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Another Strong Month for New Van Registrations with Best April for 3 Years

UK new van registrations rose by 5.4% in April, compared to the previous year, marking another strong month for light commercial vehicle (LCV) manufacturers.

The total of 23,889 new vans, 4x4s and pickups marked the highest total for April for three years. Looking at the year-to-date (YTD) numbers, 2024 registrations are currently 8% higher comparatively to the same date in 2023.

The majority of the increased volume is in the 2.5t – 3.5t category, with close to 5,000 more units registered in 2024 over 2023. This shows the preference for consumers to choose payload capacity and volume as a priority when considering new vehicles.

Small vans, under 2.0t, showed strong growth, with a 41% increase year-on-year, from 428 in April 2023 to 604 in April this year. Medium van (between 2.0t and 2.5t) registrations increased by similar quantities, from 4,318 to 4,611, resulting in a 6.8% rise.

The only disappointing result was the registrations of battery electric vans (BEV). These fell from 1,494 in April 2023 to only 861 in April 2024, a change of -42%. This result means the year-to-date number also falls short of 2023, with 5,800 registrations in 2024 compared to 5,987 in 2023. With market share falling from 5.4% to 4.9%, there are calls within the industry for the government to become more proactive in developing EV technology and infrastructure.

The main issue at present is the lack of publicly available charge points that are suitable for vans. With the current infrastructure not developed enough, consumers are shying away from electric vans and the move to net zero is threatening to slow down.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Britain’s new van market continues to grow with the very latest, more fuel efficient models driving down CO2 – a core mission for the sector. Manufacturers are investing billions to bring electric vehicles to market, however, uptake is slowing and urgent action is needed. If government is serious about delivery of its ambitious targets, it must deploy an equally bold strategy for delivering van-suitable public chargepoints across the UK, now the single most important step to get a greener Britain moving.”