AA plc (originally the Automobile Association) is a British motoring association founded in 1905, which currently provides car insurance, driving lessons, breakdown cover, loans, motoring advice, road maps and other services. The association demutualised in 1999 to become a private limited company and was acquired later the same year by Centrica.
The Automobile Association was established in 1905 to help motorists avoid police speed traps. By 1906, the AA had erected thousands of roadside danger and warning signs, and managed road signage until responsibility was passed to local authorities in the early 1930s.
In 1908 the organisation published its first AA Members Special Handbook containing a list of nationwide agents and repairers. In 1910 the organisation introduced AA Routes and in 1912 began inspecting hotels and restaurants and grading their quality. 1949 saw the launch of a night time breakdown and recovery service. In 1972 the AA relocated from its central London offices to Basingstoke, Hampshire.