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Researching Accident Management
18th
Dec

Researching the Accident Management and Replacement Vehicle Hire Industry

Posted by on in Case Studies, Mobile, Web Design

Often we are asked by many of our clients what is involved in the research process of Websquare’s website design and development cycle. So in this article we thought we would share with you the contents of an internal document which the Websquare research team produced while researching a particular niche area before commencing the wireframe and design of a project.

Research on Accidental Car Management Websites and Digital Online Strategy

The Purpose of this document was to collate information on accident car management, exploring in particular the credit hire market and delivering an insight into how the market can be most successfully utilised. The aim was to discover what approaches the major competitors took and, from that understanding, gain knowledge on which approach drew the most traffic to the company.

Incorporated into this document are the names of some successful accident management companies and the tactics that they used, highlighting features of the company such as their use of SEO, common locality and the ease of use on their web pages. Further into the document you will find detailed comparisons between the major North England competitors. This document uses a mixture of graphs and tables to present data on website content, design and traffic, so that the viewer is given a visual aid to match up to these findings

Areas in the North that had a significant number of Accident Car Management services based there:

  • Manchester
  • Barnsley
  • Blackpool

Areas in the North that had fewer Accident Car Management services based there:

  • Liverpool
  • Leeds
  • Bradford
  • Middlesbrough
  • York
  • Newcastle

Competitors:
o Spectra Drive (Manchester)
o ACH (Bristol)
o Mercury Rent-a-car (Midlands)
o Easi-Drive (Manchester) – Does taxi replacements
o Car Call UK (Hampshire)
o B.R.M Coachworks (Surry)
o Chief Rentals (Devon, Birmingham) – Does taxi replacements
o Vehicle-Accident-Managers (Watford) – Does taxi replacements
o Vision4Accidents (Berkshire)
o Camrol (Lancashire)
o Accident Management UK (RTR UK) (Barnsley) – Does taxi replacements + others
o Ideal Car Hire (London)
o Automec Vehicle Hire (London)
o Ram Rushmores Accident management (London)
o Simple. Selfdrive (London) – Does taxi replacement + others

• Key Points:
o Delivery within 24hr, 2-6 hours seems the norm
o Customer testimonials and social media accounts
o Negotiable drop off / pick up spots
o Focus on replacing damaged cars NOT simply renting
o Unlimited mileage
o Images / Biographies for cars
o Helplines
o Other services available
o Available for 17+ y/o
o Member of United Rental Group
o Rhetorical questioning – engage the audience
o Online purchasing
o Specialist vehicles – one per site?
o What technology do they supply in the rented car? – Inbuilt GPS, USB plug, Bluetooth etc.
o No claims
o Your choice of garage to fix your car
o Accident management
o Google ads bring up compensation claims for the phrase ‘accidental car replacement management’ instead of companies that deal specifically in Accident Car Management
o A ring-back opportunity is present on a very high percentage of the websites
o Social Media angles: Twitter and the use of Topsy.com – Think of the key wording in relation to this, to get the site more known through different avenues.
Search Terms and Engines: Which key word phrasing had the predominantly successful results for our specific purpose?
o Google: Accident Vehicle Replacement / Accident Car Management / Road accident management / Credit hire / accident claims / accident claims management
o Yahoo: Accident Vehicle Replacement / Accident Car Management Replacement
o Bing: Accident Vehicle Replacement / Accident Car Management Replacement
o MySearchDial: Accident Car Management Replacement

• Recurring themes:
o ‘VIP/First Class’,’ Like-for-like’, ‘Fleet’, ‘Same day 24hr delivery’, ‘our aim is’, ‘Prestige Vehicles’, ‘in accordance with the Association of British Insurers’, ‘no claims’

• Competition’s angles:
o Provision of a FREE like for like replacement vehicle within 3 hours
o Online discounts
o No call centres – direct employee /customer contact
o Like-for-like
o Subscriptions to the Association of British Insurers or other major groups
o Social Media:

• Questions yet unanswered:
o Delivery / Pick-up of rented vehicles?
o Size of fleet?
o What are “Premium/Prestige” vehicles?
o Car prices?
o Member of “Association of British Insurers” etc.
o Age restrictions on certain vehicles?
o Full tank required on return? Cost?
o Discounts e.g. online discount / social networking
o Does claiming increase insurance premium?

