A UK car insurance company is warning drivers to check their insurance before handing over their car keys to a valet parking service – or risk picking up the cost of repairs if their vehicle is damaged.

A review of 230 comprehensive car insurance policies by Gocompare.com revealed that 43% of policies exclude ‘damage to the vehicle whilst in the control of valet parking staff’. The warning comes as an increasing number of motorists opt for ‘meet and greet’ valet parking at airports or hand their keys over to car valet cleaning services.

Matt Oliver, car insurance spokesman at Gocompare.com commented: “Valet parking is becoming more common in the UK, many airports, major hotel chains and entertainment venues now offer a ‘meet and greet’ service.

While valet parking can be a convenient way to park your car, especially at airports, any damage to your car while in the care of the valet service might not be covered by your car insurance. So, before handing over your keys, you need to check your insurance to see if you’re covered.

You should also read the valet service operator’s terms and conditions. These will outline what insurance cover, if any, they offer, and detail any exclusions, limits and excesses. Typically, operators offer very limited cover for damage to your car, which you will need to spot and report to them when you collect your vehicle. Any possessions left in your car are also typically excluded.