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how do you tip a parking attendant?


I'm new to the whole having a car in a garage in manhattan thing. For those of you who have monthly spots in garages: do you tip the attendant who gets your car every time they get it, or do you tip them monthly, every 6 months, around X-mas time? How much?

everyone's input is appreciated.

Thinking it would be fairer if each attendant received the same amount I did not tip daily but waited to give them a nice xmas bonus. The result... one of them stole my E-ZPass. Because the manager gave me a refund for the cost of the pass ($23) I now tip $2 each time I pick up.

I get my car in and out about 2 times a week on average. I tipped three day workers $50, the night worker (whom I rarely see) $40, and the manager $75 at Christmas. They have treated me like the President since then. My feeling was the difference between average tips and generous tips was about $75 which means little to me and a great deal to them.

I kept a weekend car for a few years. Gave $40 per man at Xmas, but no distinction for the manager or those I knew. Just gave all the cards to whichever guy was around. I didn't see any difference between before and after the first Xmas, but not as if there's much interaction anyway.

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I used several "manned" lots and no matter what I tipped, they treated my car like crap. Now I park in an "unmanned" garage with an assigned space. It is so wonderful. No one touches my car but me. It doesn't get started and moved 25 times a day even when I'm not using it. I never find "stuff" in my car that wasn't there when I left it. I never find stuff missing. My bumpers aren't terribly scraped up. I have to walk a few extra blocks than the nearest garage to me, but boy is it worth it. (and there's no one to tip)

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i give $40 at xmas to the regulars and $65 to the manager. our garage is under our building and they are very good to us. the manager always pulls the car up for my wife so she can just pull straight out (tough turn up the ramp), he helps carry packages to the door into the building and he always goofs with the kids - who he knows by name, and they know him by name. i am considering giving him something when we split at the end of the month. i also occasionally (rarely, really) bring them a bottle of water or cup of coffee and have brought them cake or cookies when we have extras from the holidays or birthdays. they love that! on occasion when Bobba (grandma) comes in for the kids and we are taking the car out, they let her park in our "spot" for no charge. we give $10 or $15 to whoever is there.

$2 each time they pick up. $40 per person at Christmas. I would choose a garage carefully as some of them DO dink the cars. Invest in a set of bumper pads.

Best option... Park and Lock! Self service. Suburban size spaces. No tipping.

I tip $2 each pick up and return and $50 per person at Christmas.

how does $50 per person for the parking garage compare to your doormen?
I just looked at my tip schedule for Christmas and gave on average $100 for the doormen - we had (i moved) just one per shift; one entrance; total of 4 doormen + 1 doorman/porter + super + 2 porters. Super same as the doormen. Porters $30.

i do $2 per pickup plus $20 per guy at Christmas, but i only take my car out on weekends, probably 2x per month in summer, and less than 1x per month outside of the summer. i get good service and the guys seem happy. i think the tipping for every pickup is the most important.

my entire building staff gets $50 each at christmas. i figure they all assist us.

Why should you tip garage attendants? There job responsibility is to bring your car out. Why don't a RE broker tip the people for coming in to see the property? Why don't the seller tip the RE agent? I think they should. They offer their service to sell your place, tip them every weekend for showing your place. RE agents put your hands out before you leave and ask for a tip. You may be able to start a new trend like the garage attendants and taxi drivers had done. Why don't you tip the cashier in the grocery story? Why don't the employer tips their employee for coming into work? The tip logic has gone out of whack. You tip someone for his or her exceptional service, not just for merely doing his or her job...

RE_PRO: "Why should you tip garage attendants? There [sic-'their'] job responsibility is to bring your car out. Why don't [sic-'doesn't'] a RE broker tip the people for coming in to see the property?"
The beauty of America is you don't have to tip anyone you don't want to RE_PRO. Nor do you have to learn to write English properly.

I just proved my point to catch losers like yourself.

Your mom taught me how to write.. so ask your mom

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Kyle, Did I touch a sour note? Are you a tip craving sucker/garage attendant? If you don't tip, they won't even do their job and start making ridiculous comment about how cheap you are etc... Let's be serious, I'm not cheap but why don't you answer my above questions regarding tipping?

Aboutready, What is the norm? How is the norm developed? If cashiers start to expect a tip, it could become a norm, couldn't it? Why should we tip a NYC taxi driver? I am scared like hell about getting into an accident when I am in one. They maneuver around traffic while they are on their cell phone chatting away. What service is he/she providing except risking your life from point A to B?

aboutready just answered it. It's the norm to tip the garage guys. Whether you do so is up to you.

I recommend that all of you stop tipping and see what animal instincts start to surfacce. I say tip the nice and kind ones and nothing for the rest.

Kylewest, Do you tip every time you take your car out or just during Christmas time?

