Firm avoids ‘Ryanair-style’ pricing and is 80% cheaper than AA and RAC
- RecoverMe is a new service from biggest fleet recovery provider
- At £34.99 a year, it is a fraction of the price of AA and RAC cover
- Founder says competitors use ‘Ryanair-style’ extras which bumps up price
A firm that provides breakdown cover to company fleet cars is aiming to steal a march on the big players by offering its service to individual drivers for just £34.99 a year.
RecoverMe, owned by Auto Rescue Logistics – the largest roadside recovery operator for fleets and professional drivers – says this annual price undercuts those offered from major competitors, such as AA and RAC, by up to 80 per cent.
As part of its standard policy, home start, mechanical breakdown, mis-fueling, flat battery and lost keys are all included. It says an equivalent policy, including all of the above, would be £170.99 or £129.99 with Britain’s two largest operators.
The firm already have 800 recovery agents dealing with the fleet and professional drivers market, built up over the last 12 years via its ARL arm.
It says last year its average pick-up time for business customers was 44 minutes. For that reason, a number of British household names have their fleets covered by it, including major supermarkets.
Unlike competitors, the firm doesn’t use branded vans, calling them ‘expensive.’ It instead chooses to use contracted, non-branded vans when demand is high.
It says feedback from customers is that they don’t care what colour the van is, they just want someone to get them back on the road quickly.
Robin Reames, a founding director at RecoverMe, said: ‘Our policy is designed with the motorist in mind. When creating the product, we considered what we as motorists would expect from a policy and included this cover as standard.
‘Currently, the recovery industry is set up to serve the interests of companies, rather than motorists.
‘Ryanair-style pricing strategies are a good example of this: essential services, which most people would expect as standard, are excluded by existing operators unless the customer pays a premium.’
The policy goes up against an already existing cheap policy from AutoAid, which costs just £41 per year and provides full breakdown cover for a driver across any car that they are driving and also covers their spouse or civil partner for free.
However, this is a pay and claim service, which means that the driver must pay upfront for the recovery and then claim their costs back from AutoAid.
First Call offers a policy for £32 that covers roadside assistance and recovery but this covers the car not the driver and if you breakdown within one mile of home you will be charged a £40 excess. It has a policy that covers home breakdown for £42.50.
He says that many standard policies from other providers do not cover vehicles which break down or fail to start within a quarter of mile of home.
Adding this with another provider can bump up the cost further, but with RecoverMe, this is included as standard with the £34.99 policy.
The cover includes a courtesy car if the vehicle cannot be repaired on the same day and is more than 50 miles away from home – something not included with basic policies from large competitors.
The policy also covers the car, rather than the driver, meaning that a family sharing one car only needs one policy.
In terms of pricing, it has no price rises planned, so drivers won’t be hit with a rise in a year – it says there is no intention to lure customers in and then ramp-up costs.
When asked how it can over the service at a lower price than competitors, a spokesman said: ‘The real question is why are others charging so much? It’s possible to offer an excellent service for £35 with no exclusions.’
It says overheads are lower while marketing costs are minimal.
It adds: ‘Because we’re independent, we don’t have pressure to increase profits – it’s worth noting that he majority of our competitors are owned by private equity firms.
‘Our investment in IT means we reduce the amount of people needed in handling calls by reducing call time and identifying the best agent to respond automatically based on route selection, capability, availability and proximity.
‘Other competitors have huge staff numbers and manual slow inefficient processes to handle breakdown and recovery jobs.’
RecoverMe also offers a free smartphone app which can put the driver in contact with the recovery team at the touch at a button.
It also doesn’t rule out having an Uber style function to it in the future, which would allow the driver to see whereabouts the nearest recovery truck is in relation to where they have broken down.
By LEE BOYCE FOR THISISMONEY.CO.UK