Hitachi Capital will act as a key support service for the roadside assistance firm and was chosen for its sector-specific expertise and dedicated van team aimed at beating downtime.

RAC has initially ordered 100 vans, with Hitachi Capital also taking on the first-line management and responsibility for the existing fleet, providing one sole point of contact for its patrols and recovery specialists. By the end of this year, it aims to have a total of 350 vehicles, with this figure rising to about 1500 vehicles over the following two years.

Ian Laughlin, national fleet manager for RAC, said: 'Following a lengthy tender process looking at numerous suppliers, we chose to work with Hitachi Capital due to its clear understanding of the recovery sector and our specific fleet requirements. Hitachi Capital's dedicated commercial vehicle team ensures that repairs and maintenance on our internal fleet are prioritised, allowing us to continually provide the high level of service that we maintain for all our customers. We like to think that Hitachi Capital optimises our "uptime", alleviating the strain on our internal fleet team and keeping our vehicles on the road.'

Jon Lawes, divisional managing director of Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Services, added: 'We are delighted to be partnering with an industry leader and we have used our understanding of the sector to ensure that we provide RAC with an offering that supports the company's drive to provide a high level of service. Working with the design team at RAC on a vehicle specification means that we are able to reduce the cost of the vehicles at purchase, as well as ensuring cost savings throughout the lifecycle of all vehicles.'