There will be significantly fewer car retailers operating in the UK in the years to come, as a result of vehicle manufacturers tightening control over dealership standards, according to analysts PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Chris Kent, a director in the automotive team at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said many more dealers are expected to follow those that have already closed their doors this year.

Kent will make his comments at a forthcoming EurotaxGlass conference.

"Manufacturers have introduced ever-stricter standards for those who hold franchise agreements, in an effort to exercise closer control over their brand's corporate identity," said Kent. "Such restrictions will cause some dealers to resign the franchise while others will be forced out, leading to a smaller pool of businesses representing each marque.  Competition for sales will remain fierce, however, with a broader range of car brands chasing what may well be a dwindling number of prospective buyers.

"With current economic conditions already a serious threat to the viability of some dealerships, further closures seem inevitable."