This content is sponsored by CarCare to Go.
No one likes carving out a chunk of time to take the car to the mechanic, let alone the additional stress of figuring out whether you should take time off work to do it, or finding someone to come and pick you up after you drop the car off at the shop.
“Even if you have a wonderful experience at the service center, you still end up wasting hours and hours of work or precious weekend time,” CarCare To Go founder John Alderman said in a blog post explaining the genesis of the service. “With CarCare To Go, repairs or maintenance take as much time as ordering groceries online.”
CarCare To Go is available in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Its goal is to make car servicing “convenient and transparent,” Alderman told Washington Business Journal. What’s perhaps most surprising is that this valet experience is no more expensive than if you brought the car in yourself. There’s no charge for the valet and the services aren’t marked up.
CarCare To Go will pick up your vehicle from your home or office and bring it to its service center, and then return it when the work is done. Here’s how it works.
First, you visit the CarCare To Go website and enter information, including the make and model of your vehicle, where it is located, and what kind of problem or issue you are having. You will also choose your appointment time, which can be on the same day or at a later date. Then, you’ll get a text and email confirmation.
A map interface lets you track your valet from the CarCare To Go service center, so you will know exactly when the driver will arrive to pick up your vehicle. You’ll receive a text that the driver has arrived, and all you would need to do is hand over your keys. And if you’re worried about trusting your car with a valet, you can be reassured by pictures that the driver takes of your vehicle before it’s taken in.
Your vehicle’s arrival at the shop is confirmed by text updates. You will then receive updates by text or phone to confirm arrival at the shop, as well as a video overview of what your vehicle looks like from the technician’s viewpoint. Alongside the video and picture recommendations will be a short explanation of when and why a specific repair is recommended. After everything is completed, you can pay via a secure electronic link.
Then, an adviser will confirm the right time and location for the return of your vehicle, and you can even track it on its way. When it arrives, the valet will sanitize it before handing over the keys.
And, you won’t have to pay for the convenience of CarCare To Go’s door-to-door service — the valet is free within a 15-mile radius from CarCare To Go’s service center in Bethesda, Maryland.
“Our target is always to return the vehicle the same day as the pickup,” CarCare To Go director of operations Brian Healy said. However, additional services — offered on every car make and model — may extend repair time to the next day.
OK, let’s get down to the bottom line — how much is this going to cost?
CarCare To Go aims to take out the guesswork for how much the repairs will cost with fair and transparent pricing. Listed on its website are prices for simple services, including oil change, tire rotation, filter replacement and other common services.
“We simplify the pricing for straightforward basics like that to take out the guesswork, even if the cost of the part varies by type of car,” said Sarah Twigg, director of marketing and operations for CarCare To Go.
Anything more complicated than standard service will need your approval before work is performed and after you’ve seen the price.
“Our mission is to make taking care of your car easy, so you have more time for, well, whatever you want to do,” Alderman said.
If that rattling sound when you make a left turn is bothering you or if you’ve put off maintenance because you don’t have the time or stomach for the hassle of dealing with a garage, get started with CarCare To Go.
And in case you’re wondering whether this is an organization you can trust your car with, be reassured that CarCare To Go is backed by two of D.C.’s oldest and most respected companies. It is a joint venture between Graham Holdings and Ourisman Automotive Group.