UK new van registrations up 2.4% in 2019 as market finishes on a high
The growth of the light commercial vehicle (LCV) market - dominated by vans - has been demonstrated by the release of figures showing that registrations for vans under 3.5T grew during the year by 2.4%, making 2019 the third best on record.
It means that 365,778 of the latest, cleanest models hit UK roads in 2019, in a boost to fleet renewal.
According to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the market grew by 7.8% in December, compared with the previous month, as the impact of regulatory changes eased and attractive offers on new models helped stimulate orders with only pickups experiencing a fall in demand.
The SMMT says that growth was "despite political and economic uncertainty for much of the year, and reflecting buyers keen to switch to the latest low emission models to comply with clean air zone requirements and meet demand brought about by the rise of online shopping and corresponding deliveries."
All van segments saw growth during 2019, with small vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes up +4.4%, medium vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes up +10.5% and larger vans weighing 2.5-3.5 tonnes up +1.2%.
Demand for new pickups and 4x4s, however, fell, down -1.0% and -9.7% respectively but the combined loss represented just 733 vehicles.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “A healthy van market is good news for the industry, environment and exchequer and so the rise in 2019 registrations is very welcome.
"As we enter a new decade, however, we need this upward trend to continue if we are to address environmental concerns.
"The quicker these new vehicles become commonplace, the quicker their positive impact on air quality and climate change will be felt.
"Manufacturers will continue to invest in new, cleaner technologies but, ultimately, it is businesses that will determine the pace of change. Business positivity is essential to give companies the confidence to invest in their fleets.”
The figures also show that the Ford Transit and its buyer-specified Transit Custom stablemate were the biggest sellers, followed by the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, with the technically similar VW Transporter close behind.
The PSA Group's Citroen, Peugeot and Vauxhall brands collectively sold 41,041 in their small van rangers (Partner, Berlingo and Combo), confirming PSA Group as a major market force.
Overall, the figures show that apart from 2018's peak in new van registrations - attributed in part to the rapid growth of internet shopping deliveries and the London emission zone, new van registrations are now more than 1.5 times greater than in 2013.