In 2021, auto retailers achieved their highest net profit margin in the history of the BDO Motor 150 Report. The Motor 150 group of retailers also surpassed £1bn in pre-tax profits for the first time by reaching an extraordinary £1.7bn, compared to £449m in 2020.

The largest 75 auto retail groups achieved a 2.39% net margin. The next 75 bettered this with a 2.59% net margin.

BDO says the “extraordinary” increases in used car values delivered significantly improved margins, one that retailers have fully capitalised on.

BDO head of motor retail Steve Le Bas said the industry now finds itself at a turning point. This is because of factors like the switch to EV, moving from franchise to agency, and the industry-wide skills shortage.

“Motor retail is not easy, but what’s constant is the ability of dealers to adapt, change and succeed, particularly when times are tough.”