Summary of our market study

Since 2020, the global automotive assistance market, including breakdown and towing services, has been on a growth trajectory despite the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

The market was estimated at $22.3 billion and is expected to reach $29 billion by 2026, with an average annual growth rate of 3.8%.

The French market also showed solid expansion, with breakdown assistance accounting for almost 60% of the national assistance market.97% of the French market controlled by a handful of major players. The sector has seen an increase in demand, stimulated by the ageing of the vehicle fleet and the rise in registrations, particularly of used vehicles.

Assistance and towing companies have integrated more technological solutions such as digital platforms and connected vehicle services to improve efficiency and customer experience.

Trends and key figures in the breakdown assistance market

The French market represents a significant share of the assistance market, with sales of around 3.3 billion euros.

The breakdown assistance market has grown significantly, responding to vehicle breakdowns and accidents with services ranging from on-site mechanical or electronic repairs to towing.

With demand for these services booming, insurance companies and car assistance firms play a crucial customer role for many towing companies.

Demand for breakdown services is driven by factors such as the ageing fleet, digitization and the presence of assistance companies acting as intermediaries between stranded drivers and service providers.

The main drivers of demand in the assistance industry include the number of vehicles in France - both registered and in transit - and the take-up of vehicle assistance contracts.

Vehicle registrations are on the rise, particularly for used vehicles that are more prone to breakdowns. Every year, there are around 2.3 times more used vehicles registered than new ones.

Another factor is the ageing of the vehicle fleet, with the average age of vehicles reaching a record 10.6 years.

There is a decline in preventive maintenance in France, a trend that could contribute to the frequency of road incidents requiring breakdown services.

Specialist towing companies carry out more than 10,000 breakdown vehicles a year, and this figure is constantly rising.

The price of breakdown services varies according to factors such as the time of intervention (e.g. night or day) and the towing distance, with prices ranging from 90 euros to 230 euros excluding VAT for distances of up to 50 km.

Regulated rates exist for activities such as motorway services and impoundments.

Key players in the global and French breakdown assistance ecosystem

  • Mondial Assistance (Allianz) - Mondial Assistance, part of the Allianz Group, is a leading global provider of assistance services.
  • Inter Mutuelles Assistance - Inter Mutuelles Assistance (IMA) is the result of collaboration between several mutual insurance companies. This entity has carved out a significant share of the French market.
  • AXA Assistance - A subsidiary of the AXA Group, AXA Assistance is a leading provider of roadside assistance services.
  • Fidelia Assistance - Fidelia Assistance, part of the Société Générale Insurance group, specializes in emergency roadside assistance services.
  • Europ Assistance - Europ Assistance is one of the pioneers of the assistance industry.
  • Mutuaide Assistance - Part of the Groupama group, Mutuaide Assistance offers a wide range of assistance services?
  • Opteven - Opteven is a key supplier in the automobile assistance market.
  • Mapfre Asistencia France - Mapfre Asistencia France brings its insurance and assistance expertise to the market.
  • ACTA - Specializes in roadside assistance.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

When a vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident, immobilized users need to call in a breakdown mechanic. In the vast majority of cases, they go through their car assistance company, which in turn contacts the towing company. The assistance companies thus become the first customers of the towing companies.The study will therefore look at breakdown assistance from the point of view of both assistance companies and towing companies.

Breakdown assistance comprises a range of services, depending on the breakdown or accident, and can even include towing if the problem cannot be dealt with at the scene. Most of the time, however, only basic assistance - at the scene of the breakdown or in a safe area nearby - is required.(mechanical or electronic repairs, fuel delivery, unlocking the vehicle in the event of lost or stolen keys, etc.)...).

Amajor sub-segment of the assistance market, breakdown assistance has seen strong growth in recent years, both in France and worldwide. on a global scale, the sector is booming, as cars age and digitalization facilitates the implementation of the service. The increasingly systematic use of assistance companies should enable further growth.

In France,the market for assistance companies is concentrated in the hands of a small number of players.The French leaders are Mondial Assistance (Allianz Partners), Inter Mutuelles Assistance (IMA Group), AXA Assistance, Fidelia Assistance, Europ Assistance, Mutuaide Assistance, Opteven, Mapfre Asistensia France, ACTA, Groupe Asuristance, Ressources Mutuelles Assistance and Filassistance. They account for 97% of the assistance market, and have extensive networks of breakdown service providers in France. These are mainly specialized breakdown companies, often small players located in highly urbanized areas. Between 2007 and 2019, the breakdown recovery vehicle fleet increased by 50%, a sign of the sector's growth.

In 2020, in a letter to the French Prime Minister, the FNA (Fédération Nationale de l'artisanat Automobile) denounced the stranglehold of assistance companies on breakdown service providers - who suffer from untenable discount contracts - hoping for a contractual rebalancing between the players.

Finally, both assistance and breakdown service companies are currently facing major changes in the transport sector (car-sharing, connected and even autonomous vehicles, etc.) which could well upset their businesses.

1.2 A growing worldwide breakdown assistance market

Size of the automotive assistance market Worldwide, ****-****, in billions of US$ Source: ****

In ****, the global automotive assistance market was valued at US$**.* billion; this value is expected to grow at an average annual rate of *.*%, reaching US$** billion in ****. However, ****, the year of the coronavirus health crisis, saw a *% drop ...

1.3 The French automotive assistance market is growing steadily

The assistance market in France:

Breakdown assistance - also known as automobile assistance - accounts for almost **% of the assistance market. Below is an analysis of the assistance market in France

According to the SNSA (***), sales generated in France by French assistance providers grew by *.*% between **** and **** to reach *.* billion in ...

1.4 Estimated breakdown and towing market in France

As breakdown assistance providers are their main customers, we can try to assess part of their market through the number of cases handled by them.

