A SELBY based online company set up to assist the car dealing trade is celebrating its first decade in business.

Autoweb was established by friends Richard McCombe and Peter Fairfield in 2004 as a website to manage the hundreds of online sources used by car retailers.

Starting out in a small office in Selby, Mr Fairfield had experience of the motor trade, having managed a fleet of car transporters, while Mr McCombe was a self-taught graphic designer.

The pair came up with the business idea following Mr McCombe's experiences of shopping for a used car.

He said: "The websites I saw were beyond dreadful. We decided we could give dealers something that was better than a dreary stocklist.”

Mr Fairfield soon signed up Autoweb's first couple of hundred dealers, and the the business flourished, with five extra staff hired within two years to cope with the demand.

Autoweb continued to grow and by 2012 had expanded to provide jobs for 20 people.

Customers range from small-scale operations with a dozen vehicles on offer to large, franchised dealers with multi-million turnovers.

As the business - which can be found at www.autoweb.co.uk - celebrates its tenth anniversary, it now employs 26 staff, and fills a three-storey Georgian property opposite Selby Abbey.

Mr McCombe said: "Our business was built on true hard graft, and not folding to the inevitable knocks that come along the way.

"Don’t get complacent when you are successful and always turn a negative into a positive – it is essential to stay positive.

“The great thing about a trustworthy partnership such as ours is that you will pick each other up if you see lull. It has always worked for us.”