How do you deal with your car in the shop if you live alone

So find a mechanic near where you work. Call and find out what accommodations he can make. You can drop the car off before work, and he might be willing to stay a little late if you explain the situation.

Dealer service manager here.
I offer a nice waiting room (2 actually) with big screen TVs, wifi, desks in a work area, coffee, popcorn, and donuts in the AM.
I have a shuttle if you are going within 10 miles or so.
I also have loan cars, and an Enterprise office on premises.
Usually I can accommodate a customer’s transportation needs.

My car dealership is less than half a mile from where I work. A couple of times, I’ve dropped it off on my way in in the morning and walked to my office, then phoned before I left in the afternoon to be sure the car was ready to be picked up before I walked back over to get it. They’ve offered to send someone in a shuttle vehicle to get me–I’d accept if it were pouring rain or otherwise too nasty to walk, but that hasn’t actually come up yet.

On the occasions when I’ve had to leave the car overnight or a few days for some more serious problem, I’ve rented a car. There’s an Enterprise just down the street.

I’ve never owned a car (but I live in the UK, so things are different.)

Take the bus.

Have a roommate or close friend (who lives no more than 2 miles from you) drive you home.

Do all your shopping before turning in the car.

*Drop it off Sunday night to be looked at 1st thing Monday AM.

Drop off the car before going out of town.

*Slipping key in a sealed envelope through mail slot with a post it with name and # on it so you don’t have to drop it off during business hours.

*Zipcar.

Loaner car in extreme circumstances.

*Schedule maintenance in “good” seasons; I get mine looked at in midMarch and mid September.

If you think you’d damage a beater loaner car, you probably have bigger problems.

*= Best/least mentioned advice so far

The dealership I bought my car from includes free loaners. Since it is still under warranty, I’ll go there for anything more than oil changes.

I live close enough that I could walk to work if I had to.

I’m not working, which is just as well because I live out in the middle of nowhere and there is no way I could get to work without a car, I’d have to take a whole day off if I did work. Over the years: Make appointment, drive car to mechanic. Wait in the crappy waiting area till it’s fixed (bring reading materials)…Make appointment, drive car to mechanic, and arrange with friend to drive me back home (and to bring me back to pick up car later)…Make appointment, bring car to mechanic and ask if one of the guys working there can run me back home. Ask husband when he gets home from work to take me over to pick it up… It’s possible I could take a taxi as I don’t live that far from the garage, but it is terribly expensive. In a pinch I could walk the mile or so, but there are no sidewalks and even out in the semi-country, the road traffic is so busy it would be too dangerous. Best scenario for me was just waiting around for the work on the car to be done (check ahead of time with the mechanic if he thinks it can be done in a couple of hours).

My extended warranty (now expired, unfortunately) covered a rental - they’d bring it to me at the shop.

Otherwise, I had my mom take me. :slight_smile: You can leave your car before they open with a drop box.

Twelve miles from where you live to where you work? That’s too long a distance to get someone to give you a ride or something like that? You must live Back East. In my quadrant of the galaxy, we wouldn’t think it too far to drive 12 miles from one’s own bedroom to the kitchen. I wouldn’t hesitate to drive a friend or co-worker (if I had any friends or co-workers) that far, for a few days anyway. And I don’t think I’d have trouble getting someone else to drive me that far, for just a few days.

That said, when I’ve thought I would need a car for more than a day or two, like if mine was in the shop, the obvious choice was to rent a car. And like several others who have posted already, Enterprise always seemed like the right folks to do bidness with.

Can’t you just take a week off?

I get my car serviced once every 6 months. I take the day off and on the same day go and see my doctor for my checkup and to renew my scripts. I either walk home via the doctor (about 3 miles) if the weather is good. Otherwise the dealer’s driver drops me off at the doc’s picks me up afterwards and drops me at home.

Either way I get him to pick me up from home in the afternoon when the car is ready.

My mechanics cover the cost of a rental car for (1) any repair estimated to be over $300, (2) any repair where parts cannot be procured immediately, (3) regular customers, and for those who don’t fit into any of those three, they have a courtesy driver who will take customers anywhere (as well as pick them up again) within 25 miles or so.

I fall into category (3) now, so I just get a rental car any time I’m doing more complex than an oil change. Sometimes I’ll time regular maintenance procedures to sync with vacation time, so I get a nice rental car for road trips.

Before I was flagged in the system as a regular, I’d usually spring for a rental on my own. A good money-saving tip if you want to rent is to do so through your mechanic/dealer. They will generally have a business relationship with a nearby rental company, and if you have them summon the rental car, you will typically be charged the business-to-business flat rate, rather than the retail cost. When I took a week-long driving tour through New England, I stopped by my mechanic to have them call for my rental, and I got a nice car for $15 a day… without even getting repair work done to my own car. :slight_smile:

Woah, really?! Any idea as to how common this is?

  1. Ask a coworker to pick me up at the shop and drive me to work. Plan to take a packed lunch to work that day and plan not to drive home and walk the dog on my lunch hour. Ask coworker to drop me off at mechanic’s after work.

  2. When calling to make an appointment with the shop, ask if they have a loaner car I can use for the day. This is the best of all cases, but my shop’s loaner isn’t always available.

  3. Borrow a friend’s vehicle if friend has a spare and/or won’t be using it that day.

  4. Take a cab, ride my bike, find a shop within walking distance of my house or office.

  5. Schedule a vacation day and run other errands/take care of other business while waiting.

  6. Find a mechanic or tire shop near a lot of shopping. Walk to complete errands. I’ve been known to drop my car off at the tire shop, walk across the street to Target, and get a bunch of stuff done while I’m waiting. Have also wandered the mall while Sears is putting in a new battery.

I have done all these things on one occasion or another.

Dunno, it probably varies based on the agreements between mechanics and rental companies. I thought my luck was over when my usual mechanic switched affiliation from a locally-owned rental car chain to a national, but I was still able to swing a nice $15-a-day full size sedan a few months ago when I wanted something fun for a week off of work.

Similar agreements exist for other car-related things; I’ve asked my mechanic if they have similar arrangements for other services, and now go through them when I need tires, etc. Local car insurance agents are also likely to have similar agreements. Might also help to be a “regular” with the mechanic or agent. Doesn’t hurt to ask!

Wow. I’m impressed. I’ll bet my mechanic has something similar going. He is very popular and I’m a top of the heap regular, what with a 9 year old luxury car. I think I’ve spent $1100ish there in the last 6 months plus my SO spent almost $500 (and his labor rates are slightly higher than middle of the road). So he knows me. But he’s so busy and I live only a (slow 15 or fast 10) minute walk away and he knows I live on the busline to virtually everywhere so he probably never thought to mention it. Still, it woulda been nice the time he had the car for a week!

Very common, but at least here in So. Cal. The shop rate is closer to $25-28/ day.

I live alone but luckily have more than one car. I get my repair work done at the dealer and they have a shuttle service, so I’ll typically just get shuttled home and use my other vehicle until my daily driver is fixed.

I’ve actually had two cars most of my adult life, when my income used to be a lot lower they were both basically low-cost junkers so it’s doable even on moderate income.

Aren’tyouin Bloomington? PM me if I can help…for some reason I can’t PM right now.

Twelve miles can be a lot further “Back East” than it is in the Midwest. I’ve lived in the Detroit area, and yeah it isn’t that big of a distance when everyone drives 55 on the main roads and 75 on the freeways and traffic jams are rare. But, say, in Boston? That can easily be a half hour drive, since the main arteries frequently have 25 mph speed limits, lots of stop lights, and frequent gridlock. And that’s not even during rush hour.