Parking in most major cities – and San Francisco, in particular – sucks. More often then not, when the wife and I head into the city for a night out, we park somewhere cheap and Uber our way around. It's both idiotic and costly, but it beats circling for a space for 45 minutes and then walking 10 blocks. That's why Luxe sounds so damn enticing.
Here's how it works: The driver requests a valet through the Luxe app at a specific time and location. Valets generally need about 10 minutes' notice, and show up on foot or scooter or skateboard. They take the car away and park it at one of the garages Luxe leases spaces. When the driver's done with dinner or the dentist or whatever, they request their car through the app and they're on their way. All the while, they can supposedly track the car and the valet's location through the app.
The kicker is that it only costs $5 an hour or $15 for a day, and considering parking garages in SF routinely charge around $30 for parking, that seems like a steal.
Naturally, there are concerns. Luxes claims to vet valets with background checks and trains them to drive different types of cars. It also has $1 million liability insurance policy, with an addition plan covering any damage sustained at the parking garage (street parking isn't allowed).
Considering Luxe isn't another dickish parking spacing-squating app and a lot of people are willing to trust their car to a total stranger outside of a restaurant, it might have a shot. It just came out of beta this week in San Francisco, and could expand thanks to $5.5 million in funding from a few venture funds, including Google. But for now, it's only in SF and only available on iOS.