Announcing the Finalists for the British Independent Garage (BIG) Awards 2024

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is thrilled to announce the finalists for the prestigious BIG Awards 2024. This year’s finalists have demonstrated outstanding excellence in their respective categories, showcasing the very best in the independent garage sector.

Finalists by Category

Best Newcomer

  • Bear and Bee Garage Ltd
  • Boby Auto
  • Boss Tuning Ltd
  • CB Automotive
  • DB Car Doctor Ltd
  • T&E Autolec

Business Improvement

  • AAK Autos
  • Bryngwyn Service Station
  • Mechanic Man
  • Tytherleigh Vehicle Electrics Ltd

Community Hero

  • Britannia MOT & Repair Centre Ltd
  • C R Allen and Sons
  • Holmer Green Service Centre
  • Segensworth Automobiles Ltd
  • Westbury Garage Shrewsbury Ltd
  • Westgate Tyres

Consumer Choice

  • ACC UK Ltd
  • Amor Auto Solutions
  • Bakers Garage
  • Holmer Green Service Centre
  • Mouths Motor Company

Customer Service

  • Carite Service Centre Ltd
  • Hillclimb Garage
  • LM Motor Clinic
  • Mereworth Motors
  • Moulton Main Garage Ltd
  • Sandles Car Supermarket
  • SML Motorsport & Vehicle Repairs

Eco Garage of the Year

  • C R Allen and Sons
  • eDub Services Ltd
  • Segensworth Automobiles Ltd
  • Stourbridge Automotive Ltd

Garage Management System of the Year

  • Autowork Online
  • Aztech Garage Master Pro
  • GA4
  • Garage Data Systems Ltd
  • Garage Hive
  • Techman

Independent Used Car Retailer of the Year

  • Available Car
  • German Autocentre Cars
  • LM Motor Company
  • Melbury Motor Company
  • Sandles Car Supermarket

Innovation Award

  • Bee Cool ACS Ltd
  • eDub Services Ltd
  • Shaikly Motor Company

Large Independent Garage of the Year

  • CCM
  • Carmaster UK Ltd
  • Central Garage (Lichfield) Ltd
  • German Autocentre
  • Hillclimb Garage
  • Shaikly Motor Company
  • Stourbridge Automotive Ltd
  • Uckfield Motor Services

Marketing Strategy of the Year

  • AAK Autos
  • AES York Ltd
  • CCM
  • Segensworth Automobiles Ltd
  • XL Motors

Small Independent Garage of the Year

  • Britannia MOT & Repair Centre Ltd
  • BTN Automotive Ltd
  • Holmer Green Service Centre
  • Maitland Motors
  • Oldfields Garage Services Ltd
  • The Garage Shefford Ltd
  • The Garage Warmington

Specialist Garage of the Year

  • Classic Car Mechanic Ltd
  • New Barn Cars
  • Ristes Motor Co Ltd
  • The MINI Repair Shop
  • Weissach UK Limited

Supplier of the Year

  • APD Car Parts
  • EU Ltd
  • Euro Car Parts
  • GSF Car Parts
  • Motor Parts Direct

Training and Development

  • CCM
  • Central Garage (Lichfield) Ltd
  • Hillclimb Garage
  • Shaikly Motor Company
  • Stourbridge Automotive Ltd

Being named a finalist in the BIG Awards is a significant achievement that highlights the hard work, dedication, and excellence of the independent garages. It not only validates their efforts but also enhances their reputation within the industry and among consumers.

Attending the BIG Awards is an excellent opportunity for networking, learning, and celebrating the successes within the industry. It’s a chance to connect with peers, share best practices, and gain insights into the latest trends and innovations.

The BIG Awards spotlight the high standards and exceptional service provided by independent garages. This event underscores the vital role these businesses play in the automotive industry and helps to promote trust and confidence among consumers.

Stuart James, CEO of the Independent Garage Association, expressed his gratitude: “We are delighted to see so many deserving finalists for this year’s BIG Awards. Their commitment to excellence and customer service sets a high standard for the entire industry. I would like to extend my thanks to all of the 2024 entrants and our sponsors for their support and participation. Together, we continue to drive the independent garage sector forward.”

Join Us

Celebrate with us and witness the recognition of the best in the business. Secure your tickets now for the BIG Awards 2024 and be part of this fantastic event.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please click here

Press Contact:

Stefan Wesley
Communications and Marketing Manager
Independent Garage Association
Phone: 01788 538359


Why a Dropping Inflation Rate is Great News for Your Independent Garage

Do you ever wonder how big economic changes impact your business? Let’s talk about something that’s been making headlines lately: the dropping inflation rate. While it might sound like a boring financial term, this is actually great news for your independent garage. Here’s why a lower inflation rate is a win for you.

Cheaper Supplies

When inflation is high, everything gets more expensive—including the parts and supplies you need for your garage. With the inflation rate going down, prices stabilise or even drop. This means you can get your hands on parts, tools, and other essentials at lower prices, helping you save money and boost your profits. Lower costs can also mean more cash to invest in new equipment or hire more staff.

More Customers

High inflation often makes people tighten their belts and cut back on spending, including car maintenance and repairs. But with inflation dropping, people have more disposable income. This means they’re more likely to spend on keeping their cars in good condition, leading to more business for you.

Easier Borrowing

When inflation goes down, interest rates usually follow. Thinking about expanding your garage, buying new tech, or sprucing up your space? Lower interest rates mean you can borrow money at better terms, making it cheaper to get loans or credit. This financial breathing room can help you grow and improve your garage, attracting even more customers.

Stable Prices

Constantly changing prices can be a headache for both you and your customers. High inflation forces you to keep adjusting your rates to keep up with rising costs. But with a lower inflation rate, prices become more stable. You can set consistent prices, making it easier for customers to plan their expenses and trust your services.