Useful Web Pages + Quotes:
http://www.car-accident-claim.com/car-accident/car-accident-statistics.htm
‘Every two minutes in the UK, somebody experiences a car accident’.
http://www.enterprise.co.uk/car_rental/showVehicles.do
An example of the vehicles as they are displayed and labelled on the Enterprise Car rental website.
http://www.chiefrentals.com/accident-replacement-vehicles.html
‘The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) estimates that there are more than 29m vehicles on the UK’s roads, 17% of which (4.9m vehicles) are involved in a Road Traffic Accident each year.’
‘All Chief Rentals’ accident replacement vehicles are supplied on credit-hire so our bill is paid for by the “at fault” driver’s insurance company. Any victim of a road traffic accident is legally entitled to the service Chief Rentals provides.’
http://www.carcalluk.com/car-accident-replacement-vehicle/index.html
‘If you make a claim on your insurance after an accident, what usually happens – you lose your no claims discount, and next year your insurance premium goes up. So maybe not quite so ‘free’ after all.’
http://www.fleetfinancials.com/channel/safety-accident-management/article/story/2008/07/accident-management-costs-trend-upward.aspx?prestitial=1

‘The increase was primarily driven by new technologies built into today’s cars that cost more to repair. Bensel noted rising parts expense. “Cost of parts continues to escalate due to the increase in technology that trickles down to the basic fleet vehicle, such as HID headlights and supplemental restraint systems, including airbags and occupant safety devices’

Points of focus:
Key words/Website and web name wording –
o It came to my attention as I scrolled through the web that whilst the general car rental websites can be searched for and found in abundance, the accident car replacement services were significantly harder to find, most especially those that weren’t provided by solicitor firms. What has become clear to me is that the term ‘hire’ is more widely associated with general rental than it is with accident vehicle replacement. After having completed some research and studying accident vehicle replacement websites, I believe that it would be beneficial to re-word the phrasing to incorporate ‘Accident management’ into, if not the webpage, then the website domain name.

• How you complete the claim
o Because you are paying up front with the regular car hire companies, they have an online form to complete, where you can choose a car and put in your financial details. What I have found from the relevant websites is that they give you a word document or pdf to download, fill in and send off or a number to call to sort out the details of your claim. Though this is the general way, and seems to working for companies, if we can find a way to make this easier, for those that don’t have a printer etc. that could prove beneficial. This isn’t a necessarily an urgent matter, but it may be something to think about, because it may be off putting to anyone who doesn’t want any extra hassle and chooses a regular company for its ease.

Major Northern Competitors:
• Mercury Rent-a-car
o Main headings/ Categories used: Home, Vehicle Hire, Holiday Car Hire, About Us, Locations, Careers, Contact Us
o Services Provided: Car, Truck/Van, MPV/Mini Bus and Executive/Sports Car with a small description of the car, the age at which you can rent (23+). Book online feature (though it seems this does not apply to the credit replacement facilities, and the ability to choose which car you book. Booking discount of 5% online, extra technology e.g. satnav) availability. The vans section shows the details of the specifications of the choices. No age is displayed for when you can rent.
o Images Used/ Stylisation:
o Main focus of the images are cars or vans, slideshow images as the highlight, smaller images to show the cars available for hire, with a link to each category. A small description is given of each. The background to the images of cars follows the same blue and green colour scheme. White writing overlaying block colour is used, though the main background is white, with colours text.
o Easy to read logo, slightly more stylised on the word ‘Mercury’ with what I assume is a piece of mercury above it. Same colour as the main scheme.
o A lot of small clip art like images next to the hiring categories. Simple and clean.
o Font: Simple black font over white background, headings blue and bold; slightly larger text. The car info and booking sections are white on blue and grey, heading bold blue. Small, quite dense writing that is more difficult to read than other replacement sites.
o About Us:
o Content: Headings used (Experience, Dedicated Service, Contact us), with smaller writing for the main body of the text. Keywords used: ‘established’, ‘United Rental Group’, ‘Largest independent vehicle network’, ‘strong client base’, ‘family’, ‘community’, ‘Individual needs and desires’, ‘suit you’, ‘quickly and efficiently’. Lacking in the finesse that other websites have, with the writing too small and uninviting looking, a lot of advertisements, relevant but distracting.
o Social Media: Links to social Media sites; Facebook and Twitter. Detailed sites, easy to read, including images that are relevant to the purpose of the website.

