Has the AA turned a corner, or is it on a road to nowhere?

This week’s trading update will show whether efforts to jump-start the debt-laden company have had any success

The AA has always considered itself the most staunch of organisations.

Take one of its earliest episodes, three months after its foundation in 1905, when a member called Herbert Johnson was accused of exceeding the 20mph speed limit. One of the association’s scouts, William Jones, swore an oath that the motorist must be innocent as he’d followed him on a bicycle at a speed of no more than 15 or 16mph – but, irritatingly for patrolman Jones, the court didn’t believe him. Johnson was convicted and Jones was arrested and charged with perjury. The AA then staked all of its funds and risked bankruptcy trying to get its employee acquitted, which, thankfully for Jones, it did.

Sales from what the company calls ‘roadside’ – essentially its recovery service – account for 84% of revenues

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