Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

UK Vehicle Recovery market report

“The vehicle recovery market continues to grow and develop, boosted primarily by an ever expanding car parc. Although mature and highly competitive it is continuing to evolve, with recent attention being given to new styles of policy and the use of technology. Although dominated by three major players,, smaller companies are slowly growing their share of sales.”
– Neil Mason, Head of Retail Research

This Report discusses the following key topics:

  • Recent rise in IPT only serves to strengthen focus on price
  • Buying direct online appears to be in decline
  • Opportunities for new styles of policy

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Revenues approach £1.7 billion as market continues to expand
              • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecasts of vehicle recovery market, by value, 2012-22
            • Most policies provide comprehensive cover
              • Figure 2: Segmentation of the vehicle recovery market (value), by policy type, 2016
            • Free or reduced-price insurance dominates the market
              • Figure 3: Key channels used for purchasing breakdown recovery insurance, 2011-17
            • The UK’s car parc is slowly ageing
              • Figure 4: Age structure of the car parc in years, 2012 and 2016
            • Companies and brands
              • Big three account for 85% of policies
                • Figure 5: Company shares of the vehicle recovery market, by UK membership, 2017
              • AA performs the strongest amongst consumers
                • Figure 6: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, July 2017
              • Telematics comes of age
                • Advertising investment in steady decline
                  • Figure 7: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on breakdown recovery, 2013-16
                • The consumer
                  • Smaller companies are taking a growing share of the market
                    • Figure 8: Ownership of breakdown cover, by recovery organisation, 2011-17
                  • Price dominates as the most important factor when selecting a company
                    • Figure 9: Factors considered when selecting a provider of breakdown cover, July 2017
                  • Included with car insurance and buying online account for around a half of purchases
                    • Figure 10: Key means by which current breakdown cover for your main vehicle was acquired, July 2017
                  • Roadside assistance is the most popular form of help sought
                    • Figure 11: Use of vehicle recovery services by those who hold vehicle recovery, July 2017
                  • Alternatives to traditional insurance policies provoke interest
                    • Figure 12: Interest in different payment methods for vehicle recovery insurance, July 2017
                  • What we think
                  • Issues and Insights

                    • Recent rise in IPT only serves to strengthen focus on price
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Buying direct online appears to be in decline
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • Opportunities for new styles of policy
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                      • Vehicle recovery market continues to demonstrate growth
                                        • Average premiums boosted by rises in IPT
                                          • Indirect sales dominate the market
                                            • Expansion in car parc is a major driver
                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                              • Revenues show signs of strengthening
                                                • Figure 13: Best- and worst-case forecasts of vehicle recovery market, by value, 2012-22
                                                • Figure 14: UK vehicle recovery market, by value, at current and constant prices, 2012-22
                                              • Forecast methodology
                                              • Market Segmentation

                                                • Regular membership market records strong growth
                                                  • Figure 15: Segmentation of the vehicle recovery market, by value, at current prices, 2012-17
                                                • Average premium prices showing evidence of recovery
                                                  • Figure 16: Average premium paid, 2012-17
                                                • Comprehensive policies facing competition from those with restrictions
                                                  • Figure 17: Segmentation of the vehicle recovery market (value), by policy type, 2016
                                                • Policies sold direct are the most valuable segment
                                                  • Figure 18: Segmentation of the vehicle recovery market (value), by direct/indirect channels, 2016
                                              • Channels to Market

                                                • Free or reduced-price insurance dominates the market
                                                  • Online sales fall as other channels increase
                                                    • Figure 19: Key channels used for purchasing breakdown recovery insurance, 2011-17
                                                • Market Drivers

                                                  • The UK car parc is ageing…
                                                    • Figure 20: Age structure of the car parc in years, 2012, 2014 and 2016
                                                  • … helped by a strong used market and recent growth in overall sales
                                                    • Figure 21: New and used car market volumes, 2012-17
                                                  • Falling prices for second-hand cars increasingly make them affordable
                                                    • Figure 22: Price indices of new and used cars, 2002-16
                                                  • Over half of adults plan to buy a car in the next three years
                                                    • Figure 23: Intention to purchase a car in the next 3 years, February 2017
                                                  • Fuel prices have also recently begun to increase after falling back
                                                    • Figure 24: Average annual retail prices of petroleum products and a crude oil price index, at current prices, January 2000-July 2017
                                                  • Rises in IPT impact directly on vehicle recovery insurance
                                                    • Figure 25: Insurance premium tax rates, 1997-2017
                                                  • Cars dominate over other forms of transport …
                                                    • Figure 26: Mode share (average distance travelled), England, 2015
                                                  • … although personal mobility appears to be in decline
                                                    • Figure 27: Trips, distance travelled and time taken, 2005-15
                                                  • A growing an ageing population should present opportunities …
                                                    • Figure 28: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2011-21
                                                • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Dominant big 3 face growing competition
                                                    • Range of competitive strategies employed to attract customers
                                                      • Telematics leads what is a number of areas of development
                                                        • Investment in promoting services shows steady decline
                                                        • Market Share

                                                          • Three established players facing increased competition
                                                            • Vehicle recovery membership approaches 30 million
                                                              • Figure 29: Company shares of the vehicle recovery market, by uk membership, 2011-17
                                                            • Call Assist is the largest of the others in the market
                                                              • Figure 30: Share of others in the market, by UK membership, 2016
                                                          • Competitive Strategies

