UK dealerships are positive about the prospects for growth in 2017, with 65% of dealers expecting growth over the next year, according to a survey by Close Brothers Motor Finance.

The ‘Dealer Satisfaction Survey’ also found that 58% attributed their positivity to new finance products, while 42% hose changing consumer behaviour.

Dealers also believed that cars were becoming more affordable, with 46% citing it as the main reason for their optimism, a rise from just 25% in November 2016.

Close Brothers found that the dealers’ belief in the performance of their businesses had also risen, with 45% stating they were performing better over the 6 months between July and December, compared to 33% in the previous period.

Despite performance positivity, 58% of dealers told Close Brothers Motor Finance that a potential recession was the biggest threat to their business, a rise of 20% compared with November’s survey.

Some 41% of the dealers cited Brexit as one of the main threats to business growth, up 4% from November.

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Paul Kaye, sales and marketing director, Close Brothers Motor Finance said: “It’s promising to see such a large number of dealers positive about the prospect for their business over the coming months, particularly given the heightened economic and political uncertainty that has become the norm as of late.

“With the fall in the pound making manufacturing of cars the cheapest it has ever been, it is important that smaller dealerships remain competitive against their larger manufacturer-sponsored franchises.”