Easi Drive Website
• Easi-Drive
o Main headings/ Categories used: About us, Careers, Our Services, Our Fleet, Our Referees, Had and Accident? (Claims can only be made by calling the number, no online process applicable), News. Drop down menus that can be clicked on as the main heading as well as working as a drop down service.
o Classifications: Mainstream, 4×4’s/MPV’s/Taxis, Dual Control, commercial, Motorcycle, with a small descriptions of the vehicles and length of use.
o Images Used/ Stylisation:
o Comes with pictures of the vehicles.
o Easy to read logo, using the main colour combinations, using a basic, simple font. Smaller font to show the function of the website.
o A significant number of pictures, fewer about the cars themselves, and more about the news of the business, using the website name as puns, making car references, showing charity work from the team.
o Font: A mixture of bold and regular font, with different sized writing. A mixture of green, white and grey writing, with movement on some parts. Consumer comments in italic to draw attention to them.
o About Us:
o Content: The date is clearly established, one of the first things you read on the page. Flashy keywords include; ‘Outstanding’, ‘quality’, ‘reliability’, ‘experienced’, ‘satisfaction’, ‘specialist’, ‘liaising’. Road pun used, though the website uses a formal tone. Mention of the ABI (Association of British Insurers). Mention of the ‘tier’ system. ‘Financial Services Authority (FSA) and is also regulated by the Ministry of Justice in respect of claims management activities’. No age displayed for when you can rent.
o Our Services/ Our Fleet: Lots of descriptions of the ‘fleet’, what types of cars are available and how many of them you can choose from. Like-for-like replacement. Non-fault as a keyword that needs to be included. Less formal, using punctuation as a way of highlighting positive sections. 4 hour replacement turnover, with delivery to any location. Focus upon the vehicle, but also included in the website is information on accidental compensation and personal injury, as a secondary topic.
o Keywords: ‘Fast’, ‘responsive’, ‘strategic’, ‘modern’, ‘extensive’ and a lot of details pertaining to the actions taken when Taxi services suffer losses of vehicles. Show of knowledge of how taxis work and the loss they won’t suffer because of Easidrive.
o Social Media: Links to Facebook and Twitter

Chiefrentals Website
• ChiefRentals
o Main headings/ Categories used: Accident Replacement Taxis, Accident Replacement Vehicles, Broker Products, Motorhome Hire, Car & Van Hire. Simple click icons, no drop down menus but buttons on the side to select categories specific to the headings (Including commonly occurring sections: ‘Credit Hire’, ‘Fleet’, ‘Make a Claim’ ‘Had a road traffic/taxi accident’ and ‘Contact Us’.
o Services Provided: Taxi/Car services are provided but the website is harder to navigate than other sites. Though there is a book online feature, unlike most credit hire sites, you have to sign up to the website to do so. It then fails to make it clear whether the online section is applicable to the credit hire option or whether it is simply a feature for those who are paying to hire a vehicle. You get a picture of the car/van of choice; the Cars are described by size rather than by status, so ‘small, medium, large’ as opposed to ‘commercial, premium, sports.’
o Images Used/ Stylisation:
o Font and colour: Simple font, fairly large in size; easy to read comparative to Mercury Rent-a-Car. Stylisation of the website is similar to most others that have been looked at, with white as the predominant background colour, but with grey and red writing. Use of shades of colour rather than a vast array. Thin text, big enough to read and the short paragraphs make it easier to concentrate on what is written. The fact that there are a significant amount of sub headings to split the writing up means the reader is considerably more likely to actually take in what is being said.
o Logo: Simple writing, ‘Chief’ in capital red writing, ‘rentals’ in black writing, thinner text but same size. Half-moon symbol, same red and grey, a nice enough looking symbol but nothing relevant to cars or car hire. All of which is on a white background.
o The first page has a headline image, in a border like design across the page, with images of people and companies that have left testimonials, with the quotes of things they have said about ChiefRentals. Each of them is from well-known or prestigious figures of society e.g. Gordon Brown and The Times. Lacking in images of cars, or anything car related. The Car and Van Hire section has images of all the cars available to rent when you begin the book online process.
o Content:
o Statistics are used on the ‘Had a Taxi Accident’ sections, and this is the first thing you come across on the website. No age displayed at which you can rent a car.
o Keywords: ‘millions of accidents’, ‘management’, ‘liaising’, ‘like-for-like’, ‘fleet’, ‘500 plated vehicles’, ‘specialist’, ‘twenty-four hour recovery’, name dropping of cars and naming of taxi equipment supplied, ‘ABI’.
o Social Media: Facebook, though blank style page, no link from the webpage.

