of the hotel. When the owner came back, the car along with the key went missing from the valet parking’s authority. After examining the CCTV footage, a thief casually walked into the hotel and picked up the keys of the car from the valet parking’s counter smoothly and simply drove off with the SUV.

Audi Q7 smashed

This incident is again from Delhi-NCR involving a Maritius-based eye surgeon who was visiting India. The doctor did not give the keys of the Audi Q7 to the valet of the Leela Hotel in Gurgaon region and after parking the vehicle on the porch of the hotel, he headed to the restaurant to have dinner with his family who also arrived in the same car. The surgeon discovered that the vehicle was damaged massively. He then confronted the hotel manager and went through the CCTV and denied that the accident happened in the compound. However, they later agreed to pay for the damages.

Tata Safari theft

A Tata Safari was stolen from the parking of a Juhu-based hotel in Mumbai. The hotel denied the claims of the family, which forced the family to go to the court. The hotel was directed to pay Rs 7.5 lakh to the owner of the Safari and said that the negligence of the Valet caused the theft.

Drug transportation

5 valet parking disasters & ways to avoid them

It is a fact that most luxury vehicles are not stopped at the checkpoints by the cops. This is a loophole used by an MBA student in Delhi who used to steal vehicles by picking up the keys from the valet counter of the hotels and used them for drug-trafficking. The youth said that he chose the high-end vehicles to avoid suspicion.

But can you avoid such incidents?

Yes, certainly. Here are a few steps that can help you avoid such incidents.

Don’t handover to valet

Using the valet services is much easier but one should avoid using it. Most of the valet drivers are not very experienced and would not handle the vehicle carefully. Valet drivers will not drive the vehicle properly most of the times and would not care much if it gets a few scratches here and there. It is always advisable to park the vehicle yourself.

Leaving valuable inside the car

5 valet parking disasters & ways to avoid them

There are many thieves who keep an eye on the valuables inside the vehicle. Well, such things can become an easy target for valet drivers or other thieves. There are many who keep an eye over the valuables inside the car and break the glass of the windows to gain access to the vehicles. If you do not keep the valuables inside the vehicle, this can be avoided completely.

Buy a GPS tracker

5 valet parking disasters & ways to avoid them

There are many GPS trackers available in the market that can give live location updates among various other alerts like unauthorized car start and even towing alerts. It if always a good idea to install a GPS-based tracker to keep an eye on the well-being of the vehicle even when it is handled by the valet drivers.

Leaving a spare key inside the car

There are many who carry both the keys of the car together and keep one inside the vehicle itself. Well, such cases are more than common than one can think. This is the easiest way of losing your car and should not be done ever.

Handing over a powerful car

5 valet parking disasters & ways to avoid them

Giving a powerful car to the valet should be avoided at all costs. Most of the valet drivers have not ever handled sports cars or high-performance vehicles. Such vehicles are much more difficult to handle and one should not ever handover the vehicle to the valet if it can accelerate quicker than most other cars on the road.

Uninsured vehicles

Not having insurance is illegal but there are many who drive without valid insurance. If the insurance of the vehicle has lapsed, it is important to not give the keys to the vehicle to anyone. Any damage or theft will not be covered by the third party and it can cause a massive loss to you.

Shantonil Nag

Shantonil brings a refined blend of expertise and enthusiasm to motoring journalism at With a career spanning over 11 years, he anchors Cartoq's insightful car reviews and test drives. His journalistic journey began as a correspondent at, where he honed his skills in content writing and scripting car reviews. Later, as Senior Editor for, his expanded role included curating and structuring web content. At, his expanded role includes assisting the video team to create high-quality car reviews. (Full bio)