What Is a Valet Car Key?

by Kelly Aguilar

With limited use options, the valet key is an accessory offered by some car makers on various models. It provides some functionality while making storage security available to the vehicle owner because it won't open all locks.


The valet key "...work(s) only in the ignition and the door locks" according to a web-based service training guide published by Honda of Canada. The vehicle can be driven with the valet key.


According to a statement on the website of ARC Forensics "...the Valet key, is designed and cut to work specific locks on a specific vehicle, i.e., the ignition and door locks only and not the glove compartment and deck locks." A typical valet key opens the driver entry door manually and does not have a remote open and lock feature.


While providing security for valuable or private items in the glove compartment, center console or trunk when a vehicle is in the possession of someone other than its owner, the valet key does have potentially negative impacts. A valet key can give a false sense of security in that the compartments not accessible with a valet key are sometimes easily pried open. Also, an owner using the vehicle with only the valet key may encounter a time when they need to access a locked compartment and cannot.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Kelly Aguilar is public relations manager for Slopecycle LLC, an action sports company and general manager of Dwell Floor Five Inc., a home furnishings retailer. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from California State University, Los Angeles, were she wrote for the University Times.

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