I'm surprised at the number of monthly parkers who tip every time in and/or out, in addition to Xmas. Never occurred to me to do that, so assumed no one else did, either. Another shattered illusion.

I use to tip every time in/out and on Christmas. The one year I forgot they got nasty rather quickly.

Until around the 1950s, garage attendants would drive your car to your building, and pick it up when you were done, even if the garage was a few blocks away. I miss that level of service. So no tip.

[Okeh, actually my garage is self-park, but I like sounding the skinflint note.]

Self-park, like you and 30yrs have, does sound great. No calling ahead, just walk in and drive out.

Okay.. now alanhart is talking..Driving the car to your building is service and deserve to be tipped. Going down one flight and bring your car up and say hello do not deserve a tip.. It is their job.

RE_PRO - is English your native language?

at the insane prices those parking garages charge, they should tip me!

I thank you for all of your comments. I am going to be taking the car in and out each day for work. I was NOT planning on tipping each day. To me that seems a little absurd. I don't tip the doorman every day and he does lots of stuff for me each day. I could see tipping each time if I took it out once a week or once every few weeks, but every day? Come on!

By the way, is there any recourse if for some reason your car gets dinged up in the garage (other than reporting it to your insurance)? I think it's absurd to live in fear that the attendants will ding up your car if you don't tip them well, but I want to know ahead of time if I have some recourse in case they get ideas about playing bumper cars.

My god, this thread makes me glad I don't have a car. I'm not a cheap person and I like tipping, but what, exactly are these garage attendants doing that isn't covered by the already expensive parking fees? Call me clueless, but I don't get it.

Scoots No, I am fluent in Russian, Spanish, and Italian, but I am not too good with english. Probably your mom would like to help because Klyewest's mom messed my english up, she always considered english as a secondary activity. I have only been here for a few years so give me a break.

Wow, people here are obtuse. You think that your high monthly parking fees go to rich salaries and excellent benefits for the attendants? All of you complaining about HIGH REAL ESTATE PRICES on a REAL ESTATE SITE haven't figured this all out?

NYCROBOT, no need to tip every time. I didn't, and never heard of it until this thread. I went from May until December, before the guys knew I'd do Xmas, with no problems. Didn't have issues before or after.

Most people tip the garage attendant because they believe it makes it less likely their car will get scratched,dinged, abused. At valet parking this leads to people tipping on the way in.

It seems to me that tipping each time you pick-up your car makes sense because Joe, who worked from March till November at the garage, will not be getting a share of the Christmas tip; even $1 each day when you pick up your car is cash in their pocket. The ridiculous parking fees you spend are not being lavished on the parking attendants, I assure you, & the fact that it is the norm to tip is almost certainly factored into the wages that are paid. If you can't afford to keep a car in the city AND tip the attendant, don't do so.

Depends how the garage works. In mine you called ahead to have it retrieved from the depths. The guy who did that wasn't the one in the office who pointed you to the car. When bringing it back, you left it on the ramp and one of the guys would put it away later.

my wife uses our car every day for work and she generally tips 1 dollar each way. service is awesome and they have her car ready for her every morning. it's worth it for her.

she has major issues with the tipping though. she's a intensive care baby doctor, and every day she is helping to save lives but no tip for her (and often not even a thank you!)

$2 each time you contact an attendant and $20 per man at X-mas will keep you and your car humming.

I should clarify – I use the car only on weekends. I tip because I want to – my garage guys are very friendly and helpful and $2 – 4 here and there might make a difference to them and it honestly doesn’t to me. Its not a bribe to not ding my car. They are professionals and I trust that they do their job accordingly. Of course cars will get dinged (that is why some people in my garage put those rubber bumper type things on the front and back) but I don’t think it is ever intentional/revenge.

I agree with Goodman. We aren’t throwing a bone at Mike Bloomberg here. These guys need the money.

When I had a garage, I tipped $2-5, taking it out maybe once a week. I gave maybe $125 all in for bonuses (I did a multiple of assumed weekly tips, if I used it daily, I'd probably do $200 or more).

What you are paying for is them getting your car out in 2 minutes, rather than 45. You don't want to be on their bad side.

I see both sides of this argument and generally tip well. The thing that I struggle with when it comes to garage attendants is the math.

Let's say an attendant averages 20 cars an hour for the day and they are getting $1.50/per car tip (average of $1-2 per car). That means that they are $30/hour ON TOP of whatever they are getting paid. That is $60,000 a year IN CASH for parking a car and retrieving a car + their salaries. Now, I understand that these guys (and girls?) are not making enormous salaries, but they are also not getting $2.10/hour like a waitperson.

I guess I fall into the camp of tipping at X-Mas if you are a monthly parker and $2 pick-up if you rent a car or are visiting.

