Ongoing Breakdown experience... CATASTROPHICALLY AWFUL!

Hello all,

I’m going to post my experience so far which is currently ongoing to prewarn you all of the nightmare you will experience should you ever have a breakdown.

I’ve been an Onto customer for the last several months and have been using the E208 GT model up until the 1st February where I swapped to a VW e-up, so that myself and my partner can save up a bit of extra money for a long awaiting holiday in April to Italy.

We desperately need this holiday… She is a paramedic, I’m a police officer, we’ve had our rest days and annual leave cancelled on many occasions over the last 2 years due to the pandemic and have barely had any time to spend with each other. We’ve also suspended plans on having a family specifically for this reason too until we know things are more settled.

Upon swapping to the e-up, all was initially fine, I drop it back home ok as I had to do a swap at my brother address in another postcode area and drove it back to my area.

I was able to rapid charge it correctly with no dramas and was fine up until the 4th February.

Upon going to the gym, which fortunately has an instavolt on the car park, I noticed that the charge would fail after a moment. I tried another charger, same issue. I then drove to a different location and again, same issue. So clearly a problem with the car.

I called the breakdown team and explained my situation as I only had 20 miles left of charge.

The AA were sent out, and the AA chap immediately when getting out of the car told me in words to the effect of “I don’t know why they send us to these cars, I can’t do anything”… He then continued on to say “If you want though I can call the local garage and get them to have it off you tomorrow Saturday 5th Feb and they’ll get you in a hire car”, clearly that worked for me and all seemed fine so far.

The next day arrived and off I pop to the VW garage where issue 1 begins… No one had a clue why I was there, no one knew I was coming or knew anything about why I was there.

I rang Onto whom said that a vehicle had never been requested and they thought the vehicle had been fixed, even though an open case had remained open with them. I was asked to return home with the vehicle as it has charge left and to wait for a call off them.

I go home and wait till about 12.30 ish or so where I started getting twitchy and decided to ring as I’m aware their core staff go home early on Saturday and the out of hours call centre takes over.

Again no one knew what was happening, I had to explain the situation to them to which I was then told nothing could be done and that I needed to use public transport till Monday when they would then sort me out.

I then suggested the idea of being able to do a temporary insurance on my girlfriend’s car as she was happy for me to use it as she was not working over the weekend. To which they agreed, but would only cover up to 33 miles a day for fuel at a rate of something like £4 per day, which already is less than what I do in a normal commute for my day. (60 miles total or so is my normal commute).

Monday morning comes (7th) and the car my girlfriend kindly allowed me to use was now also no longer available as she had to use it for work, we work in totally opposite directions and it isn’t feasible for us to drive each other to work.

On that morning I had to make my work to work with using a taxi which has coat me ££.

I then carried on with my weekend as best I could, and when Monday morning came I receive no phone call, so I phoned and when I spoke to Onto, again no one seemed to know what was going on, and nothing had been done.

Over the space of then about an hour or two, I got passed between 4 different people, until I eventually landed with a person called Robin/Robyn, who appeared to be a manager at driverline, to whom I then set the expectation with that I would use him as my anchor of contact.

He told me that they thought the vehicle had already been recovered and a car sorted for me, to which I informed him this wasn’t true.

I then got told that I needed to take the car to VW for them to look at it, and they would sort out a spare car as the car was in warranty (the e-up is a 71 plate).

I arrive at VW again and I go through the process of booking it in. I then discover the car isn’t registered to anyone and have had to register the car to me for it to be booked in.

Upon completing booking in, I then ask about the courtesy car, to which VW told me they had informed onto that none were available until the end of march.

So now I’m stuck again…

I talk to Robyn again who told me that he would raise it with head office and I should hear back from them.

I get a call later that evening from VW saying that a customer had brought a car back early but it was only available until Tuesday 8th, and it would cost me £15 to use.

I needed something so I made my way back in to use the car.

Tuesday morning came (today) and I called this morning and spoke to Robyn who said it was all in hand, head office were aware of it and were sorting something out for me today and I’ll hear back off them after lunch.

