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Vehicle Recovery - UK - September 2013

“Despite the fortunes of the vehicle recovery services market set to improve as both the UK economy and car sales strengthen during 2013, there remain a number of issues to be tackled by those operating in the market. These include the issue of the rising cost of owning a vehicle as well as that of competition, especially price competition, within the market. Also of note are the changes that are taking place now and in the near future in the profile of those purchasing vehicle recovery insurance.”

– Neil Mason, Head of Retail Research

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What future for private motoring?
  • How do smaller players cope with a resurgent big three?
  • What are the ways of overcoming price competition?
  • What importance will company websites have?
  • How is the profile of market changing?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: The vehicle recovery market, by value, 2008-18
            • Market factors
              • Companies, brands and innovation
                • Figure 2: Company share of the vehicle recovery market, by members, 2013
                • Figure 3: Key channel groups used to acquire breakdown cover, 2013
              • The consumer
                • Figure 4: Reasons for not having breakdown cover, June 2013
                • Figure 5: Reasons for purchasing breakdown cover, June 2013
                • Figure 6: Ownership of breakdown cover, by recovery organisation, 2011-13
                • Figure 7: Level of vehicle cover held, June 2013
                • Figure 8: Most important factors when choosing breakdown cover, June 2013
              • What we think
              • Issues in the Market

                  • What future for private motoring?
                    • How do smaller players cope with a resurgent big three?
                      • Ways of overcoming price competition
                        • Company websites set to become increasingly important
                          • Changing profile of market – older and less affluent
                          • Trend Applications

                              • Prepare for the Worst
                                • Extend my brand
                                  • Mintel Futures Trend – Old Gold
                                  • Internal Market Environment

                                    • Key points
                                      • Car market continues to recover
                                        • Figure 9: New and used car registrations, 2007-13
                                      • Overall sales still down on pre-recession numbers
                                        • New vehicle sales show signs of strengthening
                                          • Distance travelled drops back since 2005
                                            • Multiple car ownership on hold?
                                              • Figure 10: Number of cars owned by individual households, 1992/94-2012
                                            • Costs of running a car growing faster than those to purchase a car
                                              • Figure 11: Consumer expenditure on car purchasing, servicing and repair and motoring expenses, seasonally adjusted at current prices, 2009-12
                                            • Number of licence holders creeping upwards
                                              • Figure 12: Number of licence holders, by age, 1975/76-2012
                                            • Battery problems dominate call-outs
                                              • Figure 13: Top ten most common breakdown call-outs in 2011 and 2012 (AA roadside patrols only)
                                            • Electrical difficulties take first and third place
                                              • Some problems record a rise against 2011
                                                • Bundling with bank accounts
                                                • Broader Market Environment

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • UK economy set for slow recovery
                                                      • Figure 14: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at constant 2008 prices, 2008-18
                                                    • GDP growth set to be modest in the short term
                                                      • Consumer expenditure forecasts present a more positive picture
                                                        • GDP growth remains fragile
                                                          • Figure 15: GDP quarterly percentage change, Q1 2006-Q2 2013
                                                        • Consumer confidence remains weak
                                                          • Figure 16: GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index, January 1988-January 2013
                                                        • UK workforce continues to expand
                                                          • Figure 17: Employment and unemployment, by gender, 2008-18
                                                        • Less affluent represent expanding sector
                                                          • Figure 18: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2008-18
                                                        • UK population continues to age
                                                          • Figure 19: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2008-18
                                                        • Number of retired adults set to see strong growth
                                                          • Figure 20: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2008-18
                                                        • Gradual shift away from large to small households
                                                          • Figure 21: Number of households and persons per household, 2008-18
                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Recovery patrols prepare to go electric
                                                            • Diagnostic technology becomes a reality
                                                              • Vehicles helping rescue workers...
                                                                • ...as well as other road users
                                                                • Competitive Context

