An Exmouth entrepreneur believes he is teaming up with a 'big brother' after opening a new HiQ centre in the south of England.
Martin Price, along with business partner Mike Pickering, has become a franchisee with the HiQ network and will now operate a centre in St Andrew's Road.
Martin, who has 17 years experience in the tyre trade, said that becoming a franchisee with the brand was like working with a member of the family.
The new franchise partnership is a welcome boost to the network, which promises to expand to 185 sites by the end of the year.
He was recommended to the network by local franchisees Gary Thomson and Justin Roberton, who used to be Martin's area managers when he was a centre manager at HiQ Honiton six years ago.
Martin said: "Having the backing of HiQ's national brand is like working with a big brother. The network helps to open doors that you could never open as an independent retailer.
"I asked Mike if he fancied a career change. He has been a talented salesman for a builder's merchant for some time and he was keen to come on board with me and open a HiQ centre.
"Our skills complement eachother and we have been close friends for 35 years, so everything just felt right about the move.
"We saw the opportunity to purchase the site and it represented the perfect opportunity for us.
"Hopefully this will be the first of three centres for us. HiQ's national network, supported by local, entrepreneurial spirit appealed to us, and we are excited about the possibilities for us."
HiQ's franchise development manager Peter Tye said: "The partnership with Martin and Mike has been some time in the making, and we are delighted to have them on board.
"They have big, ambitious plans for the future and we are sure that motorists in the Exmouth area will begin to enjoy some excellent local service that they will be sure of for many months to come."