The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
Although not clearly stated in the film, the novella explains the reappearance of the main character's vehicle in the bar parking lot. Big Driver replaces the flat with the spare tire and leaves it in the parking lot at the bar, seemingly abandoned. The bar has a safe driver program that reinforces the use of cabs from the bar to prevent drunk driving and gives the patrons 24 hours before having their cars towed and gives a courtesy phone call the next day to make the sure the owner knows where their car is and to give them a chance to retrieve it. This would explain how and why Tess' car was found by the bar owner (Joan Jett) with her belongings inside.