It comes with used car prices being blamed for higher inflation
The top 100 most profitable car dealers in the UK made a combined profit of £1.65bn in 2020.
Despite showrooms being closed during the pandemic by two national lockdowns, the largest dealer groups managed to increase earnings compared to 2019.
New Car Dealer Magazine research reveals combined profits in 2020 for dealers were up £490m on the £1.16bn made in 2019.
The most profitable dealer group in the UK, Arnold Clark, increased profits by 82 per cent in 2020, raking in £354.2m.
Car Dealer Magazine editor in chief James Baggott said: “Car dealers changed their businesses during the lockdowns, spinning on a sixpence to offer customers click and collect and home delivery options while showrooms were closed.
“They also benefited from huge government support, including furlough cash and retail rates relief, which has no doubt helped.
“Many dealers have also realised that they can operate with less staff and with positive tailwinds from rising used car prices and increased demand from lockdown savers for new wheels, the industry has turned what could have been a disastrous year into one of their best ever.”
Car Dealer Magazine analysed the accounts of both franchised and independent dealers to create its Top 100 list of the most profitable dealers.
Experts from automotive industry analysts Interpath poured over dealership firms’ accounts to generate the list using EBITDA profit figures.
Interpath’s Mike Jones, who compiled the list, added: ‘Franchised and independent car dealers coped phenomenally well through the most challenging business scenarios we’ve ever seen.
‘To see a 41 per cent increase in the average profit figures compared to last year’s list, and given the fact that we’ve been through the Covid pandemic, is frankly amazing.’
The full list of the most profitable car dealers can be seen at CarDealerMagazine.co.uk/Top100.