Registrations of new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) fell 2% in February, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
February, typically one of the year’s quietest months as many operators wait for the new March number plate, saw 14,103 new units registered.
Pick-ups and small vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes experienced double-digit declines, with registrations down 10.1% and 11.1% respectively. Mid-size vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes, however, bucked the trend, with demand growing 9.3%.
Larger vans weighing more than 2.5-3.5 tonnes made up the bulk of registrations, but were down 2.8%, with 9,082 units registered.
Year-to-date, however, the overall market remains ahead by 2.8% on the same period in 2019, bolstered by a strong January when almost 24,000 new models hit UK roads.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “It is important to remember that February is usually a quiet month ahead of the March plate change. However, the dip in registrations is concerning at a time when fleet renewal is more important than ever.
“The upcoming Budget is an opportunity for Government to bolster confidence in the market with supportive fiscal measures to encourage operators to invest in their fleets, because getting more of the latest, cleanest models onto our roads is good for business and the environment.”