a damaged bumper of a car

What would you do if a big chain’s hotel valet park did this to your car?

I have a question for you. What would you ask of Hilton if their valet parking service if they did this to your car but didn't bother to inform you of anything?

a close-up of a car bumper

a car with a dent on the side

Well that's exactly what's happened today. I brought the duty manager out to have a chat and to take pictures. As of right now we can't pinpoint who did it because it'll be either the man who parked my car or the man who brought it out. That'll be for them to sort out, but I'm just really pissed off that they didn't bother to let me know something happened.

Let's see how they recover from this!


  1. Most valet tickets clearly state that they assume no liability for any damages. I hope your ticket did not state that πŸ™‚

  2. I would expect them to do the right thing by letting you bring in an estimate and they cut you a check for the amount of the damage.

    1. Yes definitely! It looks like it was done during a reverse turn, and against a concrete or other rough wall. Given the size of the scratches, you wouldn’t be able to use the “I didn’t notice” line too!

  3. Walk the property from point a to b and look for where the damage could have occurred, i.e. a wall or someplace.

  4. I avoid hotels that require valet service but once at a Hilton I found out too late so I drove in and was chased by fhe valet so I had to pay but at least I could park to my liking.

  5. Never ever use valet parking but that is kind of late now. I hope you used a Credit Card like United Mileage Explorer that offers primary coverage. The rental property will bill for loss of usage charges at the standard non discount rate, while the car is in the shop, plus repair charge. Some insurance companies refuse to pay loss of usage charges.

    I always use my United Explorer card ( primary coverage ) and never ever use valet parking. Those guys are simply the rejects from McDonalds and Wendys.

  6. I had the same experience at the Hilton LAX. They were bastards to deal with, and I ended up taking them to small claims court before they finally paid for the damage.

  7. Assuming when you say “your” car, I believe you actually mean your personal car, and not a rental, which many have assumed, so what credit card it was on does not matter.

    In that case, Hilton should fix it. A walk around the property to find where the damage occurred is not an unreasonable request, and I’m sure they have a system in place for this. How would this be any different than if an employee had just run it into a wall? They were obviously being careless, so Hilton should be responsible, just as if their waiter spilled water on your computer and ruined it.

    Which Hilton were you at? Have you heard anything from them?

    1. You’re eagle-eyed to point out the personal/rental car issue. It’s actually a rental car.

      I won’t say which Hilton I’m in (yet!) as the case is unresolved, but the Duty Manager apologised when I mentioned it to him. Apparently in the car insurance industry an apology is an admission of guilt? He mentioned in passing that he might be able to use their company insurance to settle the matter with the agency. I’m yet to hear from the General Manager however.

      1. I’ve seen an apology taken that way, but it was a slightly different situation. From all my car accidents lately (4 in 4 months) I won’t say I’m sorry, or anything like that, I simply ask if everyone is ok, if anyone needs a doctor, a tow truck, etc. I won’t say anything that can be used to imply guilt, even if I know I’m not at fault, lawyers would love to twist my words, especially if they can find even a grain of sand to base their claim on.

        When I was involved in an accident with a company vehicle (I was hit while stopped, waiting to make a right turn while a pedestrian crossed the street, they tried to sneak by and clipped the company van) they took him apologizing as an admission of guilt, granted he wasn’t refuting it, but as soon as I said that, all parties involved on my end relaxed a little bit.

  8. Speaking as a lawyer…

    1. In some states (e.g. New York) the very signs that say they’re not responsible when an employee parks your car are themselves a misdemeanor and are unenforceable.

    2. Hotel chains contract with parking companies and bring them in as independent contractors, so your “contract” is with the parking company, not the hotel. Billing via your checkout folio is just a courtesy. You can go against them, not the hotel.

  9. Sorry about your issue. Had a similar problem years ago when checking out of the Sheraton Kauai, one tire was slashed and completely flat and we were leaving for the airport. Sheraton Kauai staff and management were jackasses and I had to escalate to Starwood corporate to resolve. Needless to say Sheraton Kauai will never get my business again.

  10. never ask hotel valet to park or bring your car. it is waste of money and hotel parking cost is always rip off.
    take any public transportation.

    also never rent a car without someone at the rental agency look at your car with you before and after you drop the car. they will lie about some damages and send you bill after you are gone. always have them write EVERYTHING IS OK on the rental agreement paper.

    I hope you guys listen to what i adviced

  11. Car rental insurance work if you are the driver. Now that this is published in the blog, we know he was not the one driving and that he probably did not register the valet as a second driver.

    Basically, whatever insurance you have, you are screwed!
    Tough luck.

  12. Did you ever get a resolution to this? I had a similar experience with the Marriott Hotel in Portland, where my car had been damaged when we were collecting it (and just about to make a 6 hour drive back to Vancouver) and raised the issue with one of the managers there. Said they would file the insurance claim, etc, but now the insurance company is coming back claiming that we can’t prove it was damaged by a hotel employee. Go figure.. so 5 months later I’m out of pocket for the $300 deductible still trying to fight them to accept responsibility for it.

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