How roadside assistance saved me from a costly dealer visit

Roadside assistance isn’t just for breakdowns. Two warning lights and a three-week wait for a diagnostics test at a main dealer was worrying me. I asked the dealer if the car was safe to drive and they said to call our roadside assistance and they will confirm……’s the whole story:

As I was driving along, I was greeted by an amber ABS light and a “DSTC temporarily off” warning. Naturally concerned about the safety implications, my first thought was to take it to the dealership. I recalled the hefty fees from past visits, typically, just the diagnostic visit costs around £145, and that doesn’t even include the parts, but safety first, especially as my kids use my car!

When I called the dealership, the service person informed me that a diagnostic appointment could take up to three weeks. We booked it in, but they also suggested calling roadside assistance to quickly determine whether the car was safe to drive in the meantime. This advice got me an alternative solution that turned out to be both efficient and cost-effective.

Following the dealer lady’s suggestion, I contacted my roadside assistance service, which is linked to the car, so Volvo’s own assistance…which by the way I get free if I have my service with Volvo…which I do and always book through BookmyGarage for a discount. Anyway, they offer on-the-spot diagnostics and repairs for a parts only rate, which is a boon for immediate issues. The technician arrived in less than an hour, equipped with all the necessary tools to diagnose the problem right there.

Using a portable diagnostic scanner, the technician quickly pinpointed the problem: a faulty sensor affecting the ABS and DSTC systems. He had a compatible replacement sensor in his van, ready for installation. Impressively, he quoted just £50 for the sensor—a fraction of what the dealership would have charged, not only for the sensor but also for the diagnostics and labour.

Replacing the sensor was a straightforward task that took about half an hour as he also drove the car around to test it. It was enlightening to see how some car repairs don’t require the advanced setup of a dealership. This approach not only saved time but also helped demystify some of the car repair processes for me.

By opting for roadside assistance, I saved at least £95 on diagnostics alone, aside from avoiding the dealer’s markup on the part and labour. This incident underscored the value of my roadside assistance plan, which I had previously considered merely as a ‘towing’ service.

This experience has significantly changed how I approach car maintenance and repairs. While dealerships are indispensable for complex mechanical issues, roadside assistance services are an excellent, cost-effective choice for common technical problems. They offer convenience, affordability, and immediate service, making them a highly viable alternative.

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

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