A third of drivers have postponed a new car purchase due to economic uncertainly, yet 82% are planning to purchase a new vehicle within the next three years.
Research by Close Brothers Motor Finance has revealed that Brexit affected a quarter of motorists, who have held off swapping their car for a new model.
By 2021 almost 32 million new or used cars could be sold, according to the study.
The Britain Under the Bonnet report looks at consumers’ attitudes and car buying behaviours – along with views from dealerships across the country – to give a comprehensive view of the UK’s motor industry in 2018.
It finds that the sector is optimistic about the year ahead with 95% of dealers across the country saying they expect their business to grow in 2018 - a huge increase from last year’s 63%. This is likely due to an anticipated rise in demand for used vehicles over the coming months, particularly as the report has found that 4 million (16%) buyers will likely turn to the used car market, while 18% say they will be looking to buy a cheaper vehicle.
2017 saw the second highest number of used cars change hands in history, a trend that looks set to continue this year.
Rebecca McNeil, chief executive officer at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said: “The motor industry is evolving, but it remains a stalwart of the British economy. Dealers and manufacturers are having to adjust to economic realities, but dealers are positive, because they see demand for cars persisting. Increased innovation and flexibility, as well as having the right cars on the forecourt will allow them to make the most of the trend towards used cars and maximise the business opportunities that continue to exist in this more competitive market.”