Be aware that NRMA Insurance and NRMA Motoring and services (“The NRMA”) are NOT the same company and have been separate entities since 2000 despite the two companies sharing the same brand. Yes, indeed this is confusing as anything whereby even Australians to this day do not even realise the distinction.
I occasionally observe NRMA clients complain about an acrimonious experience on either the insurance or roadside assistance side, mentioned they’ve been members for years or decades, and then state they will now move both their insurance policies and roadside assistance to another provider as retribution.
NRMA Insurance and more recently, NRMA Motorserve (now rebranded simply to “Motorserve”) are actually owned by Insurance Australia Group (IAG).
“The NRMA” (Motoring and Services) have largely evolved in my mind to be more of a travel and tourism company. Their traditional roadside assistance services appear to be increasingly supplied by another, separate company called ClubAssist whose personnel (staff and contractors) are supplied with NRMA branded Vehicles and Uniforms while actually being employed by Club-Assist.
This post is more of a personal point of reference (leading on from an ongoing, personally conducted investigation into a different matter)…
National Roads and Motorists’ Association (“The NRMA”) to me these days are more of a Travel and Tourism company and would say in my own sole opinion they are perhaps now a different organization from what they were originally before demutualization.
They apparently own several Resorts & Holiday Parks, Travelodge Hotels (as a Joint venture with TOGA / TFE Hotels), Manly Fast Ferries, Thrifty Car rental Australia & NZ along with a couple of Tour companies. To confuse matters, they do not actually own NRMA Insurance (which is currently a brand of Insurance Australia Group since 2000) nor do they own NRMA MotorServe (now also a brand of IAG). Even to this day, appears many of their own clients and members are unaware of the distinction between NRMA Insurance and NRMA Motoring and Services.
Some NRMA roadside assistance personnel (while still being provided with a NRMA branded Van and Uniform) are in fact employed through a separate company called Club Assist who NRMA Motoring and Services have contracted out to for the provisioning of battery replacement sales + assistance, and auto-glass replacement to their members. While it looks like NRMA owns 30% of Club Assist, I’m not sure how many of the other Roadside Assistance personnel are still directly employed by or otherwise contracting directly to NRMA Motoring and Services.
Club-Assist are apparently contracted to do quite a bit of the Battery related call out work by other Motoring clubs in Australasia including Automobile Association Batteries here in NZ and supply batteries bearing the branding of the Motoring club they’re working for. That said, anecdotally, some people within my immediate social circles have claimed they did not find them the best value (Club Assist reps are allegedly incentivised to sell new batteries) and I would say it still pays to shop around if you’re in need of a new battery.
Club-Assist have also been deploying the NRMA branded charging stations over New South Wales along with the RACV branded charging stations across Victoria.
I have had largely reasonable experiences with this car rental brand in Australia. Vehicles provided have predominantly been received in clean, tidy and good condition. Majority of hires have been smooth with one disappointing experience in the middle involving one of their licensees operating in Suburban Melbourne who I felt were dishonest and were also caught posting fake reviews to boot (Dandenong Thrifty / Lawrence Vic Pty Ltd). Continue reading “Seeing straight through Thrifty Car Rental Australia “Smiles all the way” marketing”