A CAR dealership that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary has reopened after being briefly closed during the coronavirus outbreak and is offering a special deal for NHS staff and care workers.

West End Garage was opened in 1969 by Donald Dunne, a former oil company representative who took over the petrol station on the border with Bisley and inherited a car dealership.

Donald’s son Damian, who now runs the business, said his father knew little about cars but succeeded because of his personality and warmth.

Donald ditched the unreliable make of cars that had been sold at the garage and chose Datsun, later Nissan, after visiting a motor show with a mechanic friend.

Damian joined the business in 1990 after switching careers to sell cars. He had originally intended to make some money for a holiday but was so successful that he ended up running a dealership before joining his father at West End Garage and eventually taking over.

Under Damian’s leadership, the garage dropped the petrol station when Sainsbury’s Brookwood opened in 1994 and later switched from Nissan to Kia.

“Kia were like Nissan had been in my father’s time; good quality at a good price,” Damian said.

He said West End Garage’s alliance with the South Korean car maker happened when there was a step-change in quality.

“The seven-year warranty they offer says a great deal.”

The alliance has been very successful with West End Garage winning the top Dealer Excellence Award at the National Kia Dealer Conference 2020.

The car dealership and service centre closed at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak but has now reopened with strict social distancing measures in place.

It is also giving NHS staff and care workers a full vehicle health check, including an MOT test, for £19.99.

When Donald took over the garage, it came with a house, called Boundary Cottage, into which he and his wife Carol moved with their young family. The Dunnes later moved to another house in West End. There were eventually seven children, including Damian’s brother Brendan and sister Geraldine, who both work at the garage.

Donald, who died last year, was a very popular local character. He had come over to Britain from Dublin as a youngster and set up the Woking Irish Gold Society.

Damian is continuing his father’s legacy of running a business firmly rooted in the local area. The garage concentrates on providing cars and servicing for people in and around West End and supports a large number of sports teams in a wide range of sports.

Damian said: “Our modern family business has a strong base, built on traditional values and we are pleased to be able to open our doors again and look forward to serving our local community.

“We realise that things have had to change, however, we are ready for this.

“I would like to say a big thank you to my excellent team for their commitment in getting West End Garage back to business during these challenging times.”

Some of the special measures that have been introduced include a contactless collection and delivery facility for servicing and personalised virtual walk-arounds of stock vehicles via Youtube and a video call and remote order and contactless delivery for sales.

For more information, call 01483 797747,  email [email protected] or visit www.westendgarage.co.uk.