The BVRLA, outlining its four primary focus areas for 2018, has put Brexit at the top of its agenda.

“Keeping our sector on the table, on the agenda, in the context of all the stuff going on around Brexit, has been a key objective in 2017 and will remain a key objective in 2018,” chief executive Gerry Keaney told attendees while speaking at the BVRLA’s annual parliamentary reception.

“We need a trade agreement that gives us a tariff free environment going forward – that is critical for our members,” Keaney warned.

Anticipating increased costs as Brexit negotiations continue, Keaney told delegates that without a tariff agreement vehicle and parts prices could rise by 10% and 4.5% respectively.

The Vehicle Remarketing Association also highlighted Brexit as a significant challenge for the car sector this year.

“The issue [with Brexit] is that there remain such a wide range of potential scenarios – from a cliff edge departure from the EU through to abandoning Brexit altogether – and the outcome may not be known until the last minute,” said Glenn Sturley, chairman.

“Against this backdrop, the remarketing industry must maximise values for used vehicles, realising them in the quickest time possible.”

Sturley’s advice was to remain highly flexible, ensuring constant access to reliable and ongoing information and support.

“Our view is that this is a time when knowing what is happening on an almost daily basis is essential for everyone working in the sector,” he said. “Factors may change very quickly that affect the … outcomes achieved.”