JD Power named us the UK's top-ranked roadside assistance provider in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
We topped the 2002 'Which?' survey of breakdown organisations too.
The AA Motoring Trust charity was created in 2002 to carry on the AA's long-standing role of championing the interests and safety of Britain's road users.
In 2003, all AA breakdown patrols were issued with state-of-the-art roadside diagnostic equipment. Known as VIxEN (Vehicle Information x Electronic Notebook) the laptop computer allowed patrols to plug into a car's electronics to diagnose the cause of a breakdown as well as access the AA's wealth of technical support information and breakdown deployment details. VIxEN later won 'Autocar's' 2003 idea of the year award.
In July 2004 we introduced our industry-leading AA Telephone Savings Account.
On 1 October 2004 the AA left the Centrica group, following its acquisition for £1.75 billion by private equity firms, CVC and Permira.
AA financial services launched the Internet Savings Account, the Guaranteed Equity Bond and the One–Year Fixed Rate Savings Account.
In May we launched the "You've got a friend", tales from the roadside advertising campaign, highlighting real–life patrol stories. The 'AA Team' was unleashed on the nation, to promote motor insurance.
On 29 June the AA celebrated its centenary with a black–tie dinner in London for motoring industry executives, business partners, journalists and selected employees.
Vehicle Recovery System (VRS) was introduced on all new patrol vehicles. This stowaway recovery trailer can be deployed from the back of the van ready for a car to be loaded in less than three minutes and means that the patrol can tow your car to a garage if it can't be fixed at the roadside.
In March we celebrated the signing of our millionth motor insurance customer, and in June bought insurance broker Direct Choice and launched Commercial Vehicle Insurance.
Fixed speed camera locations (2006)
AA Publishing became the first publisher in the UK to highlight the locations of all fixed speed cameras in its 2006 atlases, while in complete contrast, Patrolman Pete children's books and merchandise were unveiled.
The AA won two Fleet Excellence awards – 'Best Service Supplier' and 'Best Vehicle Recovery''– and was named 'Best Breakdown Service' at the Fleet News awards, for the fourth year in a row.
Synovate named the AA the most recognised provider of car loans, and in February, AA Visa was named 'Best Known Credit Card Co– brand' at the national Credit Card Awards, and in April the AA was named 'Best Breakdown Recovery Service' by readers of Scottish Auto Trader.
Reader's Digest magazine named the AA the 'Most Trusted Brand' in UK motoring in the same month.
In March we launched AA Members Club – a package of discounts and incentives available exclusively to our members.
AA Publishing unveiled AA Car Essentials – 25 motoring products with key links to safety and touring – and launched a new range of travel guides – the Weekend Escapes series.
The AA joined the Nectar loyalty programme in June and entered the legal products market for the first time with the launch of will–writing and conveyancing services.
The AA, Visit England, Visit Wales and Visit Scotland jointly agreed a common standard for grading hotels and other guest accommodation across the UK.
The AA re-established an in-house motoring campaigns and policy expert team, AA Public Affairs at the beginning of 2007. The work of the AA Motoring Trust was taken on by the IAM Motoring Trust a new body created within the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
In June a new company, Acromas, was created bringing together Saga and the AA, two of the UK's strongest and most trusted brands. The transaction valued the combined Group at £6.15 billion.
Cycle patrols, Wimbledon
AA Patrols on bicycles appeared for the first time at a number of summer events this year including Wimbledon.
We launched AA Fuel Assist in November 2007 to help deal with the growing problem of misfuelling – filling with the wrong fuel. Technicians using specially developed vehicles are able to drain, flush and replenish vehicle fuel systems on the spot and contaminated fuel is recycled through an environment-friendly disposal process.
We were judged the top UK breakdown provider by Which?
The AA/Populus motoring opinion panel was launched in April. Monthly surveys on key transport issues frequently get more than 18,000 responses and help to shape AA policy and campaigns, lead by AA President Edmund King who joined the AA in January from the RAC Foundation.
The AA Charitable Trust for Road Safety and the Environment was registered in July.
Motorbike patrols, Birmingham
Breakdown patrols started using motorbikes to attend breakdowns in some cities for the first time since the mid 1990s. AA bike patrols carry a large range of tools and target quick-fix breakdowns to combat urban congestion and help keep the traffic moving.
A Special Operations Response Team, AA SORT was established in 2008 to supplement the main patrol force. Teams trained to undertake vehicle rescue and recovery in floods and other severe weather use specially equipped and adapted Land Rovers.
The AA was judged top UK breakdown provider by Which? for the second year running.
The AA Charitable Trust launched 'Drive Smart' which initially offered 2000 totally free eco-safe driver training packages to new drivers 'most at risk'.
The AA acquired DriveTech – now known as AA DriveTech - the UK's leading provider of driver training, assessment and driver awareness schemes.
Our business services team re-launched AA Accident Management - a one-stop, outsourcing service for vehicle fleet operators designed to help reduce the cost of accidents.
The AA acquired Preston-based AutoWindshields – now AA AutoWindshields - in December 2009 with ambitious plans to expand it nationally and turn it into one of the UK's leading glass repair and replacement services.
A hat trick of awards as the August issue of Which? magazine named us best breakdown provider for the third year running.
Our first app for the iPhone – a travel guide to London – was launched in July 2009.
Inverness (December 2009)
We rescued more than a third of a million drivers during the cold spell between 17 December 2009 and 8 January 2010. Monday 21 December was the AA's busiest day for 10 years with 22,000 breakdowns, but this record was broken only two weeks later, on Monday 4 January 2010, when we attended more than 25,000.
Christmas day 2009 was the busiest for 20 years with more than 4000 breakdowns.