Mobile auto services come to you

Mobile auto services come to you
mobile auto service

mobile auto service

Convenience is driving demand for mobile auto services, which allow you to get your car detailed, oil changed or even preventive or emergency maintenance performed without leaving your home or office.

Our research team found that, in many cases, the cost of mobile auto services is no more than if you visited a brick-and-mortar shop. In interviewing highly rated mobile service providers, our team found that while some require a convenience fee, others charge less because they work out of their vehicles and avoid the costs of operating an office or shop.

Related: Do you really need an oil change every 3,000 miles?

Most mobile detailing businesses offer the same services and use the same equipment as would a shop-based expert. Their vehicles are fully equipped with cleaners, vacuums and other supplies needed to thoroughly clean your car’s interior and exterior.

Mobile auto detailing prices can run from $50 to more than $200, depending on the size of the vehicle. Mobile oil change services tend to cost from $35 to $50. The price for mobile mechanic services varies greatly, depending on level of service, parts used and amount of labor.

There are more advantages to mobile services than convenience, our team found, including not having to wait in line for personal attention and, in many cases, working with the company owner. Many mobile businesses are one-person operations, said one highly rated auto detailer, adding: “You always get better service from the owner.”

Our team also learned that some mobile auto businesses are flexible enough to come out with as little as 24 hours notice, while others may require that an appointment be made a week or more ahead.

Related: Extended auto warranty: Is it worth the cost?

However, it pays to be careful when hiring a mobile service provider. For one thing, the mobile aspect makes such businesses attractive to fly-by-night operators or people who have little or no business or technical acumen.

It’s important to be sure that the service provider you hire is reputable and reliable. Check references, as well as online reviews from a trusted source. Ask specific questions, including how long the person has been in business, how the work will be performed and how much time and money it will cost.

Be aware, too, that if you want to have work done while you’re on the job, you should be sure to get your employer’s or security department’s permission to give the service provider access to employee parking areas.

But if you do your homework before you hire, you may discover that mobile auto services can save you time and even money, as some of my employees have found. Every now and then, one lets the others know when the “oil change guy” is coming. If enough people sign up, the service provider gives everybody a discount.

It’s a win-win for everyone.

Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie's List, the nation's most trusted resource for local consumer reviews on everything from home improvement to automotive repair. Follow Angie on Twitter @Angie_Hicks.

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Mobile auto businesses growing in popularity


Mobile auto businesses, like detailing, oil change and mechanical services, can come to your home or office. (Photo courtesy of member Brandon D., Albuquerque, N.M.)
Mobile auto businesses, like detailing, oil change and mechanical services, can come to your home or office. (Photo courtesy of member Brandon D., Albuquerque, N.M.)

Mobile automotive businesses offering detailing, service and oil changes offer customers an added layer of convenience by showing up at their home and work.

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