Below is a breakdown of the number of cases handled by breakdown assistance providers since ****. As a result, more and more people are using breakdown assistance ...

1.5 The impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the sector

A difficult year for breakdown services:

As a result of the containment, the decline in car use was very negative for breakdown services, with a significant drop in the number of automobile claims. MAIF estimates that the eight-week confinement resulted in savings of around *** million euros, compared with a normal situation. ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Demand drivers for assistance providers

For assistance providers, demand for assistance contracts depends on :

the number of vehicles registered in France, and those passing through France each year the number of users subscribing to automobile assistance contracts, often offered as a warranty extension.

The graph below shows the trend in the number of vehicles registered in ...

2.2 A steadily rising average age

According to the CCFA, the average age of the French car fleet has been rising steadily for several years, reaching an average of **.* years in ****. According to the organization, this high figure reflects "the inability of a large number of French people to change their cars more frequently", despite measures such ...

2.3 Most frequent causes of car accidents by type of part affected

For used cars, power systems, electronics and the engine are the three main causes of claims. These three causes account for almost half of all claims.

Claims frequency by parts group for used cars France, ****, in Source: ****

For new cars, the two main causes are the power system and electrical installations. ...

2.4 A fall in road accidents in France

The graph below highlights the trend in the number of accidents in France, which has been declining over the last ten years. This is likely to have a negative impact on convenience store business. In ****, the number of road accidents will fall sharply (***), perhaps largely as a result of containment due ...

2.5 Seasonal demand that also depends on the weather

The busiest time of the year for assistance providers - both assistance and breakdown services - is the summer vacation period. The car remains the preferred means of transport for vacation travel.

The sector's business peaks are therefore closely linked to peak traffic periods. The densest traffic areas are therefore also ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Segmentation and player dynamics

Classic" value chain:

While accident victims can logically call breakdown and towing companies directly, they more often than not go through assistance companies, as most users include breakdown assistance in their car insurance.

Analysis of assistance companies:

There are two types of breakdown assistance company:

general assistance providers such as Europ ...

3.2 Tow-truck operators in France: analysis of vehicle fleet and distribution of companies

Fleet analysis:

According to ANFA (***), there are more than **,*** breakdown vehicles in ****. The graph below shows an average annual increase of almost *% since ****.

In total, since ****, the fleet has increased by almost **%.

Breakdown service vehicle fleet in France France, ****-****, in thousands of vehicles Source: ****

In ****, **% of the vehicle fleet was ...

3.3 Analysis of the distribution of breakdown assistance contracts

Breakdown assistance is usually an option in car insurance contracts. [***]

Traditionally, automobile assistance coverage is an extension of the warranty included in an automobile insurance contract.

The manufacturer may also offer an assistance service when the vehicle is purchased.

The increase in the number of contracts can be partly attributed to ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 The breakdown and towing service: analysis of services

A distinction is made between breakdown and towing services:

Breakdown service (***) involves repairing the vehicle on site or in a secure area nearby, usually when the job is straightforward. According to MC Dépannage, between ** and **% of their breakdown services are resolved on site [***] Towing involves evacuating the vehicle and transferring ...

4.2 Average prices for breakdown assistance contracts according to services covered

Price trends:

The graph below highlights the rise in consumer prices for motor vehicle insurance - which includes breakdown assistance. This gives an idea of the upward trend in underwriting prices.

Evolution of the consumer price index for motor vehicle insurance France, ****, in Source: ****

evolution of the price of an assistance ...

4.3 Prices for the breakdown service itself

Cost of claims:

The average cost of a car breakdown in **** was €***, up €** on **** and €** on ****. This increase is notably linked to increasingly complex vehicle functionalities.

The graph below analyzes the cost of breakdowns - by type of breakdown - for new vehicles with extended warranty. It gives an idea of ...

4.4 Technology at the heart of changes in the breakdown assistance offer

New breakdown solutions are emerging thanks to technological advances and the rise of connected vehicles - while distribution is going digital.

The rise of connected vehicles :

Connected vehicles make it possible to transmit information thanks to geolocation techniques, and to signal problems in order to avoid breakdowns upstream: for example, by ...

4.5 The future of breakdown assistance is linked to that of the transport sector

Europ Assistance emphasizes that"breakdown assistance" is gradually evolving into"mobility assistance" given the diversification of means of transport.

Euro Assurance offers assistance for the following types of vehicle:

Assistance providers will have to adapt their offer to the changing transport market and its practices. A diversification of contracts is thus ...

5 Regulations

5.1 A precise regulatory framework

As stated by theAFNAcar breakdown assistance professionals are subject to a number of very specific regulations. To be able to carry out their activity, they must be able to justify several elements:

B*XL electric or hybrid vehicle breakdown and towing authorization. B*XL battery operation authorization. B driving license BE ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

Examples of specialized breakdown services:


  • Opteven
  • Acta Assistance
  • Powerpanne Masternaut
  • Inter Mutuelles Assistance GIE
  • Europ-assistance
  • Mutuaide (Groupama)
  • Assuristance Groupe
  • Allianz Voyage - Mondial Assistance
  • Mapfre
  • Assistance AGA
  • Fidélia Assistance (Covea)
  • Modulotech
  • Homeserve

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Size of the automotive assistance market
  • Growth in assistance sales between 2009 and 2020
  • Growth in automobile assistance sales between 2017 and 2020
  • Increase in the number of breakdown cases handled by assistance providers
  • Number of registrations (all vehicles)
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Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Acta Assistance
Powerpanne Masternaut
Inter Mutuelles Assistance GIE
Mutuaide (Groupama)
Assuristance Groupe
Allianz Voyage - Mondial Assistance
Assistance AGA
Fidélia Assistance (Covea)

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