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Awards 2008 - Service Supplier: The AA

Date: 22 January 2008

The AA

It's been another good year for the AA, which has been voted best service supplier in the business by BusinessCar readers.

Head of marketing for AA Business Services, Mark Peacock, reckons the win is all because the AA has "continued to put customer focus at the heart of what we do".

As well as the traditional roadside recovery work that has made the big yellow vans so recognisable on our highways, the AA is now providing more services than ever, including risk management, eco driver training - which produces a claimed 7-10% fuel economy improvement - and the fleet advantage card. The card, developed in conjunction with Arval, allows business drivers to pay for fuel, breakdown expenses and service and repair costs on one piece of plastic, making a car and driver simpler to manage.

The firm also enjoyed a claimed first in 2007, launching the Fuel Assist programme, which Peacock says is "the only way you can get a misfuel sorted at the roadside".

Launched in November, the van-mounted system drains, flushes and replenishes vehicle fuel systems, and comes as a result of a £1.7m development investment. The company even makes sure the retrieved fuel is recycled through a waste management company.

"We continually look at innovative solutions for problems that we traditionally can't fix at the roadside," said AA technical performance manager Donald MacSporran. "We came up with this unique service that gets 99% of vehicles back on the road after having the 45-minute fuel drain."

The AA claims at least 150,000 drivers misfuel their cars every year, which equates to one every three-and-a-half minutes.

These kind of initiatives are an example of the kind of innovative thinking that wins BusinessCar awards, especially when combined with the claimed largest and quickest-responding breakdown recovery fleet, plus risk and accident management and driver training services. All that, as well as massive finance and insurance departments.