About us

    Hippo Approved is one part of the family-owned Hippo Motor Group, with over 60 years of experience in the motor trade.

    Formerly known as Hippo Prestige, our initial focus was on the supply of performance, sporting and luxury vehicles. Today, as Hippo Approved, we’ve expanded our range of cars to accommodate for all budgets, with a wide variety of purchasing and leasing options available - and the same unwavering commitment to great customer service.

    Our service is, first and foremost, built on customer relationships, and we nurture the unique buying journey each of our customers takes with us from start to finish. In simple terms, if you choose to buy a car with us, we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure you get the right deal on the right car.

    We’re proud to be a customer-led business, and whether you’re visiting us at our Blackburn showroom or browsing our full online range, we promise to deliver the same premium experience that has seen us recognised for our ‘highly rated’ customer service by AutoTrader for the past five years.

    Our history

    A family trade for over a century

    We’ve been in business for nearly 120 years - and part of the motor trade for over 60. From coal to cars, it’s been quite the journey for the Preston family so far:

    The start of a family business


    George Paley Preston set up as a coal merchant in 1906, entering into a successful partnership with his son, GPP Jr, in the 1920s.

    Come the end of the Second World War, GPP Jr’s sons, Stanley and Eric, had joined the family business, building success in Lancashire through to the mid-20th century.

    A new direction


    In 1962, Stanley and Eric, financed with the help of an ESSO garage, decided to gear up for a new challenge, buying and selling cars around Earby as EWS Preston - with plenty of success along the way.

    The birth and boom of Prestons BMW


    The brothers seized the opportunity to acquire a new site for EWS Preston in 1971 and set up a franchise dealership with BMW, stocking an array of ultra-desirable, prestige models from the German manufacturer. A defining moment for the business came in 1977 in the form of its first custom-built showroom and the birth of Prestons BMW.

    With another custom-built site arriving in 1991, the Prestons BMW brand pushed to the forefront of prestige car retail, enjoying an award-winning period of sales.

    Land Rover and MINI join the family


    With Prestons BMW firmly entrenched as a leader in the luxury market, the business took on a new venture on the brink of the millennium with a custom-built Hillendale Land Rover showroom.

    This was followed by another custom-built MINI BMW base in 2001 to coincide with the relaunch of the MINI marque.

    The dawn of Hippo


    Tom and Richard Preston created Hippo Motor Sales in 2007, adding finance and leasing options in 2008.

    2013 saw the unveiling of our current £2m showroom and servicing centre, followed by our state-of-the-art £3m preparation centre in 2019 and a £1.2m showroom and office extension in 2020.


    Hippo Approved has moved away from exclusively prestige sales to become an all-encompassing used car retailer. We’re incredibly proud of our heritage and growth as a family-run business to this very day - and will continue to introduce new services to make your experience with us even better.