The majority of dealers said there were positive about business prospects for 2017, and have performed the same or better since the Brexit vote, in a survey from Close Brother Motor Finance.

Specifically, 63% of the 750 dealers Close asked said they were positive about their business prospects in 2017. 42% of dealers said they are performing better since the Brexit vote, and 40% said their business is operating the same.

Just 15% said their business was performing worse overall than six months ago.

Finance is expected to play an important part in the future. 47% of dealers said the proliferation of new finance products was the biggest opportunity for the year ahead. The second and third biggest perceived opportunities for dealers were changing consumer behaviour (33%) and rising affordability of vehicles (31%).

When asked what the biggest threat to their business was, 43% said it was the UK going into recession.

Paul Kaye, sales and marketing director, Close Brothers Motor Finance said:  “Dealers’ positivity about their current and future business levels is promising, particularly given the heightened economic uncertainty we have been seeing over the past few months.  Despite these turbulent market conditions, consumer confidence remains resilient, with a record year of growth in the transactions for used vehicles for the year, and clearly this is benefitting dealerships across the nation.

“It is also no surprise that dealerships cite new financial products as the biggest opportunity for their business. The more financing options that are available from providers in showrooms, the greater likelihood that customers will leave their forecourt with a vehicle on that day. With consumers increasingly taking advantage of the high levels of ‘nearly-new’ stock that has been flooding the market of late, dealerships that maintain and grow their understanding of changing consumer behaviour and the opportunities that arise from these changes will continue to flourish.”