Camrol Website
• Camrol
o Main headings/ Categories used: Home, About Us, Make a Claim, FAQs, Referrers and Contact Us. No drop down menus, simple click icons.
o Services Provided: No mention of what exactly the company provides; only that it is car hire on credit. A like-for-like system is in place, though not guaranteed.
o Images Used/ Stylisation:
o Logo: Same simple/basic premise, easy to make out. ‘Camrol’ in larger font and capitals, with ‘Ltd’ in smaller writing next to it. Two road markings curving from the bottom, the first logo with something road relevant attached. This is something that should be taken into consideration when designing the logo for our product.
o Images: Top banner uses the grey and orange colour scheme and has what they would class a premium car as the focus. There is writing here: uses rhetoric, orange and black writing, with the number, placed in an easily accessible area and big/bold enough to make instant note of. No pictures of the cars available. No age displayed for when you can rent.
o Font: Bigger font than most others; grey writing on a white (and in some places orange background), with orange headlines, in larger font. Big bold category selection- font.
o Tick list format in certain sections, simplistic but effective without masses of information being thrown at the reader.
o About Us:
o Keywords – ‘Specialist’, ‘like-for-like’, ‘comprehensive’, ‘non-fault’, ‘network’, ‘liaise’,
o Social Media: Links to Twitter and Facebook, up-to-date with each of these sections of the website, they both use them as a way of promoting the human side of the business and expressing their ethos of ‘the customer comes first’. The same colour schemes are used throughout the social media sites as are used in the social networking pages. There is a direct link to the twitter but not to the Facebook and the section that tells you there is a Facebook link uses small letters and an indirect method of letting you know it is there. This is a fault that we should not repeat if it is applicable, because it means the Facebook site could be easily overlooked. Some testimonials are used on the Facebook page, which link to the positive reviews that Camrol have received as well as pictures of the cars.
o On the second look around the website it became apparent that Camrol provided, not only links to Facebook and Twitter, but also LinkedIn. It is evident that they are using an array of social media platforms, however the way they are displayed on the website means that they are easily missed and therefore are not utilising their efforts.

Accident Management UK Website
• Accident Management UK
o Main headings/ Categories used: Home, Had an Accident?, Services, About Us, Our Fleet, Personal Injury, Recovery Scheme, PAYG Breakdown, FAQ, News/Events. Simple click icons, no drop down menus, but a vast array of main headings to choose from.
o Services Provided: Standard Vehicles, 4×4 Vehicles, Prestige/Marques, Taxis/People Carriers, Dual Control/Driving School, Commercial, Motorcycles. No age displayed for when you can rent. This is a common theme that has presented itself whilst researching the Accident Car Management company webpages.
o Images Used/ Stylisation:
o Logo: ‘RTR’ written in a grey bubble, with the lettering rounded and stylised, big and bold, in green and white font. The logo does not match up to the domain name however, and nor is it accessible, you cannot find the webpage using RTR, which renders it, as a branding feature, completely ineffective.
o Images: There are, unlike many of the other pages, differing images depending on which section of the website you are looking at. Most of these images are based on the services provided by the company, so are car related in one way or another. Others are mostly cartoon images of people in different scenarios, often portrayed as emergency situations. There are images of the cars provided by the company, a selection for each category.
o Videos: On the main page there is a short, 3 minute video, that promotes the site using well known and loved car themed films (Italian Job, Matrix, Bond: Die Another Day). The video is over the top, dramatic, and in the process of watching it you lose the text that overlays it. The premise is good: promotion through familiar means, but this pushes it too far into the dramatic to be taken seriously.
o Font: Lots of bold headings, using black text and rhetorical questions. Smaller grey writing for the bulk of the writing, broken up into easy to read, bite sized pieces, also including a lot of rhetoric: ‘Had a road traffic accident?’, ‘Not your fault?’, etc. Some moving text at the top of the page, short, snappy sentences that catch the eye.
o About Us:
o Keywords/ Phrases: ‘Zero cost to you’, ‘Not your fault’, ‘Free, ‘Friendly’, ‘Established’, ‘Recovery Industry’, ‘Relationship’, ‘Accident Management’, ‘like-for-like’ – with a reference to the replacement vehicle matching colour of your own car, rather than just the car itself, a quirky characterisation that gives the company an edge. One of the few that is perhaps somewhat informal. If we could bridge the gap between informal content and formal layout and colour this would make for the perfect webpage.
o Social Media: No social media platforms used for RTR.

• Rental Application
o The possibility of having an online application process for an accident vehicle replacement site would put us head and shoulders above the rest.
o Categories you would need to include:
o Headings – About You, Your Vehicle Details, Your Insurance Details, Taxi Details, Third Party Details, Damage to Vehicle, Accident Details, Did you or your passengers suffer any injuries?

