UK Van Registrations See 29.1% Drop as Supply Challenges Continue


New light commercial vehicle registrations fall to 21,597 units in April, a decline of -29.1% compared with the best-on-record month last year. Medium and large vans also dropped by 48.6 and 19.1% respectively in the latest Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures.

SMMT Revises End Target for 2022 Due to Supply Shortages

While the decline in registrations in April is amplified by comparison with 2021, which saw the highest total for the month since records began, this year was still -12.2% below pre-pandemic 2019. Despite demand being strong across all segments, supply chain pressures locally and globally, including shortages of semiconductors, hampered deliveries.

Newly registered large vans, a segment comprising two-thirds of the LCV market, totalled 16,212 units, down -19.1% compared with a year ago. In light of ongoing supply chain challenges, SMMT has revised its outlook for new van registrations downwards from 363,000 units to 328,000 in 2022.2 As a result, this year’s market is anticipated to fall -7.7% on 2021.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, commented, "Despite the global supply pressures on the UK’s light commercial vehicle sector, manufacturers are prioritising the most popular models. Constrained supply, however, does mean that 2022’s new van market is expected to be down on last year’s bumper uptake.

"Even so, while market conditions remain challenging for van operators across the UK, now is the time for those looking to renew their fleets to put their orders in, as interest rates remain historically low and an increasing range of fuel-efficient and electrified models are now available."

About the author

Adrian, located in Madrid, is joining the editorial team as a correspondent for the Valebridge Publications Ltd Group. Before starting in 2020 for Commercial Tyre Business, Adrian graduated with an English degree before working within marketing and recruitment in the non-profit sector. Recently he changed direction, undertaking a course in Marketing and International Business as a means towards moving into the journalism field, which he counts as his lifelong ambition.


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