What is a Valet Key and Why You Should Worry About It

Updated: Apr. 21, 2023

A valet key can be more of a hassle than a convenience.

valet keyDanny E Hooks/Shutterstock

Never heard of a valet key before? That’s OK because not all cars have them but if yours does, you might want to do something with the key.

What is a Valet Key?

A valet key is essentially a spare key that comes with a vehicle but there are some varieties to the valet key. Brands like BMW and Audi feature valet keys. Several sports cars also have smart technology valet keys. In essence, the key is intended for people to give to valets to park their cars or to repair shops to use. The valet key will open the car door and start the car but will prevent someone from unlocking the glove box or the trunk.

Why You Need to Worry if You Have a Valet Key

Valet keys have long been a target for thieves. Many people will leave the valet key inside their glove box with their owner’s manual and thieves know this. It’s even a different type of crime if a thief breaks into a car and steals it with a valet key.

With some Audi vehicles the valet key comes in the glove box and thieves caught on to that. Audi has warned drivers to remove the valet key from the glove box to prevent thefts.

Some key fobs feature a mechanic key that can be removed from the fob as well.