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.”