Fleets want more than simply a breakdown provider, according to the AA, and with that in mind its fleet division – AA Business Services – has a long list of services for fleets, several of which launched last year.
Its Assist products can deal with misfuelling (AA Fuel Assist), replacement vehicle keys (AA Key Assist) and replacement batteries (AA Battery Assist).
Recent acquisitions have also enabled AA Business Services to offer vehicle glass repair and replacement (AutoWindshields, acquired in 2009), driving training (Drive Tech also acquired in 2009) and licence checking (Intelligent Data Systems acquired this year).
AA Business Services also includes AA Service and Repair – mobile servicing and repair work – and AA Logistics, which handles vehicle movements for fleets.
In the past year it has even taken on customers for some of its new products who do not currently use its roadside assistance.
However, roadside assistance continues to be the AA’s core product and what it is best known for.
It covers more fleet drivers than any other provider through both voluntary cover to major fleets, leasing groups, rental providers, emergency services, utility companies and SME companies and involuntary cover through its penetration of the manufacturer market.
Nearly 60% of the all new vehicles on the UK’s roads are sold with AA roadside assistance and a large proportion of them are fleet vehicles.
Roger Williams, head of fleet services, says: “We pride ourselves on the quality of our patrols and their ability to fix vehicles at the side of the road.
“It helps that we have more patrols than any other breakdown provider.”
AA Business Services is also proud of the fact that it was able to keep emergency services and utility company vehicles on the road during last winter’s severe snow.
During a four-week period it attended more than half a million breakdowns and answered around 1,000 calls every hour.
“By drafting in additional patrols and call handlers we were able to continue to provide service to our fleet customers, enabling them to continue with their own businesses,” Williams says.
Fleet News: How can AA Business Services save fleet operators money?
Roger Williams: First and foremost, the fact our patrols are prioritised around fixing vehicles at the side of the road because that’s the best outcome for everybody.
All the products we are innovating with play to our strengths. We’re good at getting people in vans out to jobs on an unplanned basis.