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Increases in car running costs drive upwards value of market
                                                                      • Figure 22: UK transport market value, by segment, 2007-12
                                                                    • Operating cost increases especially significant since 2008
                                                                      • Figure 23: Annual percentage change in transport costs, 2005-11
                                                                    • Second-hand cars remain a competitively priced purchase
                                                                      • Figure 24: Price indices of new and used cars, 1996-2012
                                                                    • Fuel prices record a significant increase
                                                                      • Figure 25: Index of premium unleaded and diesel fuel prices, 2000-12
                                                                    • Economic slowdown impacting on mileage driven
                                                                      • Figure 26: Road traffic (billion vehicle miles) in Great Britain, by vehicle type, 2000-12
                                                                    • Annual mileage in decline since 2007
                                                                      • Public transport hit hardest since 2007
                                                                        • Competition within breakdown market remains an issue
                                                                        • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                          • Strengths
                                                                            • Weaknesses
                                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Revenues begin to show signs of recovery
                                                                                  • Figure 27: UK vehicle recovery market, by value, at current and constant prices, 2008-18
                                                                                • Revenues start to show growth
                                                                                  • Entry of UK into recession hit sector hard
                                                                                    • Price competition raises its profile
                                                                                      • The future
                                                                                        • Forecast
                                                                                          • Figure 28: Best- and worst-case forecasts of vehicle recovery market, by value, 2008-18
                                                                                      • Segment Performance

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Regular membership is on the up
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Segmentation of the vehicle recovery market, by value, at current prices, 2008-13
                                                                                          • Growing share of fees from regular membership
                                                                                            • Ad hoc membership market stagnates
                                                                                              • Price competition rife
                                                                                              • Market Share

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Competition from rivals hits AA’s dominant position
                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Company shares of the vehicle recovery market, by UK membership*, 2008-13
                                                                                                  • Overall membership remains stable
                                                                                                    • AA retains clear leadership...
                                                                                                      • ...despite challenge from rivals
                                                                                                        • Are major changes around the corner for the market?
                                                                                                          • Green Flag seeking to remain competitive on price
                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Prices of breakdown recovery products for the AA, RAC and Green Flag, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                          • Green Flag leads in all price points where it competes...
                                                                                                            • ...with greatest price advantage with added-value services
                                                                                                              • Prices rising faster than inflation
                                                                                                              • Companies and Products

                                                                                                                • The AA (Automobile Association)
                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Key financials for the Automobile Association Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                                  • RAC
                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Key financials for RAC Limited, 2010 and 2011
                                                                                                                    • Green Flag
                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Key financials for Green Flag Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                                      • Other companies
                                                                                                                        • Britannia Rescue
                                                                                                                          • Allianz Global Assistance
                                                                                                                            • Rescuemycar.com
                                                                                                                              • Road to Recovery
                                                                                                                                • Autonational Rescue
                                                                                                                                  • GEM Motoring Assist
                                                                                                                                    • First Call GB
                                                                                                                                      • Breakdown Direct
                                                                                                                                        • Aria Assistance
                                                                                                                                          • AXA Assistance
                                                                                                                                            • Retailer-branded breakdown cover
                                                                                                                                              • Tesco
                                                                                                                                                • Asda
                                                                                                                                                  • Sainsbury’s
                                                                                                                                                    • The Co-operative
                                                                                                                                                      • Car manufacturer-branded breakdown cover
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Car manufacturer-branded breakdown cover on new car purchases, 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Roadside assistance and breakdown cover from banks
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Packaged current accounts that offer roadside and breakdown cover, 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Advertising expenditure falls back
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: UK main media advertising expenditure on vehicle breakdown and recovery services, 2009-12
                                                                                                                                                        • Summer months appear the most important time for advertisers
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Main media advertising expenditure on vehicle breakdown and recovery services, by month, 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • Television back in vogue
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Main media advertising expenditure on vehicle breakdown and recovery services, % share by media type, 2009-12
                                                                                                                                                        • RAC moves into the lead as the biggest spender
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Main media advertising expenditure on vehicle breakdown and recovery services, by advertiser, 2009-12
                                                                                                                                                      • Channels to Market

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Less than 40% of drivers buy direct
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Key channel groups used to acquire breakdown cover, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                          • Comparethemarket.com dominates price comparison market
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Choice of financial information sites, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                          • Comparing comparison sites is commonplace
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Repertoire of aggregator sites used, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Presence of Recovery Organisations

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • The AA holds strongest position within the market
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Ownership of vehicle breakdown cover, by recovery organisation, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • AA proving popular with 17-24s and affluent drivers
                                                                                                                                                                • RAC records much broader appeal
                                                                                                                                                                  • Green Flag and other providers attract older and middle-income drivers
                                                                                                                                                                    • Londoners show strong interest in the AA
                                                                                                                                                                      • Smaller companies lose out as market shows signs of consolidation
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Ownership of breakdown cover, by recovery organisation, 2011-13
                                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Level of Cover Held

