BIG Awards 2023 celebrates winners and independent industry

The British Independent Garage (BIG) Awards have been hailed a success, celebrating the best independent workshops in the UK.

Taking place at the King Power Stadium, home of Leicester City FC, the BIG Awards 2023 were hosted by the Independent Garage Association (IGA) and saw award winners take home a share of a £50,000 prize fund, with £1,000 from the IGA itself for each of those triumphant in their category. 

“[I am delighted] at the spotlight these awards shine on the tireless commitment to excellence the independent sector provides,” Stuart James, CEO of the Independent Garage Association, commented on the night. “The BIG Awards 2023 celebrates the hard work and dedication of our independent garage community and we’re thrilled to recognise and reward their outstanding contributions.”

BIG Awards 2023: The winners

The independent garage industry has a crucial role to play in the future of the automotive industry. The UKs car parc is constantly ageing, drivers are increasingly turning to the used-car sector, and many are shunning franchised dealerships and looking for ‘cheaper’ alternatives to get their cars serviced.

Keeping this in mind, the BIG Awards 2023 spanned 18 categories, recognising champions from all areas of the independent sector. This year’s awards highlighted the dedication, innovation and hard work displayed by both businesses and individuals who all play a vital role in keeping the UK’s drivers on the road. 

Nominees in attendance at the BIG Awards 2023 were treated to the quips and good-natured barbs of host Mark Durdan-Smith, returning to the stage for the second year. The atmosphere was fantastic as everyone waited to see who would be leaving with the coveted titles. 

The winners at the BIG Awards 2023, as well as some highly-commended businesses, in each category were:

Opus DrivePRO Elite Bundle
Winner – Stourbridge Automotive Ltd
Garage Equipment Provider of the Year
Winner – Pichler Tools Ltd
Parts Supplier of the Year
Winner – GSF Car Parts
Garage Management System of the Year
Winner – Garage Hive
Digital Engagement Award
Winner – CCM
Business Improvement Award
Winner – Guide Bridge MOT & Service Centre
Innovation Award               
Winner – eDub Services Ltd
Community Engagement Award
Highly Commended – Britannia MOT & Repair Centre
Winner – Hillclimb Garage Ltd
Training and Development Award
Highly Commended – Hillclimb Garage Ltd
Winner – Shaikly Motor Company Ltd
Consumer Choice Award
Highly Commended – Perry & Prouse
Winner – Amors Auto Solutions
Customer Service Award
Highly Commended – Hillclimb Garage Ltd
Winner – German Autocentre
Specialist Garage of the Year
Highly Commended – Bee Cool ACS Ltd
Winner – Ristes Motor Co Ltd
Outstanding Achievement Award
Winner – David Fry
Independent Used Car Retailer of the Year
Winner – Sandles Car Supermarket
Independent Garage of the Year – Small
Winner – Performance 3000

Independent Garage of the Year – Large
Winner – Stourbridge Automotive Ltd
Independent Garage of the Year – Overall
Winner – Hillclimb Garage Ltd

As well as the award winners everyone in attendance at the event was entered into a draw to win a £10,000 Opus DrivePRO Elite Bundle, with the winner being drawn on the night.

Lifetime achievement

Rounding off the BIG Awards 2023, Dave Garratt, former chief executive of the Garage Equipment Association (GEA) received a standing ovation as he won the lifetime achievement award.

In presenting the honour, James highlighted the work and commitment shown by Garratt throughout his career. “His passion, dedication and visionary leadership have left an indelible mark on the sector for many years,” he told the audience. “He tirelessly championed innovation, safety and expertise, fostering an environment where the industry could thrive and evolve. 

“Under his guidance, the GEA became a beacon of integrity. His steadfast commitment to advocating for industry standards, promoting collaboration, and nurturing talent, has elevated the industry to new heights. As we stand here tonight, we recognise not only the achievements of a career, but also the character of a man who has devoted his life to making a positive impact on each and every business here tonight.”

Making a difference

James also announced at the BIG Awards 2023, that the IGA had raised £10,000 for Ben, the automotive industry charity, to help it continue its work in supporting those working in the sector to receive the help, advice and support they need. 

“I want to extend my thanks to everyone who generously donated to Ben at the BIG Awards 2023,” James said. “Our sector is built on a foundation of helping one another, and this donation will help provide vital support to our fellow automotive workers and their families. “

“As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and in light of the current cost-of-living crisis, there has never been a more important time for our industry to unite to help those in need.”

Ben, a trusted automotive charity, offer free support for life for anyone who works, or has worked in the automotive industry, as well as their dependents. They can help with financial, emotional and mental health worries for those in the automotive sector facing challenges.

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