October 21, 2018

UK new van market declines -6.1% in September

The British light commercial vehicle (LCV) market declined last month, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Just under 54,000 new LCVs were registered in the second busiest month of the year to date, a -6.1% decrease in line with the overall trend so far in 2018.

Demand for pickups has continued to grow however, with registrations up 8.8%, as sales of small and medium-sized vans declined by -42.9% and -14.4% respectively. Meanwhile, although large vans experienced a modest -4.0% decrease, they have retained their market-leading share.

In the year-to-date, registrations are down by -3.0%, with 274,247 new LCVs joining British roads. Overall, however, the market remains at historic high levels that have been maintained since August 2015, with pickups enjoying a 4.6% boost so far in 2018.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “We have seen fluctuations in UK van registrations so far this year, but the overall downward trend shows that there is some hesitancy in the market. Businesses need certainty to invest and future growth now depends on government providing the right economic conditions to encourage operators to renew their fleets.”

Russell Adams, commercial vehicle manager at Lex Autolease, also commented: “Despite a drop in year-on-year new van registrations, we’re still seeing strong demand across all sectors and expect this to continue through to the end of the year. Maintaining strong service levels and avoiding downtime remains the priority for operators, and updating ageing fleets is key to this.

“We’re still seeing a high number of enquiries related to electric vehicles and are working with customers to determine how best to introduce electrification into their fleet.”