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Top national award for D&D Autos

Ashford's leading independent garage has picked up another top national award.

D&D Autos was named Large Garage/Garage Chain of the Year in the CAT Awards 2017, sponsored by the prestigious CAT magazine.

The awards, which are based on votes from satisfied customers, are now in their tenth year, and D&D Autos' success this year saw it move one rung up the ladder after being named runner-up in 2015.

Business owner Derek Pestridge and wife Margaret were at the sparkling award ceremony in Manchester's Lowry Hotel as the winner was announced from the final four nominations.

"Being named the best in the country in such a great competition was a fantastic feeling," Derek said later. "The fact that this award is based on nominations from satisfied customers makes it even better."

The success follows similar national recognition in the 2011 IAAF (Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation) awards, when the family-run business was named Garage of the Year.

D&D Autos, based in purpose-built premises in Moat Way, Ashford, continues to grow, with four new employees having joined the team over the past 12 months.

Many of the 22 employees have been with the business for many years, with one, Barry Parrett, about to retire after nearly 50 years in the trade, 18 of those with D&D Autos.

The company has recently introduced a courtesy van for fleet/ commercial customers in addition to its courtesy shuttle bus for car owners, and uses new 'tablet' technology to streamline the workflow and provide a better service.

The environmentally aware workshop, built eight years ago complete with its own rainwater harvesting system, now also boasts a 50kwh solar PV system that has boosted the family firm's green credentials even further.