The UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market declined by 5.9% in July, with 23,309 vans and pick-ups registered, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
While pick-ups enjoyed a particularly popular month, with a 13.9% uplift in registrations, demand for small, medium and large vans fell by 2.8%, 28% and 3.8% respectively.
Year-to-date registrations are down 2.7%, with 204,005 new LCVs joining British roads since January, a result of fluctuating fleet buying cycles coupled with ongoing low business confidence.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “While variations in buying cycles are a natural feature of the light commercials sector and demand is still at high levels, the overall trend is one of decline.
“Ongoing uncertainty and low business confidence are undoubtedly having an effect; therefore government must address these concerns and create the conditions necessary for the market to prosper.”
Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, which represents commercial vehicle and franchised car retailers across the UK, told Commercial Fleet: “Factors such as road tax changes or the soon to be introduced Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) emission standards for cars is not due to affect commercial vehicles of this size until September 2019. Therefore this month’s figures are a true and fair reflection of the market and generally indicate the caution expressed by all business in these uncertain economic times.”