Run as a subsidiary of parent company Acromas Holdings, the AA (the Automobile Association) are one of the leading providers of emergency roadside assistance in the UK.
Initially founded in 1905 in order to help customers evade speed traps set up by the police, it was three years later that the company began offering help and advice for motorists that had broken down – something that been the main focus of their operations ever since.
In addition to breakdown cover, the business has a number of other products aimed at drivers. Although these have historically mainly been based around car insurance, the AA also offers loans for members who are buying vehicles, as well as running their own branded driving schools.
One of the main ways that the AA have retained customer loyalty over the years has been through a number of auxiliary services, including their journey planning website (for which demand has dropped following mainstream uptake of Satellite Navigation devices) and lobbying Parliament about motoring issues on behalf of their members.
Competing in the British market mainly with RAC and Green Flag, the company have attempted to diversify their portfolio in recent times with mixed success. Having witnessed the ongoing profitability of boiler, plumbing and appliance repair services run by HomeServe and the British Gas HomeCare brand, the AA launched Home Emergency Response in 2009 – but have thus far struggled to earn a substantial share of that particular market.