Around two thirds of respondents for the latest sentiment survey by NextGear Capital and Cox Automotive have stated that they plan to invest in their business during the next 12 months.

When the approximately 100 respondents were asked ‘What best sums up your ambition for your used car business in 2019?’, 65% of those asked said it was to grow their business throughout the year.

When posed the question ‘What will you be investing in to support your business in 2019?’, 52% said they would be investing in additional used car stock.

When it comes to stock funding, nine out of ten dealers said they will use more than one source of funding, with wholesale finance and their own capital the most popular answers.

Liam Quegan, managing director of NextGear Capital, said: “The survey results show dealers share a very positive outlook for the year ahead, with investment and growth a clear ambition for many.

“After what was a challenging year for many dealers, and with Brexit now just around the corner, it’s exciting to see they’re not holding back but are actively charging at the year ahead with a determined vigour.

“Despite the uncertainty of what will happen after Brexit, the potential for growth this year is nevertheless there for the taking. The used vehicle market is growing, consumer finance products are making it possible for more people to afford better and newer cars, online trading is breaking down traditional barriers and the wholesale market is offering a greater choice of stock than ever before. Navigating this requires a sharp business brain, entrepreneurial flair and reliable partners.”

The December survey showed that dealers are increasingly turning to wholesale finance to buy used vehicles for resale. When asked to name their dominant source of funding, in the survey of 240 dealers nationwide half of the dealers responding said they used a wholesale finance package or stock funding plan versus 38% who opt to use their own capital.