• Over 800 customers nominations were received for individuals, teams and garages accredited to The Motor Ombudsman’s Service and Repair and Vehicle Sales Codes to win the first Garage Star Awards
    • 24 entries were shortlisted for a judging panel to choose the winners and highly recommended entries in eight different regions across the UK
    • Dukes AutoTech, an independent garage in Cornwall, emerged victorious as the national winner of the first Garage Star Awards, after also claiming the top prize in the West of England
    • The St Austell-based business was recognised by the judging panel for its exceptional level of care and service, and going beyond the call of duty to help a customer after their vehicle broke down

The Motor Ombudsman is pleased to announce the winners of its first ever Garage Star Awards. The initiative was introduced by the Ombudsman dedicated to the automotive sector for customers to be able to nominate individuals, teams and garages accredited to its Motor Industry Codes of Practice for Service and Repair and Vehicle Sales, that have gone above and beyond to assist them during the past 12 months.

Highlighting the contest’s popularity in its inaugural year, The Motor Ombudsman received over 800 nominations from consumers up and down the country, who were asked to submit a short account about the exceptional levels of service and work that they had experienced when either buying a car or having one repaired. These were then whittled down to just 24 finalists, a shortlist passed to a panel of judges to determine the winners of the eight regions, which are as follows:

  • North: Simon Graeme Auto Service Centre in Harrogate, for helping to recover a customer’s car outside of business hours;
    • South: Randeep Reehal, Operations Director at Courtwood Car Services in Uxbridge, for her persistence when solving numerous mechanical issues with a consumer’s vehicle, and acting quickly to keep them on the road;
    • East: Cambridge Performance Tyres – Team Protyre, for going out of their way on more than one occasion to accommodate the needs of a motorist during peak periods for their business;
    • West: Dukes AutoTech in Cornwall, for the exceptional level of compassion and care provided to a customer after they were left with a broken-down vehicle at the roadside;
    • Midlands: Chemix Autocentre Halesowen – Team Protyre, for delivering a consistently high level of service over many years;
    • Wales: Avia Autos in Bridgend for going the extra mile to provide practical driving tips and free car care courses for consumers alongside a busy work schedule:
    • Scotland: The Garage Whitburn in West Lothian, for their charitable work and support for the local community; and
    • Northern Ireland: Louise Harte, Service Advisor at Agnew Belfast Audi, for the lengths that she went to in order to prevent a customer’s holiday being interrupted whilst their car was being repaired.

With a customer testimonial that moved the panel, and a unanimous vote for Dukes AutoTech, an independent garage that previously triumphed in the western region, judges deemed the lengths that the husband and wife-run business went to, to assist a customer, worthy of being crowned the overall winner of this year’s contest.

Kerry Dukes, Partner at Dukes AutoTech, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the national and regional winners of the Garage Star Awards. It is testimony to the hard work and dedication of everyone in our team to ultimately ensure total satisfaction for each and every customer that uses our garage. What we did for the consumer who kindly nominated us, mirrors our philosophy of going the extra mile wherever we can, no matter how big or small the task in hand. This trophy will take pride of place in our reception area and will serve as a reminder of what can be achieved with teamwork and kindness. We are so grateful to all of our wonderful customers who took the time to put us forward in the competition, and it’s a true privilege to have won this prestigious title.”

Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman, added: “We are very encouraged by the high volume and calibre of nominations that were submitted in the first year of our competition, and were pleased to see so many examples of the great work that is being undertaken up and down the country on a daily basis. We would like to thank all the consumers who nominated their garages, and everyone who participated in this year’s Garage Star Awards to make it such a success. A big congratulations goes out to all of our winners and those who are highly commended.”

Bill explained: “It has been nice to end the year on such a positive note, a period which has presented challenges to so many. We look forward to the 2021 contest, where we will be shining the spotlight once again on those within our accredited network that have gone above and beyond to help others.”