Large van demand drives registrations growth in February

New van registrations were 8.5% up in February, delivering the month's best performance since 1998.

A total of 17,540 new vans were sold in February, according to the latest figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

February is traditionally a volatile month due to small volumes as many operators delay procurements until March and the new number plate.

SMMT van registrations Feb 23Growth was driven by surging demand for larger vans. Registrations of vans weighing 2.5-3.5 tonnes rose by 14.0% to reach 12,125 units, more than two thirds of the total market (69.1%).

Medium-sized vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes fell by 16.5% to 3,361 units, reflecting the broader long-term trend towards larger units. The smaller volume pickup and 4x4 utility segments both saw double-digit growth, up 42.3% and 90.8% respectively.

Deliveries of battery electric vans, meanwhile, declined to 966 units, down 44.5% on a particularly strong February in 2022.

SMMT van registrations by fuel type feb23Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “Following a torrid 2022, the UK van market is returning to sustained growth that is exceeding even pre-pandemic levels. Given the importance of vans to keeping the British economy and society on the move, this growth is good news. With the ZEV market still at a very early stage, however, a concerted effort by all stakeholders to accelerate van-suitable chargepoint installation must become an urgent priority, enabling long-term net zero fleet investment at the scale necessary.”

Year to date, overall LCV registrations are up by 17.5% on the same period in 2022 and by 5.3% on the first two months of 2020, pre-pandemic, reflecting demand for these critical vehicles from key sectors.

The Ford Transot Custom remained the UK's best-selling new van in February, with 2,573 registrations during the month. It's followed by the larger Transit model, while Vauxhall's Vivaro continues to outsell its Stellantis stablemates.

Feb 23 best-selling vans

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