||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Halfords. (Discuss) Proposed since May 2013.|
|Predecessor(s)||Nationwide Autocentres, Lex Autocentres|
|Headquarters||Redditch, England, UK|
|Key people||Bill Duffy
Chief Operating Officer
|Products||286 repair garages|
|Operating income||£7.5m (2009)|
|Parent||Halfords (since 2010)|
Halfords Autocentres (Formally Called Nationwide Autocentre) is a car servicing and repair company in the United Kingdom, specialising in car servicing, MOT testing, brakes, tyres, Exhausts, and air conditioning services/repairs. As of 2013 there are 286 autocentres in the UK.
It was founded in January 2001 as a former subsidiary of Lex Autocentres, owned by Lex Service plc when it was under the leadership of Andy Harrison. Since 1999, these were part of the RAC's motoring division, when it was bought by Lex. 41 former Lex Autocentres became Nationwide Autocentres when the company was formed by private equity group NGBI (National Bank of Greece Private Equity), who sold their stake in February 2006 when the chief executive was Tom Dunn. From 2006 it was owned by five managers in a management buyout.
Previous to 1993, it was originally known as Lucas Autocentres with 62 garages.
In 2009, it started a scheme to raise money for the NSPCC.
It bought 96 Lex Autocentres from the RAC in April 2002 and 54 Stop 'n' Steer garages from Kwik Fit in February 2003.
On 18 February 2010, it was confirmed that UK bike and car parts chain Halfords were to buy the company in a £73.2 million deal. Halfords are taking over all 224 outlets and re-branding them 'Halfords Autocentre'. They also plan to open another 200 outlets, potentially creating 1000+ jobs.
They carry out servicing at 6, 12 and 24 month intervals, with different levels of detail for each.
They are based at the Halfords Group head office in Redditch, Worcestershire. They have more than 500 ATA (Automotive Technician Accreditation) approved mechanics, more than any other chain of garages.
There were previously strong connections with The Automobile Association because in October 2004 when the AA was taken over by a private equity company, Nationwide Autocentre took over the running of 50 AA servicing centres owned by Halfords, including 400 staff. Later, a deal was done with the AA, whereby the company would pay £10 to the AA for every car brought into a garage.