2,000 new car dealerships opened across the UK in 2017, according to figures released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
The BIS’ 2017 UK Car Dealer Survey found the number of UK car dealers has been steadily growing for almost a decade, with an average of 4,200 dealerships opening per month in the UK.
But that growth has been largely driven by smaller businesses, which saw their annual sales increase by 5.6 per cent last year.
While some of those small businesses have opened new shops in recent years, others have been left behind by the wider industry.
The survey revealed that nearly 80 per cent of the new car dealership outlets in the country are owned by small businesses, meaning there are now an estimated 400,000 small businesses in the sector.
Of those, 40 per cent have a sales turnover of under £2 million, with another 40 per, or 40, per cent said to have annual sales turnover under £10 million.
Other than the large and established car dealers, smaller businesses in 2017 are finding it harder to access finance.
A total of 5,600 businesses in England were able to access an initial loan to buy a car, while 1,200 were able in Wales.
However, the BIS said there are still an estimated 8,500 small businesses that do not have access to finance.
“It is estimated that around 3,000 businesses in Britain do not currently have access and that this number is likely to rise as the economy continues to recover,” the survey revealed.
“More than 40 per diem for all adults in England and Wales will be available to purchase a new car in 2017.
More than 1,000,000 people in England will be able to buy their first new car this year, which is an increase of 1.5 per cent compared to 2016.
There will be an additional 2.8 million more car owners in England by 2020, which will be a 2.7 per cent increase compared to 2017.”
The number of people in work is expected to increase by more than 7 per cent in 2020 compared to last year, with over 14 million fewer people in employment.”
The data also revealed that, of the UK’s new car sales, only around a third of them are being financed by car insurance.
In contrast, more than 50 per cent are being funded by the Government, with a total of nearly 60 million new car insurance policies available to consumers this year.
Insurance companies have been hit hard by the global economic downturn, with more than half of their revenue coming from overseas markets.
Many car insurers are struggling to attract new customers as more people opt for cheaper car insurance from the existing market.
Insurance company chief executive David Ritchie said: “The UK is home to the second highest number of car insurance companies in the world, and with the economy still in recession, the sector is seeing a drop in business.”
We have been trying to build our business back up to where it should be.
But the situation has changed, and that’s what’s happened.”
Insurance policy costs are falling, but car insurance is still too expensive.
If we don’t get the right policy for our customers, we are putting their lives at risk.
“The BIST’s data also showed that more than 2.3 million households were not able to afford their mortgage interest payments last year because they did not have enough cash in their bank accounts to cover them.
In total, about 8.5 million households in the U.K. were left without access to financial help, up by more at least 2.5 percentage points on the previous year.