Press release

Industry's very best celebrated at the 2021 virtual Auto Trader Retailer Awards

Yesterday (Thursday 22nd July) more than 450 of the UK’s most progressive car retailers tuned in to the Auto Trader Retailer Awards marking 14 years of celebrating the very best in automotive retail.

Whilst the ongoing pandemic meant the usual central London location was again replaced with a virtual Awards ceremony, it didn’t diminish the celebrations, as 18 retailers lifted trophies in recognition for their exceptional customer service, digital excellence, and for successfully adapting to the challenges of COVID-19.

The top accolade, the Retailer of the Year, was awarded to three businesses representing the very best of the best: Abbey Park (under 50 cars); Anthony Betts (50-100 cars); and Hills of Woodford (over 100 cars). 

Award winners were described as ‘truly inspirational’ and ‘the best-of-the-best’ by Auto Trader’s group sales directors, Rebecca Clark and Darren Moon, who presented the awards alongside COO, Catherine Faiers, and brand directors Marc Thornborough and Chris Penny.  

From an engaging digital experience to outstanding customer service, the Retailer Awards recognised the top performing automotive retailers in the UK across seven different categories, including the Customer Experience Award. Based on one of the largest mystery shopping exercises of its type, the category saw 1,000 of Auto Trader’s best performing retailers gradually whittled down to just three deserving winners via three mystery shopping phases: email (1,000 retailers), telephone (450 retailers) and a personalised video tour of a car (150 retailers) which given the current situation replaced a face-to-face forecourt interaction. 

The winners of the Customer Experience Award were: Wisely Automotive (under 50 cars); G.C. Motors (50-100 cars); and EMG Motor Group (over 100 cars).

Of the seven categories, three were self-nomination: The Innovation Award, which recognised a retailer that had taken bold steps to respond to the changing needs of its customers, and The People & Culture Award, which identified those businesses that are going above and beyond to provide the very best working culture for its colleagues.

This year retailers were also able to self-nominate for The Rising Star Award, which identifies those burgeoning businesses that are destined to set the industry alight. This year’s very deserving winner was Uxbridge based Legacy Cars. 

This year saw the highest number of self-nominations ever to enter the Awards, which were judged by an independent panel of experts from some of the UK’s best-known and respected brands: Google UK (Matthew Legge, Automotive Lead), Rightmove (Sarah Brown, Consumer Marketing Director), The Specialist Works (Sharon Brown, Group Marketing Director), and Ennis & Co. (Lynda Ennis, founder and CEO). 

Commenting on this year’s winners, Auto Trader’s Group Sales Director, Rebecca Clark, said: Not only did we use a very prestigious judging panel of experts this year, but also the opinions of thousands of car buyers, an in-depth analysis of millions of data points from across our marketplace, and also one of the largest mystery shopping exercises of its kind. 2021’s finalists and overall winners absolutely represent the very best of British automotive retailing and we’re thrilled to be able to recognise and celebrate their incredible success, particularly within the current climate. The industry response to the pandemic has been hugely impressive – the commitment, the innovation and the dedication to service has been humbling to see. We have never been prouder to be part of this industry or to be a partner for our customers.” 

Winners of the 2021 Auto Trader Retailer Awards:

Award category

Award winners

1-50 cars

Award winners

50-100 cars

Award winners:

100 + cars

Digital Experience Award

Source Any car

Curtis Toyota Ballymena

Edgar Simpson & Sons

Customer Experience Award (mystery shopping)

Wisely Automotive

G C Motors

EMG Motor Group

Customer Choice Award

Nath Motors

Britannia Motor Company

Henley Cars

The Innovation Award (self-nomination)

Crompton Way Motors

Acklam Car Centre

Vindis Group

Retailer of the Year Award

Abbey Park

Anthony Betts

Hills of Woodford

Rising Star of the Year

Legacy Cars


Under 200 cars

Over 200 cars

People & Culture Award (self-nomination)

Redgate Lodge

Peter Vardy


As well as trophies, the winners were provided with a host of assets to promote their success to potential car buyers, including window stickers, digital logos, and social media posts.

Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

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