Sir Tom Farmer opened the first Kwik Fit centre in McDonald Road, Edinburgh, in 1971. In 1973, the first centre was opened in the Netherlands, and with the acquisition of Speedy in France, the company now has over 570 centres in mainland Europe. In 1995, Kwik Fit Insurance, part of Kwik Fit Financial Services, was formed and has since grown to become one of the United Kingdom's leading car insurance distributors.
In October 1999, Farmer sold the company to the Ford Motor Company for US $1.6b. A decision by Ford to concentrate on its core business, led to the sale of Kwik Fit in August 2002, to CVC Capital Partners. In June 2005, Kwik Fit was sold for £800M, to PAI Partners, a leading French-based private equity firm. The Kwik Fit Financial Services arm of the business, was sold by PAI to Fortis Insurance UK, now Ageas (UK) Limited, for a figure of £215M in July 2010. The tyre retailing and service centre business was bought by ITOCHU Corporation in 2011.
First shown in 1984, the "You Can't Get Better Than a Kwik-Fit Fitter" adverts were broadcast on the main United Kingdom television channels. In 2008, the Kwik Fit fitter returned to television, with the "You'll Be Amazed at What We Do" campaign.
In 1990, Kwik Fit received its first national training award. In January 2009, Kwik Fit was awarded Beacon status from the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) for its further educations training programmes. This was given following a successful Ofsted inspection, in which programmes were graded 'outstanding'.