From Detailing to Fresh Tires, Mobile Car Services Bring the Pros to You

These services can help you save time and get you back on the road.

Person detailing a car wiping the front of a car with a towel.Shutterstock


Mobile services offer motorists a convenient solution when getting a car repaired, cleaned, or both. Instead of asking the customer to drive or tow the vehicle to their shop, these businesses send a shop on wheels to the car's location.

Mobile Mechanics Can Change Your Oil in Your Driveway

Several companies operate nationwide mobile mechanic services. Wrench serves hundreds of cities in all 50 states, for example. Auto Monkey operates in about 30 states, while AutoNation's RepairSmith offers its services in seven states, including California, Texas, and Florida. Additionally, many smaller, independently owned companies operate regional and local mobile mechanic businesses.

Scheduling methods for service appointments depend on the company you use. Auto Monkey lets you book via a dedicated app compatible with Apple- and Android-powered devices, while Wrench asks customers to make an appointment through a subsidiary, YourMechanic. If you're using a smaller mobile mechanic business, booking a service is often as simple as making a phone call.

The list of mobile services available also varies. Still, most nationwide brands can perform a broad scope of jobs ranging from basic maintenance to more labor-intensive repairs. Wrench offers diagnostic services, such as figuring out why a car won't start or why a warning light is illuminated in the instrument cluster, along with over a hundred repairs, such as replacing an engine oil pan gasket, changing the transmission fluid, and recharging the air conditioning system.

Not every service can be performed in your driveway, however. Auto Monkey notes that its mechanics can't carry out transmission work, body work, state inspections, engine rebuilds, or any performance-related modification. Repairs that require a bulky machine, such as an alignment, must be performed in a garage, and paint work or accident-related restoration must also occur at a shop.

Mobile service costs depend on the type of car you drive, where you live, and the company you use. Wrench and RepairSmith can provide a quote online. When shopping around, compare the warranty length offered by the different companies. Wrench and RepairSmith provide a one-year, 12,000-mile repair warranty, while AutoMonkey includes a two-year, 24,000-mile plan.

Mobile Glass Pros Can Replace or Repair Your Windshield

Replacing or repairing a windshield is straightforward and relatively easy to perform on location. Several companies offer this service, including major businesses with locations throughout the country and small shops that primarily operate in their local cities or counties. Speedy Glass runs a fleet of more than 300 vans serving customers nationwide, while Glass Doctor's network of glass repair shops includes locations in more than 40 states.

Beyond the convenience of not taking time out of your day to drop off your car at a shop, if your glass is severely damaged, mobile windshield replacement businesses can save you the cost of a tow.

There's a catch: Speedy Glass warns that weather conditions can make installing a windshield on-location impossible. If you run into foul weather, wait for a nicer day or take your car to a shop.

Mobile Tire Services Can Mount and Balance Tires Anywhere

Mobile tire mounting, balancing, and installation has been around for decades, and these services have become increasingly popular in recent years as the number of new cars that come with a spare tire shrinks. Some of the nationwide mobile mechanic businesses offer a tire repair service, and you can also find companies such as Tread Connection that only offer tire-related services.

The cost of replacing a tire varies depending on the car and the company. Wrench notes that its at-home installation service starts at $30 per wheel, excluding the cost of the tire, and can give customers a quote online, while Tread Connection pegs the price of a tire replacement at between $25 and $40 per wheel. It adds that repairing a flat tire costs between $40 and $60. Tread Connection charges $15 to balance one wheel. Note that these prices apply to scheduled appointments.

Mobile wheel repair services work the same way. Companies send a technician to the car's location to repair scratches, pitting, and other damage using tools and machines typically installed in the back of a van. Michigan-based Wheel Perfection 360 quotes between $85 and $200 to fully refinish one wheel.

Mobile Detailing Brings the Car Wash to Your Driveway

Mobile detailing companies operate across the U.S., and most offer the same basic services.

The cost of a mobile detail varies considerably depending on the company you use and the service you select. All-American Mobile Detailing charges around $250 for its Perfect Interior Package, which includes removing trash, vacuuming the interior, and shampooing the seats. At the other end of the spectrum, its Ceramic Protection Package includes cleaning the interior and the exterior, leading up to a nine-hour ceramic coating service. At around $1,000, it's considerably more expensive.

Some companies go beyond simply detailing your car. New Jersey-based Mobile Automotive Solutions offers on-site paint protection film installation and paint correction services. Wrapping an entire car in paint protection film ranges from $4,500 to $8,000, depending on the model, while the company charges $75 an hour for paint correction. Mobile Automotive Solutions's four-step paint correction service typically takes more than 12 hours on a sports coupe such as a a Porsche 911.

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American journalist and automotive historian based in France. He enjoys working on old cars and spending time outdoors seeking out his next project car.