In 1972 Reg and Hazel Rowe founded an automotive accessories mail order business. By 1974, the business had a turnover of $1 million and opened its first retail location in Brisbane, QLD. In 1993 the business was operating seven stores when Bob Thorn joined the company as Director of Retail Operations. Within 12 months the number of stores operating increased to 14 and Bob Thorn was appointed General Manager. In 1997 Bob Thorn was appointed Managing Director and served in this role until January 2006, during his tenure the business quickly grew to over 200 stores.
Supercheap Auto acquired the Perth based Marlows business in May 2003. Marlows was the largest independent retailer of automotive parts and accessories in Western Australia and South Australia at that time, operating 20 stores in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria under the Marlows and Rocca Bros brands. These stores were rapidly rebranded as Supercheap Auto stores following completion of the acquisition and fully integrated into Supercheap Auto's operations. In November 2003 Supercheap Auto opened its first seven stores in New Zealand, all seven stores were opened on the same day and over 13,000 customers visited the stores during the first two days of trading. Supercheap Auto currently has over 40 stores trading in New Zealand.
In July 2004, the company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, the initial public offering was well received in the market and in fact was oversubscribed resulting in a scale back of the general public offering.