Firm on the road to expansion

A NORTH Yorkshire vehicle rescue firm has overcome the recession to grow fourfold during the past three years.

NCI Vehicle Rescue, based in Harrogate, has taken sales to 5m, compared with 1.25m in 2007. Over the last year, the Plus market-listed firm has launched a 24-hour call centre and increased staff to 40.

It provides breakdown and recovery services under its "rescuemycar" brand to cars, vans, fleet vehicles and motorbikes through 4,000 independent recovery agents nationwide.

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NCI, which was set up in 2000, said it is also making progress in vehicle and home insurance as well as in creating niche products, such as cover for taxis and motorcycle clothing.

Net profitability has risen to more than 300,000, compared with 23,000 three years ago, despite the economic downturn and the harsh 2009-10 winter pushing up insurance claims by 50 per cent.

Neil Richards-Smith, managing director, said: "Overcoming a succession of challenges, which also include our online competitors driving down prices, is testimony to our tenacity and commitment to provide excellent breakdown provision and top-class customer service and insurance products.

"We are continuing to substantially invest in key areas such as hiring new staff, training and developing employees and commissioning state-of-the-art IT equipment. Our vision is to establish NCI as a household name for vehicle recovery and insurance products throughout the UK."