A Novel Approach to Giving a Valet Instructions for the Model S

A Novel Approach to Giving a Valet Instructions for the Model S

Cross posted from TMC for this who don't visit there ...

I valeted (is that a word?) my car for the first time over the weekend, and there was a lot of arm waving. The car survived the experience, but it occurred to me that there had to be a backup approach.

So … I decided to create a simple instruction sheet for valets, post it on the web, assign the page to my Model S browser as a “favorite,” and then call it up (full screen) just before I get to the valet stand. That way, a simple set of driving instructions for the Model S is on the Model S display as the valet gets in. He/she can read as required, and potentially embarrassing situations might be avoided. It can also be useful if you lend your Model S to a friend (yeah … right :)

I’ve posted the Valet Instruction Sheet as a public service at the new website supporting our center console insert (CCI):

You’ll find it under “Valet” on the top navigation bar.

If you find errors, omissions, or ambiguities, let me know here. Hope you find the instructions (and the website) informative.

mrspaghetti | 15 ottobre 2012

My approach to avoiding issues with a valet: never allow a valet to touch my car.

gagliardilou | 15 ottobre 2012

No valet touvhing my car either. At least not for the first few years.

gagliardilou | 15 ottobre 2012

sorry, thats touching

Soflauthor | 15 ottobre 2012

Get the no touching philosophy, but where I live there are desirable destinations that almost require it, unless you want to walk for a l-o-n-g, l-o-n-g way. This was intended for folks who have a more liberal attitude about valet parking :)

philiparnason | 15 ottobre 2012

Great page thanks for making it.

Epley | 15 ottobre 2012

Perfect! Thanks!

RobertMontreal | 15 ottobre 2012

The page is cool :), but what is even MORE cool is the idea behind it and the novel things a car like the Model S allows us to do.

Kudos to the originality!

cerjor | 15 ottobre 2012

Soflauthor: I thought I had heard that your seat belt needed to be connected before the car could be driven. True or false?

petero | 15 ottobre 2012

Soflauthor. Very clever, but … Can the valet read? The valet I use can read – I am the valet. Looking forward to your finalizing design and pricing the center console. Since you asked, tan leather and glossy obeche.

RobS | 15 ottobre 2012

I've never owned a car fancy enough to be one of those at a nice restaurant that is parked up front instead of the valet lot. What's the protocol to use one of those spots? (Some places only have valet parking - with no self serve lot.)

mrspaghetti | 15 ottobre 2012


There was actually another thread related to this topic:

After much consideration, my 'valet plan' is to hand the guy some cash and tell him to get in the passenger seat while I park the car.

Brian H | 15 ottobre 2012

Suggestion for the Valet Page: "car is fast, and responds instantly!"

But it's almost an invitation/challenge to fool around.

olanmills | 15 ottobre 2012

Great idea, though I too plan to never valet my car. I've only valeted my current car once, twice in 5 years, and now I avoid those places that I had to valet to park.

MB3 | 15 ottobre 2012

Very nice instructions and web page in general! I'll let you know if there are gaps after I try out your instructions on my first drive ;) Is the lock on walk-away a feature that must be enabled before hand? I see you advertise that the car is fast. Good to give a warning I guess, so long as it's not viewed as an invitation. Looking forward to valet mode.

Soflauthor | 15 ottobre 2012

@cerjor: You can start and drive the Model S without using a seat belt. A tone does sound, however.

farhad667 | 15 ottobre 2012

Great idea! One edit: I'd say the car comes with a special "Wireless KEY" that you should not leave in the car after you've parked it. Calling this a car shaped FOB (remote key) is unnecessarily confusing IMHO.

BYT | 15 ottobre 2012

Agreed, dumb it down just in case.

TikiMan | 15 ottobre 2012

Here is my approach... "You might prefer that I park my own car, because...(a) This car is too complex for you, and WAY about your pay grade,and (b) If you damage it, you will have to spend the next ten years eating through a tube in your nose!

brewdr | 15 ottobre 2012

I guess it's not a "Punch list" item because it was never promised, but sure seems to me that a Valet mode would be easy to do with software. Anyone with the car, is there a Valet mode? Has anyone heard if one is forthcoming? Can we make a punch list exception?

