Commercial vehicle registrations reach record levels during Q1

Commercial vehicle registrations reach record levels during Q1

According to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), UK van and truck registrations reached an all-time high in the first quarter of 2015 – with 108,456 commercial vehicles being registered in the first quarter of the year.

The latest registration figures come as a huge boost to the sector, which is a bellwether for the UK economy and one that suffered badly during the recession.  In 2009, just 221,132 CVs were registered – down from 388,488 in 2007.  The past 12 months have seen 384,120 registrations, and demand is expected to remain strong in the months ahead.

The SMMT reports that the recent surge in registrations also reflects an upturn in UK economic confidence.  With GDP growing, consumers are spending more on goods and services, and businesses are increasingly ready and able to invest in vehicles to deliver them.

Some CV operators are returning to the market having held off new purchases during the recession years while attractive finance offerings from manufacturers are also making it easier to invest in the latest, safest and low emission vehicles.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Commercial vehicles are crucial to the functioning of Britain’s economy and these latest figures paint a very encouraging picture.  As business confidence grows, demand for the latest vans and trucks is now back to pre-recession levels – outpacing the rest of Europe.”

Commercial vehicles play a crucial role in the British economy and in supporting our everyday lives.  There are currently some 4.4 million vans and trucks on British roads, delivering 81% of all goods and shifting almost 3,000 tonnes of goods every minute.  Figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) reveal that in 2014 these vehicles covered 61 billion miles in the UK.

SMMT identifies that demand for vans is particularly strong as home deliveries continue to grow in popularity: 97,775 vans have been registered in the past three months – 22.3% up on the same period last year – and annual registrations are now nearing an all-time high.

In terms of UK van registrations during the first three months of this year, the top ten in numerical order are: Ford Transit Custom (pictured); Vauxhall Vivaro; Volkwagen Transporter; Peugeot Partner; Ford Transit; Citroen Berlingo; Mercedes-Benz Sprinter; Ford Transit Connect; Renault Trafic; and Peugeot Boxer.

The UK is also leading the way in Europe.  It is the third-biggest market for vans and trucks, and surpassed its two larger rivals, Germany and France, for growth in the first two months of the year.

SMMT also confirms that the strong uptake of the latest commercial vehicles positive news for emissions and urban air quality.  Since the beginning of 2014, all new trucks have been required to meet the latest European emissions standard known as Euro-6.  These vehicles feature filters to capture 99% of particulates and exhaust after treatment systems which drastically reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides.

From September this year, all new vans will also have to adhere to the tough Euro-6 standard for light duty vehicles.