This one obviously only applies to those of you who drive (public transport commuters see item #9). I imagine this is a very common excuse; however it does have its perks. For example, there is no way anyone can disprove it (unless you work at a mechanics garage of course) and- due to the presumed time scale involved with fixing up a broken down car- it will get you a good few hours. I’d advise ringing in earlier and saying you’re going to be held up for several hours. You could even stage a phoney conversation with a mechanic, it’d be great fun.