“Van and Light Commercial registrations figures for February are the highest recorded for this month, since 1998. This is very positive news for the industry, and highlights that the market is slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels,” said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents car and commercial retailers across the UK, commenting on the latest SMMT LCV registration figures.
In February, new LCV registrations increased by 8.5%, with 17,540 new LCVs under 3.5 tonnes going on the road, compared with 16,165 units year-on-year. The year-to-date picture also looks healthy with a total of 39.638 new LCVs registered, that’s a 17.5% increase over the first two months of 2022, strongly suggesting that supply constraints on new vehicles are beginning to ease.
So far this year, pick-ups and 4x4 trucks are up on the previous year, but the lighter conventional vans sub-2.0t and 2.0-2.5t LCVs are -12.4% and -8% respectively. This seems to be a trend we have seen over the last few years where customers are opting for larger vans to allow their business to expand without resulting in needing to replace their LCV so often.
Sales of Battery Electric LCVs have decreased from 2,388 units last year to 1,959 this year, a decrease of -18%. Whilst registrations of Diesel LCVs have increased from 30,783 last year, to 36,905 units this year, an increase of 19.9%.
Ford's Transit Custom and large Transit took first and second position this year, followed by the Vauxhall Vivaro in third position.
Sue Robinson added: “It appears that business customers who order vans are making their decision based on price, value, and practicality to offer the best weight and range capacity available; Franchised dealers remain the best place for buyers to find the right vehicle for their needs.
“Whilst February’s registration figures are typically restrained due to customers holding off on committing to a new van before March, to benefit from the new '23 prefix number plate, it is extremely positive to see such strong registration figures.
“Dealers are optimistic with demand for light commercials under 3.5 tonne and, hopefully, with the easing of supply there should be more new vans readily available for customers. With the continued growth in online business, LCV appetite will remain robust.”