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AA set to hoover up ex-RAC accident management business

Date: 08 August 2008

The AA is looking to make a huge leap to lead the accident management sector in the wake of arch rival RAC's decision to dump 60% of its least profitable accident management business.

AA Accident Management, with around 30,000 vehicles in its portfolio, currently does not have a major presence in the market, but is planning significant growth to pass the 100,000 mark.

"We don't have much of a presence, [but] my ambition is to be market leader," AA accident management boss David Bartlett told BusinessCar. "It hasn't really been the biggest part of the AA's business."

Bartlett expressed surprise at the RAC's move, in which it gave notice to more than half its business.

"From our point of view, any company that moves away from the accident management market we see as an opportunity, and we welcome the opportunity to have conversations and understand needs," he said.

"Every company is in this to make money. But profit doesn't have to be financial, it can be customer retention or building by taking roadside assistance too. Any company that leaves the market gives us more opportunity."

Although Bartlett expressed a desire to lead the market, he said the concept of size in this market was difficult to gauge.

"Accident management can be a vague term and we're seeing new entrants from credit hire companies - it opens the doors for hire opportunities - and law firms looking for personal injury opportunities."

He also said the AA is looking at how best to address the market needs.

"One size doesn't always fit all, you need a core proposition and bespoke tailoring," he said."Different customers have different requirements and we need to satisfy them without moving away from the core."

"We have an existing relationship with roadside - fleets and leasing companies. We see an opportunity to work with them to add value."

Meanwhile, the AA has also invested around £1m in its new Invictus IT system set to launch towards the end of this year.