Last years’s No1 company, Drive Assist, appears again this year, with sales growth of 166% a year. It was founded in 1992 by the chairman Steve Binch when the company he was working for went into receivership. Drive Assist has based its success on the invention of a new service: the provision of rental cars to victims of no-fault accidents. The company recoups the cost of the car rental from the guilty party’s insurers, and the victim of the accident pays nothing. This Robin Hood service has driven up sales from £2.5m in 1996 to £47.8m in 1999. The Staffordshire company now has a fleet of 2,400 vehicles. These are generally sold on within 3-5 months through the company’s own network of dealerships in the Midlands, so that claimants always drive new models.
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