The Vehicle Recovery/Roadside Assistance Market - UK - September 2012
- What's next in the development of sales channels?
- How can the sector benefit from technology?
About the Roadside Assistance Market
The market for vehicle recovery services is at a mature stage in its development with recent years seeing stagnation in the number of consumers with membership of recovery services. Such a trend, coupled with the impact of the recent economic slowdown, has also had a negative impact on revenues which for 2012 are expected to be 5% down on 2007 levels.
Nevertheless holding some sort of vehicle recovery insurance remains important to many drivers with Mintel estimating that some 29 million have some form of vehicle recovery insurance in 2012. Although cover can be offered free of charge as part of bundling with the likes of financial products, many drivers still buy cover directly. Research has found that in such instances having the peace of mind that breakdown cover brings is by far the most important factor for holding this type of insurance.
Yet the market is evolving with the difficult conditions of late stimulating competition between companies as well as encouraging innovation. While tactically price is an important factor for all players in the market, many companies have strengths with particular customer groups that they seek to exploit. The AA is currently the most successful of these with its established position in the market, range of services, innovations and promotional support ensuring that it currently has around half of the market. Its two main rivals, the RAC and Green Flag, complete a trio of providers that together have over 90% of the market.
Reducing costs and increasing the effectiveness of market presence are important for all of those in the market. The internet is currently playing a major role in achieving both aims with Mintel’s research showing that 24% of customers recently purchased direct from company websites. Promotional expenditure is up on recent years with the increased use of direct mail and the emergence of online advertising helping to better target members and new customers.
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