                                                              • Roadside assistance is a key competitive battleground
                                                                • Figure 31: Review of roadside assistance prices and packages, July 2017
                                                              • Technology is emerging as a disruptor
                                                                • Upfront payment versus deferred payment
                                                                  • Short-term offers are popular with the big 3
                                                                    • Figure 32: Key short term offers from vehicle recovery companies, July 2017
                                                                  • Use of partnerships to extend market coverage
                                                                    • Retailers
                                                                      • Financial institutions
                                                                        • Figure 33: Packaged current accounts that offer breakdown cover, 2017
                                                                      • Vehicle manufacturers
                                                                        • Figure 34: Selected car manufacturer-branded breakdown cover on new purchases, 2017
                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                      • Car Genie promises advanced telematics
                                                                        • Figure 35: AA Car Genie
                                                                      • … as does Green Flag with its Alert Me system
                                                                        • Figure 36: Green Flag Alert me
                                                                      • Proof of breakdown…the roadside selfie service
                                                                        • Car breakdown cover plan designed to protect the most vulnerable motorists
                                                                          • Roadside breakdown service based on Uber model
                                                                          • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                            • Advertising in steady decline
                                                                              • Figure 37: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on breakdown recovery, 2013-16
                                                                            • Summer is a popular time for expenditure
                                                                              • Figure 38: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on breakdown recovery, by month, 2016
                                                                            • RAC and AA pull back their investment
                                                                              • Figure 39: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on breakdown recovery, by advertiser, 2013-16
                                                                            • Television and direct mail dominate with digital showing strong growth
                                                                              • Figure 40: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on breakdown recovery, by media type, 2013-16
                                                                            • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                            • Brand Research

                                                                                • AA leads the market in terms of consumer attitudes
                                                                                  • Figure 41: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, July 2017
                                                                                • Key brand metrics
                                                                                  • Figure 42: Key metrics for selected brands, July 2017
                                                                                • Brand attitudes: major players are positioned in different areas of the market
                                                                                  • Figure 43: Attitudes, by brand, July 2017
                                                                                • Brand personality: the big 3 have some of the most appealing personality elements …
                                                                                  • Figure 44: Brand personality – Macro image, July 2017
                                                                                • … with the AA and RAC the strongest overall
                                                                                  • Figure 45: Brand personality – Micro image, July 2017
                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                • AA has a commanding presence within the market
                                                                                  • Price is a clear favourite with buyers
                                                                                    • Majority of drivers have experience of roadside assistance
                                                                                      • Traditional insurance faces from a number of alternatives
                                                                                      • Presence of Recovery Organisations

                                                                                        • AA is the dominant name in the market
                                                                                          • Figure 46: Ownership of breakdown cover, by recovery organisation, July 2017
                                                                                        • The AA proves popular with young and affluent adults
                                                                                          • Older adults and less affluent more likely to opt for smaller companies
                                                                                            • Partnerships with car manufacturers favour owners of new cars
                                                                                              • Smaller organisations represent a real challenge to the big 3
                                                                                                • Figure 47: Ownership of breakdown cover, by recovery organisation, 2011-17
                                                                                            • Selecting a Provider

                                                                                              • Price dominates when selecting a company
                                                                                                • Figure 48: Factors considered when selecting a provider of breakdown cover, July 2017
                                                                                              • Older adults want it all
                                                                                                • Features and innovations are popular with a number of specific groups
                                                                                                  • Socio-economic status and income favour use of multiple factors when choosing insurance
                                                                                                    • Price and non-price factors are of interest to specific groups
                                                                                                    • How Cover is Acquired

                                                                                                      • Vehicle insurance leads as a way of acquiring recovery insurance
                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Key means by which current breakdown cover for your main vehicle was acquired, July 2017
                                                                                                      • Having recovery insurance included with vehicle insurance attracts a range of groups
                                                                                                        • Online is not simply the preserve of young adults
                                                                                                          • Partnering is an important way of achieving sales
                                                                                                            • Online and telephone is a popular route for those focused on price
                                                                                                              • Websites are more popular than apps for online buyers
                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Key means by which current breakdown cover for your main vehicle was acquired, July 2017
                                                                                                              • Men and women exhibit different preferences towards websites
                                                                                                                • Price comparison websites popular with certain groups
                                                                                                                  • Manufacturer websites popular with past use of a company
                                                                                                                  • Frequency of Use

                                                                                                                    • Roadside assistance is the most popular form of assistance
                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Use of vehicle recovery services by those who hold vehicle recovery, July 2017
                                                                                                                    • Young adults are a key market of all types of assistance
                                                                                                                      • Affluence is also factor in demand for services
                                                                                                                        • Experience of using recovery services is growing
                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Use of vehicle recovery services by those who hold vehicle recovery, 2015 and 2017
                                                                                                                      • Future Policy Types

                                                                                                                        • Traditional insurance policies are not popular with all
                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Interest in different payment methods for vehicle recovery insurance, July 2017
                                                                                                                        • Older adults remain core audience for traditional insurance policies
                                                                                                                          • Wealthy socio-economic groups are most likely to look for alternatives
                                                                                                                            • PAYU insurance is popular with wealthy adults …
                                                                                                                              • … while families with young children also want something different
                                                                                                                                • New car owners are a target market for reclaim and PAYU policies …
                                                                                                                                  • ... which are also favoured by those interested in non-price benefits
                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                        • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                          • Data Sources
                                                                                                                                            • Market sizing and segment performance
                                                                                                                                              • Forecast Methodology
                                                                                                                                                • Forecast Data
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Forecast of UK vehicle recovery market (value) – best- and worst-case scenarios, 2017-22