Model 3 Valet Mode Explained

Model 3 Valet Mode Explained

Many car owners are hesitant when it comes to other people driving their car, especially people they do not know. When you are making an investment in a Tesla you want to be sure your car is safe and the valuable information stored in the car’s system is not accessible to others who get in the vehicle.

The Model 3 Valet Mode will reduce the power of the car, lock private compartments and close out any technology. It is ideal to turn on when someone you do not know will be accessing or driving your car and can be useful for moments when you need to limit specific features of your car.

Tesla Valet Mode is an ideal functionality for a car that is as highly sought after as the Tesla. From how to access Valet Mode to reasons it is valuable for Tesla owners, this article will dive into the information behind Tesla’s high-tech functionality that keeps your car safe. Keep reading to learn how the Model 3 Valet Mode guards your Tesla’s information and speed from any valet attendant.

Why Does Tesla Incorporate Valet Mode?

Tesla is famous for providing updated features and fixes for complaints from customers. They deploy these changes via their over-the-air updates that users can download as a software and implement with ease. Because of their huge push towards customer service as well as making the car usable and convenient for their drivers, Tesla released the Valet Mode in 2015.

The previous functionality of Valet Mode was by using a Valet Key that limited the car’s speed, engine RPMs, and restricted access to the glove compartment. The key was, unfortunately, difficult to use for drivers.

There was even one Tesla owner who documented when she got her Model S Valet Key surgically implanted into her left arm to be able to open her Tesla with her own body. When Chevrolet offered the innovative change to the clunky Valet Key by implementing a virtual Valet Mode, Tesla followed along. Some of the reasons the Valet Key was done away with are due to these factors:

  • The key can fall prey to hackers
  • The key can be difficult for drivers to use
  • It can be easy to lose, as it is not used as often

In 2015, the Tesla Model S upgrade allowed users to download the Valet Mode as a setting on the touchscreen of their car. It wasn’t as simple in the beginning for Tesla owners to turn this aspect of the car on, but with some additional upgrades, the Valet Mode is now user-friendly and very useful.

Why Is Valet Mode Important?

A Tesla Model S was taken for a joy ride by a valet attendant at a resort in San Antonio in July 2020. The whole experience was caught on the TeslaCam, a built-in dashboard camera that is used by the autopilot functionality in the car. But unfortunately for the owner, the car was wrecked; it was an unfortunate situation for all parties involved.

The valet attendant turned on the Cheetah Mode feature in the car and could not handle the speed, so he ended up crashing the car into a wall and damaging it extensively. If the owner had engaged Valet Mode prior to handing off his car, then this would not have happened.

For those owners who want to protect their valuable assets when valeting at a restaurant or hotel, it is important to figure out how to effectively use Valet Mode to protect your car. Valet Mode will enact the following safety options:

  • Minimizing top speeds
  • Locking compartments
  • Turning off technology so others cannot access information

Tesla cars utilize the Arctic Start System for their security measures. When you purchase a Tesla, you will become familiarized with the in-depth functionality of Arctic Start but those who are unaware should not be using the system as they could cause damage to the vehicle.

Features of Valet Mode

When you turn Valet Mode on, the car’s operation system will immediately limit the top speed to 70 mph and maximum power will be reduced significantly, so the 0 to 60 mph time will not be the same as when the Tesla is in standard operation. This will keep the car safe from those unaware of how to operate the Arctic System and ensure no one takes your car for a joy ride.

In addition to speed controls, the front trunk, back trunk, and glove box are locked so no one but the owner will be able to access these compartments of the car. Along with locking, the exterior functionality remote start and alarm triggers are disabled.

Valet Mode also disables Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Homelink access, and the “places” button on the map. So all of your technology will be secure as well and no one will be able to connect a device to your car or look at your saved addresses.

How to Use Valet Mode on the Model 3

Now that you know how simple it is to keep your car and information protected from those who may not be as responsible for your belongings as you would like, you will want to understand how to fully utilize this functionality.

We will look at how to turn on Valet Mode from both the car’s touchscreen as well as the mobile app, how to cancel Valet Mode, and which restrictions you will enable when selecting Valet Mode.

Starting Valet Mode

Start by putting the Tesla Model 3 in park, then you will click the driver profile icon which is located at the top of the touchscreen on the dashboard, click the Valet Mode option. When you enact Valet Mode for the first time your Tesla will prompt you to designate a four-digit pin that is used to cancel Valet Mode when you are done with this security aspect of the operating system. Valet Mode can never be set up while the car is in drive.

When the Valet Mode is activated the touch screen will display ‘Valet’ as the profile and will change to a Valet Mode driver on the touchscreen display. When Valet Mode is enabled, the driver’s profile will not be visible.

You are also able to use the mobile app to turn on as well as to cancel the Valet Mode, assuming the vehicle is parked. When turning on Valet Mode with the app, there is no need to enter the PIN since you have already logged in after providing the necessary security information.

When it is the first time you are setting up Valet Mode, it is ideal to do it through the car’s touchscreen so you can set up a user PIN. This will ensure you do not run into trouble later when you want to access the regular Mode.

It is important to remember, if your PIN to Drive setting is enabled then you will have to enter the driving PIN prior to creating or entering a new Valet PIN. After your car is put in Valet Mode, the Model 3 can be driven without the valet or person who is driving needing to enter the driving PIN.

When the Valet Mode is activated, the PIN to drive setting is not available to change the Valet PIN. You will only be able to reset the PIN by entering your account information and canceling Valet Mode, from there you can change the code. You can also change your PIN using the mobile app.

Turning Off Valet Mode

After the Model 3 is parked, you can turn off Valet Mode by clicking on the driver icon that is on the touchscreen’s main bar. From there, you will enter your four-digit PIN associated with Valet Mode.

