Launching the future of NRMA patrol vans

27 January 2018
Car being towed Car being towed

Waiting times for people broken down and requiring a tow will now be slashed by almost one hour with the NRMA rolling out new patrol vans that can also tow a vehicle, helping to reduce congestion and getting people back on the road faster.

The announcement of the new vans coincides with new research by the NRMA, which shows that of the 1.2 million breakdowns tended to by the NRMA last year, one-in-four were vehicles aged 11 years or older and one-in-five vehicles were aged 10 years or younger.

The average age of the Australian light vehicle fleet is 10 years.

Historically, motorists broken down would be tended to by an NRMA patrolman. In 93 per cent of cases the NRMA would fix the vehicle on the side of the road. However, the remaining seven per cent would be required to wait for a tow truck.

To address this, the NRMA has invested in technology that enables patrols to get to Members, replace batteries and tow the vehicle if necessary. The vans can two up to 80 per cent of popular vehicles on the road. One hundred Mercedes Benz vans will be rolled out between now and the end of financial year. The current fleet of vans are saving Members 51 minutes of waiting time.

NRMA General Manager Roadside Operations Mel Kansil said the investment in this new technology would get drivers moving again by removing the waiting time for a tow truck and kept Sydney moving by reducing the impact breakdowns had on traffic congestion.

“Keeping people moving is at the heart of the NRMA strategy and we have been focusing on how we can use technology to significantly reduce the amount of time people spend on the side of the road when they’ve broken down and need a tow,” Ms Kansil said.

“People should only have to wait for help once. Historically, in the minority of cases when an NRMA patrol couldn’t get a Members’ car moving on the side of the road the NRMA would have to separately call a tow. Now, we can meet our Members’ needs immediately.

“While car technology is improving, people still break down for all the same reasons. Last year 1.2 million broken down cars were fixed by the NRMA with batteries, tyres, lockouts and engine or alternator issues the main reasons.

“Regardless of how technology advances, it is clear from these statistics that there will always be a need for roadside assistance. With the average age of vehicles registered in Australia ten years or older we know people are keeping cars for longer and will need the kind of service the NRMA offers more than ever.”

 Top reasons for break downs in vehicles aged one to thirty years
 Age  1-5  6-10 11-15  16-20   21-25 26-30 
 1  Battery Battery  Battery  Battery  Battery  Battery 
 2  Wheel Wheel  Wheel  Wheel  Lock out  Lock out 
 3  Lock out Lock out  Alternator  Lock out   Wheel   Wheel 
 4  Engine light Alternator  Lock out   Alternator  Starter Motor  Alternator 

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