Car dealers’ salary growth declines after record payments of 2022

  • Car dealer group salaries have gone up by 7% on average over past 12 months
  • That’s broadly in line with UK average but down on 2022’s record figure, says BDO LLP
  • Parts, service and admin departments saw biggest increases

Time 9:28 am, October 2, 2023

Salaries at car dealer groups rose by 7% on average during the past 12 months – down on the previous year’s record figure.

That’s according to the latest Motor Salary Survey from BDO LLP, which said it was much less than 2022’s record year-on-year increase of 16% that was fuelled by a post-Covid surge in profits.

The figure doesn’t include management positions and is broadly in line with the UK average, added the accountants and business advisers.

Parts, service and administration departments enjoyed the biggest increases at 8-9%, while vehicle departments saw a lower increase of 4%, following a 14% rise the previous year.

Service technicians are the most sought-after role, and the skills shortage pushed up pay by 13% on average there.

The survey participants employ around 25,000 people and during the past year had an estimated staff turnover of 31%, although overall staffing levels remained consistent.

BDO director James Evans, who analyses the data for BDO’s motor retail team, said: ‘Staff retention remains a key issue.

‘At 31%, employee turnover is higher in motor retail than it is in the wider economy. For those completing our survey, it represents a loss of 7-8,000 people in the last 12 months.

‘This level of attrition comes at a significant cost to all groups in respect of recruitment and time invested in training, as well as having an upward pressure on wages as groups compete to attract the best talent.’

He added that with the agency sales model coming in and the continued shift to electric vehicles, employers had to plan for the skills they’ll need in the future.

‘Those dealers already considering the implications and planning accordingly will be more agile in their response and best placed to future-proof their business,’ said Evans.

This was the 13th survey by BDO and was based on salary information as of March 31, 2023. No sample sizes were given

Average pay comparisons

Department: Vehicles

2023: £66,750

2022: £64,000

Department: Parts

2023: £33,500

2022: £31,000

Department: Service

2023: £39,000

2022: £35,750

Department: Administration

2023: £36,750

2022: £34,000

Source: Motor Salary Survey, BDO Motor Retail, 2023

Main image: Bank of England

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John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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