After lunch came, I haven’t heard anything.

I then get a call from VW who said that they found the problem with the car but have needed to order a part from Germany but won’t be available for several months. So basically I now need a new car from onto.

As I hadn’t heard anything from onto I’ve had to call again, spoke to Robyn whom appeared surprised and transfers me to customer service after I updated him about the part issue.

I then get told that it’s been passed onto another department but they weren’t authorised to tell me which department and that they can’t give me a timeline on when I would hear anything.

I’m now about to return the car I have to VW and will now have no transport.

I’m now loosing ££ which although onto said they will cover, I don’t have a bottomless pit to be able to spend money to get around when I already allocated my portion of my salary to the car and travel costs.

I’m now having to stress about how I’m going to get to work tomorrow, as I can’t guarantee a taxi and figuring out the funds to pay for it. I’m getting a stressed partner because we are loosing money towards being able to actively pay for things for the holiday in advanced to keep them cheaper causing stress on the relationship that doesn’t need to be there and I’m not getting any help from Onto at all to help me in my situation as no car is available.

Onto is great when everything works, but when it goes wrong it’s disaster after disaster.

I honestly just can’t cope with this right now.

@Adam_at_Onto @Onto-Team @Lily_at_Onto

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@Raheel_at_Onto @Claire_at_Onto

Can you help with this at all.

I am surprised a part takes months to come from VW in Germany, that sounds like BS from the VW Garage…

When I had a breakdown over the weekend, I had a totally different experience, so not sure why people are getting completely different user experiences…

I would expect OntO to sort out a replacement ASAP and also some form of gesture of goodwill…

Good Luck and hope it gets sorted

Hi @mozzauk what was different with your experience?

@flipflap That is a pretty horrendous experience and the bulk of the blame clearly lies with VW and the dealership. Unfortunately all dealerships seem to have no courtesy cars available for many weeks/months and coupled with the lack of spare parts, probably semiconductor related, it is just compounding quick responses to car failures.

Regardless of the above, VW should be providing you with a replacement car on behalf of Onto.
Trust this gets quickly resolved for you this week as the key Onto people have been flagged in the thread above.

You might also want to put the above text into an email to Onto and log it as a formal complaint.

Fingers crossed your stress levels are much lower soon. :crossed_fingers:

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@flipflap I’ve sent you a direct message to look at how we can go about getting this sorted for you.



Every sympathy with you. My ONTO car catastrophically failed recently. No hire car and no replacement vehicle for 10 days. Seemingly endless amount of time chasing through customer support at ONTO and getting little support. After my experience , I would not recommend ONTO to any one, as the support is just not there when you have a car failure. Although I now have a like for like replacement, I am still deliberating whether to continue the contract long term.

Not all, I had my Kona serviced today and was given a 71 plate i10 with 500 miles on the clock, they had a few lined up for servicing/maintenance, my guess is the garage knew it was going to take a while and didn’t want one of their cars tied up as they are more of a lucrative lure for servicing.

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Car failed to even unlock (surprisingly not a 12v battery fault), but would start, called driverline, and AA booked and arrived 1hr 30minutes later, although it had started and I got home.

So rang Driver Line, call answered in 5mins and AA guy rerouted all of 1/2 mile to my home, he checked the car, and the AA Guy couldn’t have been more engaging, and knew all about EV’s and we ended up having a chat about cars for 20minutes in the rain…

Also got a call back once he had left to get an update from me, and make sure was all OK, and a request for me to ring my closest dealer if I wanted to check if a software update was needed, and I was even impressed with StoneAcre (who for once werent ignorant baffoons)… and advised If i needed I can pop it in via OntO and they will check things out…

Given my experience of breaking down over the weekend yours seems far worse…While it has taken me since Saturday morning at least now at 18.30 on Tuesday I finally have a functioning replacement car…really sorry to read about your experience I feel for you

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I had my kona serviced end of December and also got an i10. It was so different to drive. Was so happy to get back in my kona in the evening.