Waverly - that math is totally crazy ... few garages could even handle 20 cars PER HOUR. They are probably very busy at rush hour and slow most of the other time.

You must have studied math at the same school that taught RE PRO english.

scoots - How many spots do you think the garages have? So what do they average...10 cars an hour for the day? You have the people in the buildings + regulars + tourists. I imagine it is more than you think. Plus, if the garage has 50 regulars tipping each guy $40 at X-Mas, that is $2k right there.

Go count the spots at your garage, and then assume that many are weekenders like me who only move their car once a week. There is no way they move 60 cars a day.

Like scoots, I tip at both pick-up and return. However, I only do this because I use the car at MOST twice a week--no more than that. I tip $5 at pick-up and $5 at return because it's always a different attendant.

For me, though, this has not guaranteed any better service or care. Like most New Yorkers, I pay through the nose to park in a garage, and my car has gotten rust drops all over the roof because they've been parking it under a leak. It has burned through the paint. I asked nicely for them to move it, and they didn't. So I had to ask not-so-nicely last week. Thinking of changing garages and putting in a claim. So, the morale of the story is that good tipping does not necessarily equal better care/service. Neither does being nice.

westie, you're reminding me what a PITA having a car was. In my garage it wasn't rust drips, but rather occasional blobs of wet grainy white stuff that apparently leached out of the concrete ceiling. Then during the week it sat in the garage it'd become coated with brake dust, so I'd have to either dust it or take it in for a wash every week.

I found that being nice along with a decent tip goes better than just tipping more.

I do agree that having a car is a pain in the butt. I just needed one for a specific purpose. If you live near an avis/whatever, I found that easier to deal with, except for the occasional crazy weekend (when I don't want to be driving anyway).

$2-5 per pickup and something at XMas.

Scoots, Like I said, your mom taught me english, and she was horrible at it. Our(Waverly and I) tuition and generous tips allowed a loser like yourself with a proper education. You sound like a smart ass, but I bet you went to some non-ivy league school and want recognition on this site. If you are so generous why don't you just give them 100 per visit and 2k per attendant during the holidays.

I believe that you should give them something nice for Christmas but a daily tip is ridiculous. Where do you draw the line on tipping? Even at Starbucks, they have a cup next to the register for tips. I could see in the near future that it may turn into a norm, and tips are expected or you will be frown upon.

really, really don't want to pick a fight.


"Waverly - that math is totally crazy ... few garages could even handle 20 cars PER HOUR. They are probably very busy at rush hour and slow most of the other time."

i park in the garage in the bromley on 83rd st between broadway & amsterdam and have parked there for a very long time. (full disclosure: i don't live in that building). between 7 and 9 am there are a least 60 cars pulling in and out....on weekends, it is easy to average 10 cars an hour. this is a relatively small garage.

where do you park?

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I park downtown and do not see that volume. Ditto, weekends between 7 and 9 am is hardly relevant research as to how many cars they park per hour. I imagine Summer traffic is much higher than Winter, etc.

Aboutready - it seems that not only do temporary clients not tip ... some regulars don't either! See posts above, sadly.

can't speak to downtown...didn't say weekends my friend: said "between 7 and 9 am there are a least 60 cars pulling in and out." check it out.

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no freebie to pull out your nissan sentra?

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isn't that a dodge?

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hey...lets get one thing straight douche don't ever give the orders.

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I want my car in perfect shape when I pull it out so I make sure they understand how seriously I take it. I whip out my magnifying glass each time to inspect it...
As such, I tip on the way out and usually on the way in (if someone is there)
I park on 69th, off rvsd blvd (i do not live in trump tower)
the monthly price is awesome, and the guys haven't done a thing to the car since i moved it there 3 months ago.

the first sign of something wrong with my car and I'll probably stop tipping for a little...unfortunate but true

come xmas time, i will tip again...and the guys that I "connect" with in the garage, who I feel truly understand how much I care for my car (it doesn't get garaged dirty, ever, there is not a spot in it, ever) and treat it with care, get extra...i pay for my craziness, as I understand it's crazy

I am a monthly parker and use the garage maybe 4 days a week. The men are all very nice and if I inadvertently leave something in the car, it is always there when I return. I generally give $1.00 to an attendant when I pick up the car. There are approximately 7 attendants in the garage. What amount should I give each man for a Christmas tip? Thanks.

I park in a garage near my work 2 days a week. I park in the street by my house but there's no street parking by my work... anyway, I always tip $2-$3 every time I pick up my car. I was thinking of giving them $10-$20 just as a little thank you around the holidays. I don't have a lot of money but I wanted to give them something. Does that sound ok or just cheap?
Thanks for any input.

A lot of comments from aboutready and boywonder were deleted - were they against tipping?


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