IGA News

Motor Trader Independent Garage of the Year Shortlist 2016

Motor Trader Independent Garage of the Year Shortlist 2016

28 June 2016

The Motor Trader Industry Awards celebrate best practise in the car retailing business, and winning an award enforces your business as a leader in its field. That’s why we want to showcase the finalists for the Independent Garage of the Year award 2016, sponsored by Trust My Garage, to find out what’s behind their success and why they hope to win.

ACC UK (Farnborough - last year’s winners)

ACC UK Ltd started thirteen years ago and has grown into an established, busy, well respected and successful business in the community by growing slowly and organically, and expanding and investing in the best equipment and best training courses for its staff. Thanks to great customer feedback and 90% of customers recommending us to family and friends, we moved into brand new state of the art custome built premises in 2007.

We employ six members of staff with a huge wealth of experience in the motor industry, and are specialists in Volvo and Toyota vehicles but service and repair all makes and models of car. Our knowledge is second to none and we can offer all the benefits of a main dealer at a fraction of the price.. We offer extra benefits such as free courtesy cars, customer loyalty discounts, a referral reward scheme and a free local collection and delivery service. We even do mini free valets for customers who book in for service and repair work.

We also try to invest in and give back to the community as much as we can by hiring apprentices and working with our local colleges to offer work experience and work placements to students studying the trade. We also sponsor two local girls football teams. We believe that investing in the most up to date equipment, looking after our customers and providing a great service at a great price have been key to the success of our business.

Last year we were over the moon to Win the award for Independent Garage of the Year 2015. We are just as proud to have been in the finals an unprecedented four times in five years!

Anderson Clark Motor Repairs (Inverness)

Anderson Clark Motor Repairs was formed in 1996 when the late David Anderson and Graham Clark decided to create a new service and repair outlet with the vision that customer care and high quality workmanship was more important to build a reputation than focusing on profit. The business is driven by Graham Clark with a strong desire for customer satisfaction. The business has established itself as the premier independent vehicle repairer and Towbar fitting centre in the Highlands.

Over the last 12 months, we have committed to a new marketing campaign and have revamped our website, we have become active in engaging with customers through Facebook. Anderson Clark Motor Repairs sponsor two Scottish Premier League Football teams with live TV bill board coverage. We also sponsored a local athlete who competed in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, winning a Silver Medal for Scotland.

We have invested in a Class 7 MOT bay to eliminate sub-contracting work and have the ability to MOT larger Motorhomes. We have in the last year installed a new Bio-Mass heating system to reduce our carbon footprint.

Due to the increase in business we have recruited an additional Motor Vehicle Technician, an extra administration assistant and added 2 extra loan vehicle to our fleet.

We encourage and monitor our customer feedback on the Motorcodes site, this brings in new customer through the search facility, we are currently ranked number one on their listings with over 1900 returns in the last 12 months.

We are Motor Codes Scottish Independent Garage of the year 2014 and CarDealer Used Car Awards 2014 Service and Repair Outlet of the Year

Car Care Tetbury

Established in 1974 starting with 2 partners in a small one bay garage, I joined my father as an apprentice in 1982, became a director 24 years ago and fully took over the business with my wife in 2007 just as the recession started.

We specialise in the VAG group and Land rover. Year on year we invest heavily in the latest state of the art equipment and training. Six of our eight technicians have joined Car Care as apprentices and stayed with us ever since with one reaching a 30yr milestone this year! One of the reasons for our low turnover of staff is that we value highly each of them. We took the decision to close Saturdays, and Christmas Eve, and in between New Year to ensure they all have a good work/family life balance.

However our customers and their satisfaction is our priority. The physical repair to the vehicle is only part of the service. We believe reliability, integrity with a personal friendly face, coupled with a free valet and a quality courtesy car (of which we have 11 from Range Rovers, Audis to city cars) help to keep our customers happy and returning within this rural environment.

We always view our business through our customer’s eyes and how we would like to be treated. We feel our ethos is part of the reason year on year we have a steady growth not only in our turnover (nearly doubling since 2007) but in new customers, most of who have been recommended.

Having won Independent Garage of the year 2012, we felt after 4 years we’d enter again as we’ve moved on and improved significantly since then. We are honoured to be shortlisted alongside the best of the independent garages in the country. We wish them all the very best of luck and here’s to a great night!