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The fact I’m reading these other positive experiences really does annoy me as to why is it in having to battle do heavily for something that isn’t an unfair expectation to have…

Glad to hear you had a courtesy car booked ahead of your service, however you do seem to be an exception. All dealerships usually have some courtesy cars, trouble is they are so busy that they are booked solid for many weeks ahead and that’s just for scheduled servicing. Any emergency repair means that no cars are available. This is also coupled with the shortages of new car availability as many showrooms are bare of vehicles and they have had to sell off vehicles (courtesy cars, demo etc.) just to keep the money flowing in the business. I’ve seen many threads on other forums with the same story of lack of courtesy cars. That doesn’t stop them hiring cars, but that’s not what they want to do as it’s costly for them. This is being reported across all brands, including premium.

Think it will be a long time before the situation starts to ease, but would be good to be proved wrong.


These negative experiences are, fortunately rare, but not insignificant, especially to the subscriber concerned.

ONTO really do need to have a back up policy in place for such events. Whether it’s the AA/RAC, Driverline, a dealership or Enterprise, ONTO should have enough spare vehicles to be able to just send one to the subscriber. They can then do an investigation afterwards to ascertain what went wrong, and take appropriate action.

In any event, it shouldn’t be down to a subscriber to be the beta tester/guinea pig/case study/participant in the learning curve.

I’m currently in Devon staying at a small “retreat”. I booked a small two bed one bathroom appartement last minute at an incredibly low price. On arrival, we discovered that there was very low water pressure, in an otherwise excellent accommodation.

Straight away, we were upgraded to a two bedroom, two bathroom lodge with hot tub. This usually costs three times what I paid. They just wanted us to have a perfect stay, and would do anything they could to make that happen! There was no question about us putting up with the water issue until they got a plumber in. Sort the customer out first, then the issue afterwards.

Quelle contraste!


Yes, if car goes into garage for more than a day - onto should just provide you with another car (even if Zoe!). It is a car hire service, not a long term lease.

It’s not that common for cars to be off road, and would drastically improve the customer experience at the expense of onto just keeping a few emergency cars spare. Why don’t they do this ?


They do have spare cars for this. But they won’t provide a replacement until after one week of the car being off the road I believe. Until then their policy is a courtesy car or rental vehicle.

Replacing a vehicle for more than just a day of being off the road isn’t practical. Especially with some of the distances of subscribers from those replacement cars. There would be a lot of logistical work and expense to do this, and theoretically, a car off the road for just a couple of days shouldn’t be a problem with the likes of a courtesy vehicle from the dealer.

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That’s fine, 95 times out of 100. It’s the other 5 times that they should be prepared to go the extra mile and go beyond what the policy says.


Thats not a really secure site. Everything is exposed on the front end. Their developers did a shoddy job there.


I don’t think it unreasonable to complain about the shoddy customer service experience from ONTO. A lot of us have had a few bad experiences here. Yes we as ONTO customers are paying a higher than normal premium to have a car and it is fair and reasonable to expect the same premium level of customer service. I have had issues myself with delivery and charging cards that work, then get deactivated etc and again it took a lot longer than you would consider acceptable to resolve.

Yes there are other car subscription companies out there like Cazoo or Elmo so maybe worth giving one of them a try.

It’s “great” isn’t it. Drivers’ emails, Onto emails, and others are all exposed in that JSON payload. Didn’t clock the pricing when I looked last, couple of the drivers has mentioned that the cost we paid nowhere near covered the cost.


Cazoo EV’s are mostly basic like the Kona SE and Premium.
Read the small print as you won’t get a courtesy car if involved in a crash etc, even though you have to keep paying your subscription
Good thing with Cazoo you can pick your car up for free at their Collection & Service centres, one 6 mile away from me :astonished:

Select car leasing have EV vehicles now and yes you require a minimum of 3 months down payment, more you pay the less u pay monthly. All their cars have most models and specs.

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