Gocompare.com is warning drivers to check their insurance policy before handing over their car keys to a valet parking service - or risk facing a bill for repairs if their vehicle is damaged.
A review of 233* comprehensive car insurance policies by the comparison website revealed that 49% of policies don't cover 'damage to the vehicle whilst in the control of valet parking'. So, if your car is damaged - you could be left out of pocket.
The warning comes as more and more people happily hand over their keys for everything from a quick car wash while at the shops to parking at the airport for a holiday.
Scott Kelly, Gocompare.com's head of car insurance, commented: "Valet parking, once the preserve of Hollywood movies, is becoming a popular option in the UK with many airports, major hotels and entertainment venues now offering 'meet and greet' services. Valet parking is a convenient way to park your car, especially at airports where it will save you having to drag heavy luggage on to a car park shuttle bus, but you need to consider the implications for your car insurance.
"You should also take time to read the valet parking operator's terms and conditions. These will outline what insurance cover, if any, the operator offers, detailing exclusions, limits and excesses. Generally operators offer very limited cover for damage to your car, which you will need to spot and report to them on collection, and possessions left in your car are generally excluded."
Gocompare.com is the only comparison site to provide additional policy information and product star ratings for car insurance from independent financial research company Defaqto; allowing customers to compare up to 30 key features for each policy.
Notes to editors:
*Source: Defaqto Matrix of 233 comprehensive motor insurance policies - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial research company Defaqto (9 October 2013).
Gocompare.com launched in November 2006. It was founded by Hayley Parsons, who has worked her entire career in the insurance broking and aggregator markets. It was the first comparison site to focus on displaying product features rather than just listing prices, and it was this philosophy that led to Gocompare.com becoming the only price comparison site to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA).