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Last night I went to one of San Diego's finer eating establishments. They have free valet parking, that only costs you $5. I asked the attendant if he knew how to dirve a Prius. "No problem" he said, and drove off with my beloved car. When it was time to leave, I gave him the parking ticket stub and off he ran into the night to find my car. Ten minutes later, neither he nor the car were in sight. When I finally found him, he was trying to force my house key into the door lock. I said to him, "do you notice that the interior lights are on?" He said "yea." "Pull on the handle" I said. "What the?" he said as the door opened. I could go on, but it makes my head hurt. Lesson learned. Never use valet parking. : :?
 

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River Rat said:
Last night I went to one of San Diego's finer eating establishments. They have free valet parking, that only costs you $5. I asked the attendant if he knew how to dirve a Prius. "No problem" he said, and drove off with my beloved car. When it was time to leave, I gave him the parking ticket stub and off he ran into the night to find my car. Ten minutes later, neither he nor the car were in sight. When I finally found him, he was trying to force my house key into the door lock. I said to him, "do you notice that the interior lights are on?" He said "yea." "Pull on the handle" I said. "What the?" he said as the door opened. I could go on, but it makes my head hurt. Lesson learned. Never use valet parking. : :?
I quiz the valets when I see them (even if I'm not using them) and more and more are getting to know the Prius. If they don't I give them a quick lesson. Then I park my own car.
 

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The local hospital is doing renovations that have made them provide valet parking to manage their limited parking space during the construction. The 2006 models come with a pad with valet instruction sheets, so we give them those with the fobs. We were there yesterday and the valets were fighting (not seriously) over who'd get to drive the Prius. They get out and hand us the fob and say how much they love our car.
 

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"They have free valet parking, that only costs you $5"

If it is $5, it isn't free. That's like "this faux pearl is free, just pay for the <overly inflated> shipping costs"

"The 2006 models come with a pad with valet instruction sheets"

The earlier models (not classic) did too, though maybe not all dealers kept them in the car.
 

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I'm surprised he had a problem with the door lock. The fob works like any other fob in that you can push the unlock button to unlock the door. I'm not sure it was the Prius that was this guys problem. More likely it was his intelligence.
 

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redwein said:
I'm surprised he had a problem with the door lock. The fob works like any other fob in that you can push the unlock button to unlock the door. I'm not sure it was the Prius that was this guys problem. More likely it was his intelligence.
I vote for the intelligence issue in this instance. Apparently this guy doesn't understand the concept of unlocking a vehicle with the buttons on the fob. It is also an intelligence issue (and probably an ego one also) which caused the employee to not ask for assistance from you or from his boss. Oh well, I hope you have a stack of those cards so you can hand them out with your fob when you have to valet park again.
 

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I've noted to them that "it's a Prius" They say "fine, we can handle it" I shut down power but leave fob in slot. I hesitate going in restuarant while valet trys to figure out how to start the car. I go back after a minute or so and accept the offer to park the car myself at a visible close in spot.

(hey, it took my salesman about five minutes to get the car started when he demonstrated it to me. And another couple to figure out how to get it moving. Nobody has the time to sit in a car and try to figure out the valet parking instructions)
 

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I live in SD as well and tend to avoid those downtown areas where your choice is to try to find street parking or let some dweeb drive my baby.

If you don't give them the $5 for the free parking you never know what might happen. And that is actually cheap, it can be closer to $10.

As an aside you should never leave your house keys on the same ring as your car key when valet parking. It is real easy for someone to make a copy and they have your address. Not paranoid, just rightfully cautious.
 

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I bet this varies by region based on how popular the cars are there. I take mine to the car wash every week and different "entry level" employees manage to drive it in and out without any instructions from me. When I valet park it out here, I never have a problem either. But when I had it valet parked at the Sheration on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, they couldn't figure it out.
 

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Another issue that throws novice Prius drivers/valets is the shifting. Like me when I first drove one, you expect the lever to "stay" in the "gear" you move it to, but the darn thing just wants to keep bouncing back to its original position.

All in all, probably not worth the hassle to me to valet park. I'll pay up and park it myself. Too much room for damage
 
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