February 18, 2020

UK new van market falls -23.5% in September

The UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market declined -23.5% in September, as regulatory changes, coupled with economic and political uncertainty, impacted the market.

According to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 41,216 LCVs were registered in the month, down some 12,632 units on September 2018.

Registrations of larger vans weighing 2.5-3.5 tonnes fell -35.2% in the month; conversely the market for small vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes was up 12.3%, with medium vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes also up (16.8%). Meanwhile, the pick-up and 4×4 segments both fell, -18.8% and -48.4%, although combined they accounted for less than a fifth of the whole market.

September’s losses follow a period of sustained growth, with LCV registrations rising in every month of 2019 to August, as buyers responded to a wide range of deals and new models. In the year-to-date the market is up 4.5%, with more than 286,000 new vans hitting the road, most (62.2%) weighing 2.5-3.5 tonnes.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “These figures are unusual as LCV registrations have been growing this year, however the impact of regulatory changes, coupled with ongoing political and economic uncertainty, has distorted the market in September. Registrations for the year to date are still healthy, but for this to be maintained we need business confidence restored and strong economic growth so that businesses invest in their fleets.”