New van sales up by almost 10% in November

row of vans

The new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market grew by 9.6% in November, as more than 29,000 vans and pick-ups joined UK roads, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

This increase represents 2,549 more pick-ups and vans registered in the month compared to November 2017.

Demand for pick-ups and 2.5-3.5t vans increased by 15.8% and 12.9% respectively, as new model introductions took off, counteracting falls in other segments of the market. Small and medium vans experienced declines, both falling 4.1%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The rise in demand for new high-tech, low emission vehicles in November is certainly good news. However, overall, the LCV market has been affected by weaker business confidence caused by economic uncertainty, reflected in fluctuating demand throughout the year.

“Operators need stability to invest and renew their fleets, which now depends on government providing the right conditions.”

Throughout 2018 the market has seen the number of new registrations fluctuate with fleet buying cycles and business uncertainty.

Demand for new LCVs is broadly stable year-to-date, down 0.7% compared with the same period last year, with 331,776 new vans and pick-ups registered in the UK – 2,357 fewer than the first 11 months of 2017.

Russell Adams, commercial vehicle manager at Lex Autolease, said: “The fact that we have comfortably passed the 300,000 mark is testament to the strength of the light commercial vehicle market.

“For operators, ensuring a reliable and effective fleet is crucial and new vehicles are central to this, no matter the wider economic environment. 

“In the run up to Christmas I’d expect a steep increase in short-term hires as delivery firms and retailers look to bolster their fleet to meet peak demand.”


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  • - 06/12/2018 12:19

    You could also look at the reasoning behind this increase in another way. Businesses that drive in and around London are already hit hard by huge increases in fuel and congestion charges and now, with the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone early 2019, businesses may have considered that long term, it would be of benefit to chop in the old fuel glugging, air poluting pigs and replace them with new, low emmisson, kind to the envonment vehicles. If they are lucky and prospering, some businesses will be able to think nothing of the additional cost of replacing part or all of their fleet with new and shiny vehicles. Those not so lucky and prosperous will not be given a second thought, but Merry Christmas anyway. Just add a little more pressure whiy don't you! Sorry but I can't help getting cross about the additional costs that keep threatening out small business industry!

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