Nearly Free Parking

This story was told to us by an instructor at an automotive update course a few years ago.  It’s a true story and quite entertaining so we thought we’d share it with you.


A man in New York goes into an auto repair shop for an oil change on his car.  He drops it off in the morning, goes to work, and returns to pick the car up at the end of the day.

Two weeks later, he’s back for another service.

The Service Consultant at the counter looks puzzled and asks the customer, “Mr. Smith, you were just in two weeks ago for service and your car hasn’t accumulated many miles in that time.”

“Oh, I know,” Mr. Smith says.  “Just please service the car again.”

The Service Consultant shrugs, writes up the job, the customer goes to work, and again returns at the end of the day for his car.

Two weeks later, he’s back again.

This happens several more times, and every time the shop staff is wondering why this man keeps coming back religiously every two weeks for an oil change when the car isn’t anywhere near due for it.

The instructor who told us this story happened to visit the shop one day when Mr. Smith’s car was there for service.  The shop staff tells him about the customer, and since none of the staff can get up the courage to ask why Mr. Smith comes in every two weeks, the instructor decided to be standing at the counter at the end of the day when Mr. Smith returned to pick up his car.

Five o’clock rolls around, and Mr. Smith is there as expected.  He pays his bill, and before he leaves, the instructor asks, “Sir, if you don’t mind, I’m terribly curious: you’ve been getting your oil changed every two weeks for months now…”

The customer laughed and interrupted, “Well, you have to understand: parking in New York costs me nearly $200 a day.  So to save myself a little money, I can come here, get my oil changed, my tires rotated, my car thoroughly checked over and any potential problems addressed, I can leave it here all day, and it only costs me $49.95.”


Nearly free parking.  And the cleanest engine in the world.