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Recovery timing under theat – AA

The AA has retained its top customer satisfaction rating in the latest JD Power and Associates roadside assistance study, narrowly beating arch rival the RAC.

But the breakdown and recovery giant warns that the increasing sophistication of cars could halt the improvement in average turnaround times unless there is an industry effort to improve patrols' skills and upgrade equipment.

While average response time is 40 minutes from call for assistance to arrival, by the time the car is repaired and back on the road, 55 minutes have elapsed. It is the latter that is under threat, the AA believes.

“We recognise that the world of vehicle breakdown is an evolving one,” says AA managing director Roger Wood. “We have anticipated this by equipping all our patrols with laptop computers.”

The study takes into account 16 aspects of the breakdown experience based on the evaluations of more than 3000 motorists. With an overall customer satisfaction score of 814 out of a possible 1000, the AA led the RAC by four index points and performed particularly well on timing and operator reassurance.

Mondial, Green Flag, Mercedes-Benz, Britannia Rescue, Direct Line and independent garages were included in the study, which revealed that the industry average has risen for the sixth consecutive year and now stands at 802 points.

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