TikiMan | 15 ottobre 2012

IMHO, 'Valet Mode' should be a function in the Model S that turns the car off, if it detects anyone trying to drive it with less than $500,000.00 in personal liability insurance ;-)

jbunn | 15 ottobre 2012

Pretty sure the valet will not let you park with him in the passenger seat. If you hit something or someone else, it's his ass. Better to use their insurance. I would think a ride along should be acceptable, especialy if they offer charging. Someone needs to hook that up.

BYT | 15 ottobre 2012

Liability insurance will not replace my Model S Sig. P85 if it's totaled. I would have to wait all over again, back to the end of the line? To have to wait another year? OH THE HUMANITY!! ;)

jbunn | 15 ottobre 2012

That reminds me of the scene in Jackass, the Movie where Johnny Knoxville rents a car, takes it to the demolition derby, then drops it off.

I can say I've never had an incident with valet. Might be safer in valet only parking than with the general public on a street or parking garage.

mrspaghetti | 16 ottobre 2012


I will let you know. I suspect it just depends on how much you offer him :)

Mark E | 16 ottobre 2012

I don't let valets drive my current car as it has a dogleg (racing shift pattern) and tends to confuse them. Most will let you park it yourself if you explain. Even at hotels with valet only parking. I don't intend to let a valet drive the model s.

Rod and Barbara | 16 ottobre 2012

Great idea Soflauthor! Thanks for the link. One suggestion, perhaps 3.c. should read "Push up on the gear shift..."

Soflauthor | 16 ottobre 2012

A google translate Spanish version is up. Just click on "Instrucciones de Valet" below the title and a new Spanish language page appears. My Espanol is terrible, so I can't edit it myself.

I'll have my Columbian friend do that as soon as she returns from a trip. This should serve in the interim.

aa012a | 16 ottobre 2012

Last time I used valet: Gave the my BMW Z3 and they backed up a Yukon XL and literally "peeled back" the entire hood of my car. Please avoid valet.

ronlitvak | 16 ottobre 2012

I am guessing a valet mode will be forthcoming. At the test drive event, the Tesla folks noted that the cars had a software patch that prevented them from exceeding 80 MPH. I asked whether something like this, with a lot lower limit, could be installed for a valet of child-driver mode. The response was that they were hearing a lot of that and the feedback had gone back to the "powers that be" about having this as part of a software update.

I suspect there are bigger fish to fry at the moment with the launch of the car and factory, but I'd think a valet mode will be something we will see in the next year or so.

Tiebreaker | 16 ottobre 2012

@Soflauthor: can the browser be locked to display that page only?

If the valet realizes that there is free internet on the big screen, that can stream video and all, you may soon get a party going on in your car... even a party of 1...

Michael23 | 16 ottobre 2012

The problem if you don't let the guy valet it is that he might have to move the car to let another car out and then he won't know how to do it.

mrspaghetti | 16 ottobre 2012



petero | 16 ottobre 2012

I would stretch the truth a bit and say.

“This is a very high tech car. Please be careful and handle with extreme care. I have programmed the car to record the speed, distance, including driver DVR.”

mrspaghetti | 16 ottobre 2012


Good idea! (Though I'll still not let a valet touch my car)

Soflauthor | 16 ottobre 2012

@tiebreaker: Can the browser be locked to display that page only?

I don't think so, but I haven't really tried it. I will tomorrow.

Volker.Berlin | 17 ottobre 2012

If the valet realizes that there is free internet on the big screen, that can stream video and all, (Tiebreaker)

I know that's not your point, but for the record, as of now, video streaming seems to be unavailable in the Model S built-in web browser.

Teoatawki | 17 ottobre 2012

The only place I'm planning on letting a valet touch my car would be at a tesla-sponsored event.

mrspaghetti | 17 ottobre 2012


Good point. That would (probably) be an exception for me too.

MandL | 30 ottobre 2012

This is a great page. It's definitely going on my Model S favorites list, even though I almost never have a need for valet parking. Might be nice to have an even simpler page with some graphics for car wash attendant that needs to put the car in Neutral. Many of them I've encountered aren't entirely fluent in English.

Assuming we don't need to re-hash the should you/shouldn't you use an automated car wash topic here. Some of us will use them regardless.

Captain_Zap | 30 ottobre 2012

I talked my spouse into allowing me to valet the Jag at one of the best steak houses in the city. I figured that if we couldn't valet park there, we couldn't do it anywhere. This was the first and only time we have used a valet service.

