CHOICE membership

New Vehicle Roadside Assistance

Rant! I put this up on Facebook yesterday 18.12.2019.
Beware of Roadside Assistance deals on new cars!
Driving my 3 & 1/2 year old Hyundia i30 today when the overheating light and alarm came on. :open_mouth::open_mouth: In all my years (52 licenced and longer on private roads) of driving this has never happened in ANY car, let alone one I purchased new. Pulled over and engine cooled back down very quickly, so I thought I’d ‘limp’ closer to home. No luck, so parking in a side street in order to not hold up traffic on a main road, I then spoke to my mechanic who suggested I open the bonnet to take a look. Discovered the radiator cap had blown (almost) off. Rang RACQ, who advised me to ring Hyundai. I did and was told that my (above) membership had expired 7 months ago as I hadn’t had my car serviced. I gave Hyundai the date (in May) but was told because it wasn’t done by a Hyundai DEALER, it had lapsed. I then explained that I had tried to book the vehicle in at Mackay’s one and only dealership at least a month before I was leaving, but they had no times available. It was explained that yes my ‘warranty still’ existed, (because the mechanic is fully licensed) but my membership with roadside assistance did not. So I was punished by Hyundai because ‘their dealership’ couldn’t do the service at the time. The mystery of the blown radiator cap has not been solved. The cooling system only took 1.5litres water, the cap was not faulty as far as the RACQ was concerned, and all I need do now is wash the engine and bay. Yes it is written in very small print in the terms and conditions, but after this I will never be sucked in again! :face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth: Oh yes, and my call was recorded and I warned them I would do what I’ve just done.
Rant over!


Thanks for that experience. With the prevalence of roadside assistance now being bundled with quite a few manufacturers vehicles I would be surprised if similar small print is not pervasive. Renault for one includes it! Very small print, as you wrote, and on their web site proudly featured in a light grey footnote.

…Roadside Assist will be given from the date of each scheduled maintenance service at a participating authorised Renault dealer…

The noise of shifting chairs and rustling paper is from we owners checking if we had been done or not, expecting that service that was good enough for a warranty was good enough.


Sorry to hear you were diddled @pforte.

Of course the fine print conditions aren’t mentioned when they attempt to sell this ‘bonus’ to you, are they?

When we bought our car, I reasoned that it would be like buying the extra warranty they try to sell you with appliances. As I was already had NRMA road service who would give me roadside assistance if needed, I declined their offer.


Maybe on a positive note, the savings from not going through a dealer for servicing is likely to be more than the cost of a automobile association membership. Possibly best to use these savings to join your local AA.


Yes I agree that this is a positive. I was on a fixed price service fee at the time, so moving to a different Dealer would have made the service fee larger I think, so now I’m no longer getting any (false?) assistance I know my services will be cheaper.


I know that this definitely happened as I had friends tell me that they would be checking their paper work. It border on theft by deception.


I was aware that there were no free lunches (with anything), but this has made me super sensitive to any future dealings over anything. I was already and RACQ member, but when I was told that my contribution to being a member would be almost cut in halves, I took the bait. As I say never again.


I bought a new Hyundai car a few years ago. The customer service was very poor. Emails and phone calls were ignored. I am still waiting for responses to various issues. Thanks for telling us about your experience. Do they realise that consumers talk to other people and will buy more new cars in the future? How many sales of new cars do they lose because of poor customer service like this?


I had an equally unsatisfactory experience with two Honda Jazz sedans I purchased. Honda’s transmission on those cars was defective. Both Honda and the dealer refused to accept any responsibility for it, and in the end I got fed up with the situation and sold both of them.

Toyota fitted one of their models with a similar transmission but, unlike Honda, when it became apparent that these transmissions weren’t successful, Toyota did a product recall and replaced the lot. Honda did the opposite. Guess what I’m driving now? Yep - a Toyota - and loving it!


We have maintained a motoring club membership for 50 years. For no other reason than the one stop shop for when the car fails. Whether it is good value, the convenience wins.

There are several of the larger independent retail automotive service providers who also provide a roadside assist package with each service. Whether in or out of warranty.

The assumption is they build a cost component into their business to cover the service which is likely sub-contracted out to, guess who? Hopefully the service costs in an open market are competitive if you are prepared to shop around. And the ‘free’ paid for roadside assist effective?