I saw this trick mentioned in a video. It seems plausible. It also doesn’t seem to be illegal even if it is something of a scam.
Let’s say you’re planning on driving your personal car to some major city for a day of shopping and seeing the sights. This city is densely populated and parking rates for a day are very high, let’s say twenty-five dollars a hour. You’re planning on spending several hours in the city, so you’re going to end up spending over a hundred dollars for just parking your car.
The scam is that instead of parking your car, you take it into a service garage and have them perform some routine maintenance like changing the oil. And you tell them when you drop off your car that you have other things to do so you’re not going to wait while the work is being done. You pay in advance, leave the car and its keys, and tell them you’ll be back to pick it up before the end of the business day.
You spend the day doing all of the stuff you wanted to do in the city then you go back and pick up your car at the garage and drive home. The cost of the oil change was less than what you would have paid for several hours of parking and as a bonus you got an oil change you would have been paying for at some point anyway.
Like I said, it sounds plausible to me. But I’ve never done it. Are there problems with this plan I’m unaware of? Do big city garages, for example, refuse to let customers leave their cars at the garage? Or do they charge an additional fee for customers that do this?