“Whilst demand from businesses for light commercial vehicles is still high, registration figures for April were down year-on-year due to component shortages restricting supply”, said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), commenting on the latest SMMT's light commercial vehicle registration figures.

New light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations decreased by -29.1% in April to 21,597 units. Year to date figures reveal a -24.9% fall, from 127,796 units to 95,941.

Demand for battery electric vehicles (BEV) remains strong, with registrations increasing by 52.7% in April and by 65.8% for the first four months of this year. In total, 5,216 electric vans have been registered this year, representing only 5.4% of the LCV market. Similarly, petrol and hybrid have increased registrations by 15.5% year on year, but still only represents 2% of the total market.

All sectors of light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes showed declines in registrations, from 30,440 units to 21,597, a -29.1 decrease. The 2.5 – 3.5t sector now accounts for 70.5% of all LCVs registered, with 67,664 units going on the road this year.

Ford was the market leader in April with a 38.54% share. It was followed by Vauxhall at 10.89% and then Citroen at 9.76%.

Sue Robinson continued: “One of the main reasons for the slower uptake of EVs is the initial financial commitment for the consumer and the delay in introducing new electric vehicle models for LCVs.

“LCV buyers are driven by costs and viability, particularly business owners, with current Government grants not yet compensating the price variation between fossil fuel and EVs to support the transition.

“Demand for light commercial continues to be strong, and dealers are optimistic. However, there remains to be caution with supply constraints impacting the customer’s journey.”