“With the March ‘21’ plate change, an improvement in registrations was expected. It is positive to see an 85.5% growth in light commercial sales, with 56,122 units going on the road. This is compared with just 17,925 in March 2020 when the UK first entered lockdown”, said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised commercial vehicle dealers in the UK, commenting on the latest SMMT’s light van market registration figures.

All sectors of LCV’s up to 3.5 tonnes grew, with the biggest increase coming from the large 2.5 to 3.5t vans. These are vehicles are heavily used for the distribution of online goods. There were 36,032 vehicle registrations in this weight range, a year-on-year increase of 101%, when 17,925 vehicles were sold.

A positive indicator for the industry is that demand has come from the double-cab pick-up segment. Sales in this category increased by 85.7%, registering 8,633 units compared with 4,648 units in March 2020.

The Ford Transit and Transit Custom models once again continued to lead the registrations, as they have been doing since January, followed in third position by the Volkswagen Transporter. The Ford Ranger Pick-Up and Mercedes Sprinter were in fourth and fifth position, respectively.

Sue Robinson added: “Overall, these figures demonstrate the resilience of market demand for LCVs. As dealers can reopen to the public, we expect the April figures to experience an even greater bounce-back.”



The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) is the trade association representing franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK. The automotive retail sector is one of the pillars of the UK economy, it has a turnover of around £200 billion and employs 590,000 people. There are about 4,500 automotive franchised retailer outlets in the UK.

NFDA is the voice of automotive retailers

Jordi Skilbeck - Press

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Email: jordi.skilbeck@rmif.co.uk