Who should pay if you get your car back from the parking valet and it’s damaged? The answer may surprise you

Checking for damage after valet parking

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It’s wise to know the ins-and-outs of valet parking.

Jeff Marks said he spent the better part of two weeks trying to get Max’s on Broad and “RVA Valet” to pay for damages to his 2017 Genesis. That’s when he called 12 On Your Side.

The umbrella group that owns Max’s also owns the valet parking service.

After 12 News Investigators called the company Tuesday afternoon and left a message, Marks said he got a call. RVA Valet apologized and is taking care of the damages to his car.

When using valet parking services, make sure to inspect your car before driving away from the premises. Like RVA Valet, most parking services operate under a similar policy. If you drive off without reporting a problem, the company has no liability when you discover it later.

Marks says he didn’t see the damage initially.

“It is a black car. It was at night. Did I walk around the car and inspect it like I would a rental car? No. I didn’t think it was necessary," Marks said. “It’s pretty consistent to backing into something. That’s mostly the outline of a pole.”

After reporting the damage the next day, Marks said he was told that RVA Valet would file a claim with its insurance company but he wasn’t convinced they would repair his car. His damage estimate is $825.

“They offered me a free meal. To me, that’s a little insulting for the damage that’s done. Meet me half way. Pay half of it. Something to that effect. But they...get go say ‘no, we have no responsibility.’”

After reaching out to both companies, RVA Valet said Marks' insurance claim was submitted last week and approval for repairs came today.

"I assume part of the responsibility. No, I did not get a flash light out and check my car. But they’re telling me I should have and I decided to Call 12,” Marks said.

Marks said he believes the outcome would have been different if NBC12 had not gotten involved.

"I pretty much resigned to the fact that I’m going to have to pay to repair my vehicle,” Marks said.

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