Up to one million motor book leads could be sold on

The AA is to sell failed motor leads for the first time as it seeks to maximise income generated from its multi-million pound advertising spend.

The broker has set up a three-month pilot to trial the scheme, prior to rolling it out across its portfolio.

An AA spokesman said: "We are looking at this as a small pilot for our motor leads. At the moment we haven't confirmed any of the details."

But market sources linked Hastings Insurance Services with the deal, after the broker's success in picking up More Th>n's failed motor leads earlier this year.

Hastings chief executive David Gundlach declined to comment.

The pilot will be on a fraction of the AA's motor book, but the company could sell up to one million leads per year from motor. Figures suggest the AA pulls in 250,000 new policyholders per year at a conversion rate of around 20%, leaving a million to be sold on.

A market source said: "The deal represents a substantial departure for the AA, which historically rejected the idea of selling on leads as a danger to its brand.

"The fact they are doing it now probably represents a change in strategy led by the new owners CVC and Permira."

Meanwhile, headhunters are continuing to search for a new head of financial services at the AA to replace Clare Salmon.

Market sources said a 'lack of talent' in the insurance sector is hampering the search however a short list has been drawn up. Ex-NIG managing director Phil Bunker, who had been linked to the move, has been ruled out.