2008 Audi R8 Long Term Road Test


2008 Audi R8: My Hatred of Valet Continues

September 02, 2008

R8 At Spanish Kitchen Valet -- Their Guys are Good

I despise valet parking. Unless the lot is only 1,000 square feet or the nearest public parking lot is a mile away, I avoid valet like the plague. I don't need some dude in a maroon vest joy riding in my car -- even if it's not really my car. I don't need to show off at the valet stand. When I'm driving something like the R8, it's even worse. But twice I've been driving the R8 and had to valet. The first time (photo above) was because the lot was about 1000 square feet, but it's right next to the restaurant so I don't mind. And the second time occured this weekend when the nearest public parking was a mile away. I reluctantly handed over the keys to maroon vest dude who was working solo. It's a tough feeling handing $130,000 over to somebody.

Anyway, when I got out of dinner, I handed the guy a $20 for the $7 parking charge. To make it easy, I even just asked for a 10 back. He informed me he had no change, only a 1 and a 20. I would have to check in the restaurant for change. They had none. I came back to the guy empty handed and the little snot was giving me attitude as if it was my fault he didn't have the change to do his job. "You have to pay for your service, sir." "Service? What, driving my car 30 feet to the other side of this building? Do you expect me to just pay you $13 extra for that? I may be allegedly rich, but I didn't get allegedly rich by being stupid." But I didn't say that. Instead, I ran over to a gas station for change and paid the little bastard -- no tip. I should've just driven off.

It sullied my evening and I couldn't help but feeling that he was treating me like this because I was a 20-something driving a flashy 130-thousand-something car. The sort of unwelcome attention I was lamenting over in Riswickland. Perhaps it would've been the same had I been driving the Focus, I don't know. Either way, my distaste for valet parking continues. Next time, I'll say, "Get in the car buddy. I'm parking her myself."

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 19,066 miles

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