• Call back service offered with the majority, if not all of the car hire companies. This should, if possible, be included on our site. Some have a request section, or an enquiry section, but the process seems to stretch across several different platforms, where you have to converse several times back and forth to get the claim sorted. We can, perhaps, simplify this process.

Colours Used In Accidental Management Sites

Three Most Popular: Blue, Green and Grey.

• Blue, green, red and grey seem to be the most common colour choices for any kind of car hire company. However it is worth noting that red is the colour most associated with speed and danger, which is not something you want to promote. It is also good to note that red cars are the most likely to get into road accidents, so that isn’t perhaps the best colour to use. The blues and greens seem to work well together, but you must be careful of shades, as we found that sections could be missed because the contrast made was that your eyes slid right past them. There also appears to be a link between the websites that use the green and blue colour schemes and those that use pictures to display their fleet.

Our most popular choice: Green and Orange.

• Green as the main choice and orange as the highlighting colours.
o Green gives the impression of being eco-friendly without ever having to claim that you are, something that is becoming very important to both businesses and individuals alike. The green will be the colour to give the biggest impression to the prospective client and will have to capture, in a clear, concise manner, the ethos of the business.
o Orange is bright and vibrant, it gives the feeling that you are inviting someone in and provides a more personal touch for the prospective client. By using the colour we can worry less about how personal the content is, how much we sound like a solicitors firm, because our message will already be confirmed.
o The main bulk of the writing will be black or a dark grey, and will use a reasonably large font. Spacing will be utilised so that the reader doesn’t feel pressured or overwhelmed by the amount there is to consume.

Number of Heading used in Accidental Management Sites

Average Number of Headings Used: 6

The Number of Headings We Should Use: 6

• This is the perfect number to use; so that we can include everything we need to say without being convoluted.  

Heading Chosen for other Accidental Management Sites

Three Most Used: Home, Contact Us and About Us.

Our Choice: Home, Contact Us, About Us, Our Fleet, Our Services, FAQ’s.

• Our Fleet isn’t one of the most popular but I believe it is one of the most important.

Number of Car Categories Available

Most popular choice for Vehicle Names: 7 and 4

Best Choice for number of Headings: 5

• Somewhere between these two choices, so that there isn’t any confusion over what falls into which category but the balance is managed so it doesn’t look convoluted and unreadable.

Titles Given to Car Categories

Most Used: Car, Prestige, MPV, Taxi

• Many companies group MPV’s and 4×4’s
• Commercial, Trucks and Van don’t come so much on their own as they do separate, but they all cover the same ground, so we’ll include them under one category.

What We Should Use: Car, MPV & 4×4’s, Taxi, Commercial, and Prestige.

Alexi Research Ideal Car

Alexi Research 2 Mercury Rent Car

Alexi Research 3 ACH UK

These are statistics on trending websites in relation to each of the main northern competitors previously compared. Many of the companies are searched for by name; this should act as an indicator as to which websites are the most successful. The commonalities between the words and phrases are: ‘Claims’, ‘management’, ‘road traffic’, ‘accident’, ‘replacement’, ‘vehicle’, ‘car’ and ‘hire’. These are words that we then need to incorporate into our website, in order for viewers/ prospective clients to be able to find our website when they search online immediately, rather than later by chance.

Global Rank History for Accidental Management Sites

This is a graph and statistics of the global rankings of the websites, those that managed to rank, and the global history of traffic to them.
• Mercury Rent-a-car ranked top out of the ones that we studied, though we personally had previously discussed that we disliked the colour scheme and the layout. It seems only reasonable then that when looking at functionality of the website, we take note of what Mercury Rent-a-car have done and mimic it to a certain extent.

Here are two Examples of Claims forms for accident vehicle management companies. The second is the only example I can find for filling out an accidental claim online.
E.g. 1: Taken from http://www.chiefrentals.com/

Chief Rentals Claims Form

Chief Rentals Claim Form 2

Chief Rentals Claim Form 3

Network Claims Claim Form

Websquare have recently produced a Mobile App that could benefit motorists who find themselves involved in a motor accident. If you would like to have a branded version of this App for your Accident Management Company, please feel free to get in touch with us on
info@websquare.co.uk. Please visit the following link for more information: https://www.websquare.co.uk/our-work/projects/the-accident-app/

To find out more about Websquare and our services please visit us here www.websquare.co.uk


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