The Lesser Evil: Why Spending on Valet Service Is a Smart Choice After Drinking


A recent conversation among friends revolved around the pros and cons of using a valet service after a night of drinking. The debate became particularly intriguing when one friend mentioned spending $150 on a valet service one Friday night. The conversation raised several compelling points that merit a more in-depth discussion. So, is spending $38—or even $150—on a valet service after drinking justified? This article aims to dissect that question.

The Case for Valet Services

Safety First

The most glaring benefit of opting for a valet service is ensuring safety. Driving under the influence is not just illegal but also a hazard to yourself and others. A valet service essentially eliminates this risk, making the $38 fee look like a bargain compared to potential legal fees or, worse, the cost of an accident.

Convenience and Time-Saving

With valet services, you don’t need to worry about parking or walking to your vehicle. This becomes particularly beneficial if you’ve had a few drinks and are not in the best state to navigate.

Risk Mitigation

One friend aptly termed the fee as a “risk mitigation fee.” The cost of a DUI or accident would undoubtedly exceed the valet fee, not to mention the potential damage to your vehicle and reputation.

The Counterarguments

Cost and Availability

The most common argument against using a valet service is the cost. Another concern raised during the conversation was about the limited availability of valet services, which usually start around 8:30 PM. However, as one friend mentioned, you can pay a little extra for immediate service, essentially negating this point.

Emotional and Personal Factors

During the discussion, one friend brought up the emotional turmoil involved in losing personal items like a phone or wallet in a taxi or Grab, suggesting that these items would be safer in your own car if you opt for a valet service. This adds an extra layer of peace of mind, justifying the cost further.

The Real-life Scenario

One friend recounted an experience where he ended up spending $150 on a valet service due to unforeseen delays. He considered it money well-spent to avoid complications. He even negotiated a “wait fee” with the valet service when he was held up, indicating that valet services often offer a level of flexibility and customer service that taxis or Grab may not.

The Bottom Line

During the conversation, one friend summarized it perfectly: “You either pay the valet fee or run the risk of landing yourself in far more costly and dangerous situations.” When you weigh the cost of potential legal fees, damage to your vehicle, and personal safety, a valet service, even at a premium rate, seems like the lesser evil.


The conversation among friends revealed a consensus that using a valet service is a prudent choice when alcohol is involved. While the upfront cost may seem steep to some, the long-term benefits and risk mitigation overwhelmingly justify the expense. As one friend pointed out, “Money can be earned the next day, but trouble takes weeks to mend.”

So, the next time you’re debating whether to opt for a valet service after a night out, remember: it’s better to choose the lesser evil.

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