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While I was visiting Mykonos (a Greek island), I've rented the car for few days. I've visited many places across the island, however I've experienced unusual situation with few of them (such as Scorpios beach restaurant/bar and one another which I don't remember the name).

So I'm arriving at the huge parking with plenty of space (there was no even any private gate) then the guy came, welcoming, showing his hand and asking out of blue for the keys to my car. He (of course) confirmed he'll give it back, and giving me plastic label with some number for the confirmation.

Here are my concerns:

  • They guy didn't look like he was working for the bar. Standard no-name T-Short and he couldn't show any identification, or didn't show any bar's logo. Actually nothing related to the bar name.
  • He took the keys into small cupboard into small hut (also without any noticeable sign that this belong to the bar) where other keys were kept.

    There were two other people seating there who confirmed that everything is fine. This didn't looked secured, everybody can get into some random hat requesting people's car's keys.

  • He said he'll drive with my car in front of the bar when I finish.

    Normally you need to register extra driver when you want to allow anybody else to drive with your car. If something would happen, I'm sure insurance won't cover any damages.

  • If rented car is stolen somehow, who is responsible? What I would tell police? That I've given myself key to some random looking guy?

  • There wasn't option to not give the car's key, the only option was to use another parking which belonged to another bar, and there was no any other free parking around that area.

Is it normal for such "luxury" bars in Greek islands for requesting your car keys? Is it safe and legal? In other words, what are the suggested steps in such situation?

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    This is called valet parking – gberger Oct 18 '17 at 17:23
  • And usually Valet parking is included in insurances, even if you don't have registered an extra driver. – dunni Oct 18 '17 at 19:00
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    There wasn't option to not give the car's key I'm not sure if thats exactly right. Vallet parking drivers do tend to make it look like their service is a must but a firm oh thanks please just tell me where to park works fine for me mostly – Hanky Panky Oct 18 '17 at 19:07
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    Unfortunately he didn't allow that, as I've been arguing with him a bit, so he said if we want to park, we need to park in some other free parking around the corner, but there weren't any free parking there, but another which belongs to Santanna Beach Club and the security guy didn't allow to park there as well. Maybe the guy was just rude. – kenorb Oct 22 '17 at 18:22
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    The risk of theft on small islands is usually neglicable. Reason: you have to transport the stolen car of the island. BTW: I've seen a fair amount of Greece, but have never encountered valet parking. But I don't visit overpriced bars. – RHA Oct 30 '17 at 19:22
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Yes, it is normal, not only in Greek Islands but also in Greek cities, especially in high-end places.

Unfortunately, the whole point is usually to not appear to officially work for the bar.

  • Is the valet properly insured and officially employed?
  • Does the establishment hold a valid license for the parking space?
  • If there is a fee for parking there (sometimes there is), can the establishment legally declare such revenue?

Most of the times the answers are no.

In Athens you can also be approached by 'a guy from the bar' to park your car illegally on the street in front of the bar, for a fee.

On the bright side, I've had my car parked like this many times per year with no problem.

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