Competitive Edge

As an independent garage, you can use these benefits to outshine bigger chains. Pass on some of the savings to your customers through competitive pricing or improved services, and watch your business grow. Plus, with a healthier financial situation, you can invest in marketing to highlight what makes your garage the best value choice for the customer.

Wrapping Up

So, there you have it! A dropping inflation rate brings lots of good news for your independent garage. From lower costs and increased customer spending to better loan terms and stable pricing, the benefits are huge.

Here’s to more customers, better profits, and a bright future for your garage!

HMRC: Calculating minimum wage pay

HMRC Update

Begin forwarding:

To calculate whether a worker has been paid the minimum wage, you need to know 2 things, their minimum wage pay and the hours that they’ve worked. That sounds simple but it can get more complicated as a worker’s pay may be made up of a few different elements but not all of them will count as pay for minimum wage purposes.

Calculating minimum wage pay: elements that do and don’t count and the effect of deductions and payments
In this webinar, we will provide an overview of the different elements of paylooking at what counts and what doesn’t, also looking at deductions from and payments made by workers and the effect they have on minimum wage pay.
Register here

We want to give every employer the best possible opportunity to get things right, as well as provide as much useful information and resources as we can, so please join us where we will have a panel of experts on hand to answer your questions.

Yours faithfully
HM Revenue and Customs

UK Garage & Bodyshop Event 2024: Registration Now Open

This year’s UK Garage & Bodyshop Event is fast approaching and with an impressive list of suppliers already signed up don’t leave it too late to join them…

Taking place on 5th & 6th June 2024 The UK Garage & Bodyshop Event is the largest gathering of garage and bodyshop owners, technicians, specialists and detailing professionals in the UK. It will be a packed 2 days with an interactive exhibition of live demonstrations, workshops and panel discussion with leading industry experts.

Contact the UK Garage & Bodyshop Event team to book a stand or register to attend.

Register Now

IGA Stresses Need for Automotive Sector Focus in Government Apprenticeship Levy Letter Response

In response to the letter sent by the Independent Garage Association to the Chancellor on January 19, 2024 regarding apprenticeships in the automotive industry, MP Robert Halfron, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships, and Higher Education, addressed the concerns raised by the IGA. While appreciative of the response, the IGA emphasises the need for a more focused approach that considers the unique challenges faced by the automotive industry.

In their letter to the IGA, MP Robert Halfron expressed gratitude for the association’s continued support for apprenticeships and skills development. They highlighted the government’s commitment to increasing investment in the apprenticeship program in England, aiming to offer more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities across the country.

The IGA’s letter, sent to the Chancellor in advance of the Spring Budget, highlighted the urgency of the message, citing a 39% decrease in new Level 2 & 3 Light Vehicle apprenticeship registrations since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017, emphasising the importance of government action to address underfunding of automotive apprenticeship training.

While the response addressed various aspects, including the utilisation of the apprenticeship levy and funding for apprenticeship standards, the IGA stresses the importance of aligning policies and initiatives with the automotive sector.

Stuart James, Chief Executive of the Independent Garage Association, commented, “We appreciate MP Robert Halfron’s response, yet we note that there is limited reference to the automotive sector in the letter. The automotive industry plays a vital role in the economy, and it is crucial that policies and initiatives regarding apprenticeships consider its unique challenges and opportunities.”

James continued, “The letter predominantly focuses on the general principles of apprenticeships, and we urge for a more tailored approach to the challenges faced by the automotive sector. It is paramount that the government recognises the urgency of our message and brings about measures to apprenticeship funding to ensure the future of our industry.”

The IGA will continue its dialogue with policymakers to ensure that the concerns and priorities of the automotive sector are addressed in future discussions regarding apprenticeships and skills development.



  • You can find the IGA’s call for government action to address automotive skills crisis here

Reminder: Ensure Compliance with MOT Assessment Deadlines

UPDATED: 23/02/2024

Dear Garage Owners,

As of February 22nd, 2024, a significant number of testers, totalling 29,459 have yet to complete their annual MOT Assessments.

This situation warrants attention for several reasons.

Failure to meet the MOT assessment deadline entails more than just a minor inconvenience. Testers who miss this deadline must demonstrate their proficiency to a representative from the DVSA in a face-to-face evaluation at their place of work.

Before scheduling this demonstration test, technicians must submit a DBS certificate to the DVSA via online channels.

Effective January 8th, testers returning after a disciplinary hiatus of 28 days or those returning after a period of lapse or suspension, which includes failure to complete annual assessments, must also furnish a DBS check.

To ensure compliance and smooth operations, consider the following strategies:

Calendar Management: Highlight the MOT assessment deadline prominently on your calendar. Treat it with the utmost importance, recognising its significance to the success of your garage.

Early Scheduling: Plan and book assessments well in advance to avoid last-minute rushes. Note that the final day to complete assessments in March is the 27th due to the bank holiday.

Gentle Reminders: Provide timely reminders to your testers regarding the impending assessment. A subtle prompt can significantly aid in ensuring timely completion.

Recognition: Upon completing assessments, acknowledge and celebrate this accomplishment. Recognising that it is a collective effort and fostering a culture of acknowledgement can bolster team morale.

In the automotive industry, preparedness is paramount. Don’t allow the MOT assessment deadline to catch you off guard. Instead, adopt a proactive approach as a garage owner, effectively navigating potential challenges.

It is worth noting that an Annual Training Package can now be conveniently purchased online via the RMI Training Academy Website.

For online bookings, kindly click here. Alternatively, you may contact the booking team at 01788 538 399

Best regards

Stuart James
Chief Executive


Contact Us