“Availability and supply of new vans and light commercials have been disappointing in the second half of 2022, therefore January’s registration figures being up 25.8% on this time last year was a very pleasing result,” said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA) commenting on the latest SMMT commercial vehicle registration figures.

The SMMT have predicted that the LCV market for 2023 should be up nearly 14% on 2022. Therefore, January’s result indicates confidence in the market while the overall economy is not in the same position.

All weight sectors, with the exception of the sub 2 tonne market, performed well. The largest volume sector of 2.5-3.5 tonnes showed growth of 34.1%, from 11,584 units to 15,538 onto the road. The 2.5-3.5t sector is the real driver of the market, as it represents over 70% of all light commercials sold.

Electric LCV’s experienced healthy growth, up 53.5%. Currently with a market share of 4.5%, equal to one in every 22 van sold, it still means Diesel dominates the market share with 93.4% of LCV registrations. Electric LCV’s have been slow off the mark, with many manufacturers focusing on their EV car production. But times are changing, with now more than 20 new EV LCV’s on the market.

Ford leads the market with 6,616 registrations, followed by Volkswagen who registered 2,591 units and Vauxhall in third position with 1,997 new vans going on the road.

Sue Robinson added: “To meet Government’s zero-emissions targets, consumers of E-LCV’s must increase, but narratives that they are overpriced and are not a practically viable option without the charging infrastructure are still prevalent. Government must implement a faster roll-out of van-suitable charging networks and ensure financial incentives to purchasing an electric are available to alter this.

“Now component shortages are starting to ease, and supply improves, dealers are confident the market will continue to grow in the upcoming months.”