It came back with a dent in the rear quarter panel the size of a basketball. White garage pillar paint included.

Their response was. "That was there before you got here." We shieked, "We just washed it by hand before we came here. No way!"

Their next response was, "Read the back of your stub." The restaurant's response was, "They are independent contractors."

To top it off our insurance gave us a hard time and balked on paying to get it fixed. They certainly made it difficult. I never lived that down and haven't used a valet service since that time.

Soflauthor | 30 ottobre 2012

@Captain_Zap: I have a similar horror story, myself, but there are times when you just gotta valet (and pray for the best). I created the "Valet" pages for those times.

Mark E | 31 ottobre 2012

A colleague here in Sydney had his near new M3 convertible written off by the valet who crashed it at speed inside an underground car park. Apparently he got out of the car and just ran away.

Debbie.sandy | 15 marzo 2013

Just got my S less than a week ago. So far my mind set is that I'm not letting a valet touch my car. But I have a feeling there will come a point where I'll need to. I couldn't find the link to the valet instructions posted by a community member. Did anyone else find it? If so, where? BTW this is the most amazing car I've ever driven. I drove a Jaguar XK8 for past 10 years and loved it. But felt like a hypocrite since it was an ICE and did not comport with my philosophy about the environment. Now everything feels in alignment! I'm so proud to be a part of this community and to be supporting this amazing and innovative company. It feels great to buy a car from a company that actually wants to be making these cars.

swhardy | 15 marzo 2013

Here are the instructions. Note that they are also available in Spanish.

Logical_Thinker | 15 marzo 2013

yeah not sure I'd valet my car... I'm ok with a 1/2 mile walk

FLsportscarenth... | 15 marzo 2013

I HATE valet parking...

My car is like my home, would you invite some shifty looking character with a nametag and goofy uniform to hang out in your house unattended while you go shop or eat then have pay him to receive full access to rummage through your belongings?

If it is 'free' valet parking I just tell him to point out where he wants me to park, if the valet insists on getting in the car, I find somewhere else to park and walk a bit. In some place like South Beach I will self park at the pay garage and walk two or three blocks, you never 'have to' use a valet unless you are lazy. Beach condo tower valets are happy to let you self park as long as you still give them money.

Valet parking is for people who want to look or feel rich. In reality there are a lot of millionaires that drive Chevys. Showing your money is shallow but is also inviting robbers.

I remember talking with a guy who valeted to pay for university, he use to tell about all the things that went on there. Other valets would race the Aston - Martins around the garage, grab coke or cash out of of the glovebox (and yeah they almost always look in there) or well shall we say 'entertain themselves' in there if they find any interesting soveneirs of your hot date last night in the backseat or wherever or they think your wife or girlfriend is especially fetching in that party dress...

PBEndo | 15 marzo 2013

Thanks for posting the instructions. I handed mine over to a Valet for the first time yesterday. He had never seen a Tesla Model S so I put this page on the screen.

Velo1 | 15 marzo 2013

My novel approach is to give the valet $10 and have s/he let me park and retrieve the car. Once they said put her right there out front so we can look at it all night.

2050project | 16 marzo 2013

Here is the specific link (tap blue "instrucciones de Valet" at top for Spanish version):

Lush1 | 16 marzo 2013

We're in the middle of setting up a condo for my wife's elderly mother. Last weekend we had the S full of furniture so we parked in the building's underground garage rather than being pigs and parking in the loading zone for hours on a Saturday afternoon. The attendants had me put it in a place that they thought it could remain parked, but I had to leave the fob, just in case. Naturally, Murphy's Law brought the owner of the only car our MS was blocking to the garage the moment we were out of sight. A valet tracked us down quickly and I scurried back to the garage to move it. By the time I got there, the senior valet had safely tucked it between to big pillars without incident or any instruction. I tipped him well, thanked my lucky stars and resolved to do any future condo errands during "off peak" times when we can park out front without causing any inconvenience to others.

I've avoided buying "special" cars all my life so I didn't become car obsessed, but the Model S was irresistible. I hate worrying about my car like this but it took me weeks to adjust to the unconventional start, stop, entry, exit, noiseless, experience. It is a big responsibility to confer on people who know nothing about the car. I will try to avoid it until Teslas are commonplace and familiar to the average valet, for my sake and theirs.