Luke Laurence from the Crown Suzuki dealership in Hendon, North London, has become the first individual to win The Motor Ombudsman’s National Garage Star Award – the top prize in the industry watchdog’s annual Star Awards competition.
The trophy was formally presented for the first time in-person at a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament.
Launched in 2020 amidst the pandemic, the annual Star Awards recognise Motor Ombudsman-accredited businesses and staff members working for these organisations, who have gone the extra mile to help customers when buying a car, having it maintained, or at the time of making a purchase or a claim on a warranty.
For the 2023 Star Awards, 3,186 online nominations were received from customers up and down the UK – a new record for the competition, and more than double the number seen last year. A shortlist of three finalists was drawn up by The Motor Ombudsman for each of this year’s eight regional Garage Star Awards. The shortlist of 24 contenders was then passed to a four-strong judging panel.
In what was a closely-fought contest, four individual team members working at separate dealerships, two car showrooms, and two independent garages, emerged victorious including Luke Laurence from the southern region, who was chosen for going above and beyond during the purchase of a vehicle by a customer who had recently moved from another country, and where English was not their native language.
From the ‘class of 2023’, it was the nomination for Luke Laurence that unanimously caught the attention of the panel, meaning the North London sales executive was bestowed the title of National Garage Star, receiving £1,000 in high street vouchers in recognition of his exceptional achievement.
Receiving the trophies, Luke said: “I am delighted to have won both a regional trophy and the highest accolade in this year’s Star Awards out of the thousands of nominations submitted by customers during the past few months. I always make a point of doing whatever I can to ensure the highest level of customer service and satisfaction, and I am very honoured to have been publicly recognised for my hard work and dedication to my role. In addition, to have received the awards at the Houses of Parliament at such a prestigious ceremony, makes this a very memorable and special achievement.”
Bill Fennell, chief ombudsman and managing director of The Motor Ombudsman, said: “Luke’s relentless pursuit of going the extra mile and determination to think outside the box to find the best possible solution for the consumer, made him a very worthy recipient of our National Garage Star Award and the regional Garage Star Award for the South.”
For this year’s Customer Service Star Awards, which recognise Motor Ombudsman-accredited vehicle manufacturers and vehicle warranty providers that have gone the extra mile for their customers, the judging panel named Genesis Motor UK and The Motoring Organisation, as the respective winners.