Once Valet Mode is canceled all settings associated with the most recent driver will become available. If you cancel on the mobile app, it is not necessary to enter the PIN in the car.

Valet Mode Restrictions

When the Tesla Model 3 turns on Valet Mode, these restrictions will be applied to keep your car safe:

  • Speed becomes limited to 70 mph
  • The maximum acceleration and power become limited
  • The front trunk, rear trunk, and glove box lock
  • Voice commands are disabled
  •  navigation system does not allow visibility into home and work locations
  • Autopilot features become disabled
  • Allowance of mobile access is disabled
  • Homelink (if applicable) is not available
  • Driver profiles are not available
  • The touchscreen will not display the list of keys that are able to access the Model 3
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are disabled, you cannot view or add a new device

Though these features make the joys of having a Tesla a lot less fun, they will protect your car from anyone that wants to take it on a joy ride. It is simple to turn Valet Mode on and off and will stay in a restricted Mode until you choose otherwise.

How to Adjust Minimum Speed for Valet Mode

The minimum speed for Valet Mode defaults to 70 mph, but you can reduce this minimum through the Tesla app. To change the speed, follow these instructions:

  • Go to the application and choose the “Controls” option from the main menu. You will see “Valet Mode” under controls if it has previously been activated.
  • After you choose the “Controls” option you will see a speed limit Mode is activated in addition to the Valet Mode being activated. When this option is powered on, you will be unable to adjust the speed setting so you must turn it off first.
  • After the speed limit Mode is turned off, you can adjust your maximum speed to a number of your choosing.
  • Choose the “activate” option on the speed limit Mode to set your new limit.

With this functionality, you will be able to slow the speed that new drivers are using when entering your vehicle. This will provide peace of mind and a sense of control for your Tesla.

When to Turn Valet Mode on

Though many cars now have virtual Valet Modes to keep someone’s car protected while others are driving, the Tesla needs these capabilities even more due to its autopilot capabilities.

Tesla autopilot functionality currently allows the car to self-park and change lanes once the driver turns on the signal. Autopilot can be turned on by any user so it is important to have Valet Mode on so someone can not take advantage of this function, especially since they may not know how it works.

Another reason you may want to turn Valet Mode on is when your teenager is asking to drive your car, even if you have a high level of trust in your child it can keep them from speeding or using functionality that could become dangerous for a new driver.

And lastly, the most obvious reason to turn on Valet Mode is when you are valeting your car and an attendant will be driving your car. The only tip you should consider is informing the attendant on how to put the car in drive and park, as many Tesla drivers report confusion from valet attendants when the Valet Mode is on.

Which Teslas Have Valet Mode?

There are currently three Tesla Models that allow you to turn on Valet Mode, including the Tesla Model S, the Tesla Model 3 as well as the Tesla Model X. Currently, the Tesla Model Y is in production and will also have the Valet Mode.

You can also expect ongoing updates to the functionality of Valet Mode in future software updates. As the system becomes smarter and more security-focused, the Valet Mode will be easier to use, deploy and set up in your vehicle.

Can You Charge Your Tesla in Valet Mode?

Since Valet Mode only restricts certain operational aspects like speed and power output, you can still charge your Tesla while it is in Valet Mode. This can be valuable when you visit a Supercharger station that has an attendant helping customers.

There are around 14,500 superchargers at 1,600 charging stations and they are easy to find when you enter one into your trip planner to ensure you have somewhere to charge along the road. Though some areas do not have a high percentage of Teslas, so their charging areas are not that busy. Other places like the west coast have high Tesla usage and so convenient charging stations are necessary.

Since these charging stations have become so busy, and people often leave their car to charge while they get a bite to eat, many Teslas finish charging while others are waiting. Because of this issue, Tesla has hired attendants to inform people when their car is finished charging.

Though Tesla announced that these attendants are not supposed to be driving the cars, many of them have for the convenience of both owners. If you plan to let someone drive your car in this scenario, then it is valuable to know that charging will still occur when Valet Mode is on.

Can You Summon a Tesla in Valet Mode?

Tesla has not given its customers a direct answer to this question yet, but from the information that the company has released, it seems the Smart Summon feature can not work while the car is in Valet Mode. Smart Summon allows your car to drive independently to a location directed by a pin on your smartphone.

The reason smart summon will not work while value Mode is enabled is because the summoning feature needs the navigation to connect with your phone and Valet Mode turns off all navigation options. It is good to know that smart summon is still in developmental phases so it could be possible that it will eventually work harmoniously with Valet Mode.

Features That Are Not Compatible with Valet Mode

There are a few features that will not be accessible during Valet Mode, which could be valuable or not depending on how you look at it.

The most obvious feature that drivers will not have access to is Ludicrous Mode, which is designed to allow drivers to access the acceleration power of Tesla’s drivetrain capabilities. Drivers will not be able to go from 0 to 60 in as little as 2.4 seconds.

There are many functionalities that will still be available including:

  • Launch Mode
  • Warp Mode
  • Cheetah Mode

As discussed, navigation will not be available to drivers since the car owner’s private address will be protected. Speed limit Mode will be available but can be manipulated as mentioned earlier, so if you want to join Valet Mode and speed limit Mode together, that would be an ideal combination.


Be sure to activate Valet Mode anytime you are pulling up to a valet station or are allowing someone who you do not trust to drive your vehicle. This will give you enhanced peace of mind that your investment is being driven with optimum care.

The Tesla Model 3 is a fun car to drive and many people like to take advantage of the 0-60 mph in three seconds and the amazing autopilot capabilities, but those functionalities should be for the driver’s use only. Now you have all the tools to ensure you are taking control of your Tesla experience.

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Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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