                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                        • Basic cover and recovery most popular package
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Level of vehicle cover held, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                          • Older adults want more
                                                                                                                                                                            • City dwellers most interested in the basic cover
                                                                                                                                                                              • Socio-economic status has limited impact on purchasing choice
                                                                                                                                                                                • Big three face challenge when it comes to more demanding clients
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Ownership of vehicle breakdown cover, by recovery organisation, by level of vehicle breakdown cover, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – How Cover is Acquired

                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Buying on a company website proves the most popular
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: How breakdown cover was acquired, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Online and bundling are proving popular with the youngest drivers
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Those struggling to pay bills prefer insurance for free
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Online is proving increasingly popular with purchasers
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: How breakdown cover was acquired, 2011-13
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Sales channels play a major role in choice of company
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Ownership of vehicle breakdown cover, by recovery organisation, by how breakdown cover was acquired, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Key Factors When Choosing Breakdown Cover

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Response times dominate consumer thinking
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Most important factors when choosing breakdown cover, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Women major on response times and non-related services
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Older adults have more specific demands than the young
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Low-cost providers favoured by the young and middle-aged
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • AA and RAC are sought by the most demanding motorists
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Ownership of vehicle breakdown cover, by recovery organisation, by most important factors when choosing breakdown cover, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Ownership of vehicle breakdown cover, by recovery organisation, by next most important factors when choosing breakdown cover, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Consumer – Reasons for Purchasing Breakdown Recovery Insurance

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Peace of mind dominates reasons for purchasing cover
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Reasons for purchasing breakdown cover, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Women are more likely to have a reason to hold insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Old and young drivers have different reasons for having insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Where you live is a factor in holding insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Middle income earners more concerned about breakdown
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Few purchasers select a breakdown recovery organisation based on their specific needs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Ownership of vehicle breakdown cover, by recovery organisation, by reasons you have bought breakdown cover, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Why Cover Is Not Held

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Price is a barrier towards not holding breakdown recovery insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Reasons for not having breakdown cover, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – The Consumer- Presence of Recovery Organisations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Most popular ownership of vehicle breakdown cover, by recovery organisation, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Next most popular ownership of vehicle breakdown cover, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – The Consumer – Level of Cover Held

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Most popular level of vehicle breakdown cover, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Next most popular level of vehicle breakdown cover, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – The Consumer – How Cover Was Acquired

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Most popular how breakdown cover was acquired, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Next most popular how breakdown cover was acquired, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – The Consumer – Key Factors When Choosing Breakdown Cover

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Most important factors when choosing breakdown cover, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Next most important factors when choosing breakdown cover, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Other important factors when choosing breakdown cover, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – The Consumer – Reasons For Purchasing Breakdown Recovery Insurance

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Most popular reasons you have bought breakdown cover, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Next most popular reasons you have bought breakdown cover, by demographics, June 2013

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • AB Volvo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Acromas Holdings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Alfa Romeo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Allianz Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Audi United Kingdom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Automobile Association (AA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Aviva Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • AXA UK plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Barclays Bank plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Britannia Rescue
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Carlyle Group (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Civil Service Motoring Association Ltd (CSMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Clydesdale Bank
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • CVC Capital Partners Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Direct Line Group Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Equity Red Star
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Europ Assistance UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • First Direct
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Great Lakes Reinsurance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Green Flag Motoring Assistance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Guild of Experienced Motorists (GEM)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • HBOS plc (Halifax Bank of Scotland)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • HSBC Private Bank (UK) Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Jaguar Cars Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Land Rover UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Lloyd's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Lloyds Banking Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • London Stock Exchange plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • LV=
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Mazda Motors UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Mercedes-Benz UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Mondial Assistance (UK) Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Munich Re Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • NatWest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • NCI Vehicle Rescue plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Porsche Cars Great Britain Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Royal Automobile Club
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Saga Services (finance)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Sainsbury's Bank
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Skoda Auto a.s.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Tesco Personal Finance Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Toyota (GB) PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Volkswagen AG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Vehicle Recovery - UK - September 2013

                                                                                                                                                                                                                £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)