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Top Gear Philippines

Valet parking disclaimer in the Philippines

If you've been following this website for years, you should know we're not big fans of valet parking. It stems from our distrust of strangers. Turning over your prized possession to some random dude is, to our mind, like handing over your smartphone to the waiter and asking him to fiddle with it while you go to the john. Stories about nose-picking valet attendants certainly don't help.

Unless your car has the valet mode feature of the Chevrolet Corvette--or unless you install a hidden surveillance camera--you will never know what the valet attendant did to your ride.

But more than the prospect of losing valuable items in the car or discovering somebody else's booger on your steering wheel, the scariest thing about availing of a valet service--especially in the Philippines--is the total lack of accountability on the part of the service provider. Check out the above photo shared by Frank Schuengel, a follower of our Facebook page. The valet parking ticket (of a hotel in Metro Manila) says that even if serious damage to your car is found to be "directly attributable" to the valet attendant's negligence, you will only get the maximum compensation of...drum roll, please...P4,000.

Yep, even if they crack your windshield or smash your taillight or nick your MacBook Air, you will only get what is essentially buffet dinner for two in one of the hotel's fancy restaurants. Actually, this is, by Philippine standards, already generous. Most parking facilities in the country explicitly indicate on their parking tickets that they are completely not responsible should your vehicle get damaged or lose stuff within their premises.

It always pays to read the fine print. No, let us correct that: It always pays to park your car yourself.

Photo from Frank Schuengel

Vernon B. Sarne
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