Collison Motoring Service (Waterlooville)

Collison Motoring Services is a small local MOT, service and repair business with big, industry leading standards. From the moment Rob took over in 1992 his determination was that whatever Collison’s did, it would do it right, and be able to offer a service to customers which was comparable with the best they could find anywhere. In 1996 and again in 2006 this was rewarded with MotorTrader Awards in the Aftermarket Award and then the Customer Care Award categories respectively. Another decade on we can show absolutely consistency in intention and the realisation of Rob’s original aims, and would love to prove this with the Independent Garage of the Year Award.

An essential part of what we do is our devotion to best practice for the good of the customer, and absolute transparency in our customer service. The thousands of active customers on our books are all treated as family, so the advice we give is tailored to what’s best for them with their vehicles, rather than what’s immediately best for us as a business. Free assistance with ‘courtesy’ jobs, and advice to stagger repairs where appropriate means that not only do we have the trust of our customers, but they take us seriously when things are advised urgently. Such long-term relationship-based business may be old fashioned, but has secured us both high customer retention and growth, with 40% of our new customers last year coming to Collison’s because we had been personally recommended to them.

The Team here at Collison’s are continually invested in too. With industry leading training and equipment we can provide the very best quality and variety of services to customers, and also show our commitment to the team and their development and motivation. Our investment in technology to meet every current motoring issue (blocked DPFs, engine contamination, performance enhancement, and passthru opportunities for example) means we can provide for any motoring requirement (aside from bodywork) which arises for our customers, and at a fair price which often saves them money. The whole team also lunch together each week to discuss the ethics and efficiency of what we do personally and as a group, so that we are always looking for ways to do things better. By focusing on direction with integrity, Collison Motoring Services can continue to provide genuine service to our growing customer base, who reward us with their loyalty, recommendations and continuing business.

Motor Marque (Leeds)

It was in 1998 when I started Motor Marque, I set out in my little van as mobile mechanic hoping to show that there was a different way to operate within the motor trade. Nearly 19 years later I think I have done just that. By building on a successful model Motor Marque has grown from a one man operation to be the largest independent garage in the region. With a 20 strong team we now turnover in excess of £2million and still hold close the values which we started with. Customers and customer service is an obsession of mine, the motor trade traditionally lags behind in the arena, so we have continually sought to improve on the service we deliver.

After the recent tough financial climate I decided it would be a good idea to seek recognition for our team and what they have achieved. We’ve won awards for excellent customer service from West Yorkshire Trading Standards, so going for the Independent Garage Award is a positive move forward. I am proud of the innovation Motor Marque brings to the trade. For me it is all about the details; after all, every customer rightly expects their car to be repaired safely and returned in good order but it’s the nuances that make for a different experience.

When I first started as a mobile mechanic I would leave a chocolate éclair perched on the dashboard for the customer to find on their return. Two years later when Motor Marque had found a home base we were one of the first small independent garages to valet all vehicles visiting us. Now times have moved on and we have too, not only do we still provide a treat for all our customers and return their cars clean we also provide a whole host of added value services. We run an innovative Customer Shuttle Service, provide free Wi-Fi and ensure our customer reception is more like a first class lounge rather than the traditional garage facilities.

It is this level of innovation and hard work that I want our team to recognised for. To be shortlisted for the second year in a row is fantastic news, and of course we all have our fingers crossed for a win!

Russell Automotive Centre (London)

Russell Automotive Centre is an Audi, VW, Seat , Skoda & Bentley garage based in NW London. Formed in 2007 it grew in a recession and following a move to bigger premises in 2009 it rests in one of the largest independent workshops in the region.

Being a true specialist Russell Automotive Centre only uses genuine parts, manufacturer trained technicians and has the same diagnostic equipment as VAG main dealers. Steve Russell, co-founder, is a Master Technician in both Audi & VW.

In September 2015, the business became part of the Recognised IMI Employer Scheme with all staff members now on the professional register and proud to stand up and be counted as trained and skilled automotive personnel.

Following a Highly Commended rosette at the 2013 Motor Trader Awards, the team at Russell Automotive Centre took the title of Independent Garage of the Year in 2014. Jane Russell, co-founder says; ‘Winning the title in 2014 was a huge honour. To win again this year would be superb. There is always a really high standard of finalists so we have everything crossed!’

We wish the best of luck to all of our finalists. If you would like to attend the Motor Trader 2016 awards ceremony, held on Wednesday 13th July at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, you can book tickets here.