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UK New Van Market Grows for Seventh Month in a Row

The UK light commercial vehicle (LCV) market grew an impressive 44.2% year-on-year in July, with 26,990 units registered. This is up from 18,722 units the previous July. Comparing the numbers with pre-pandemic volumes, registrations are up 4.4% from 2019.

This marks the seventh consecutive month of growth, demonstrating a strong LCV market moving into the second half of 2023. It comes as a result of the continuing rising demand for new vans and the increased production due to the easing of supply chain issues.

In flat numbers, the largest increase was for large vans, which increased from 14,782 in July 2022, to 19,111 in 2023. But looking at % change, medium vans increased a massive 227%, from 1,346 to 4,407. All other sectors saw growth, except for small vans <2.0t which dropped from 723 vehicles to 427.

Battery Electric Van (BEV) registrations increased by 94.6%, a welcome improvement after a poor June, from 765 units to 1,489 this June. This boosted the year-on-year market share from 4.1% in June 2022 to 5.5% in 2023, but it has not quite recovered the year-to-date market share which sits at 5.2% compared to 5.4% YTD 2022.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Following a solid first half, van sales have enjoyed an extremely positive month, beating even pre-pandemic levels. The challenge now is to deliver even greater EV uptake, which requires urgent action to reduce soaring energy costs and increase the provision of dedicated van charging infrastructure to bolster operator confidence and meet the unique needs of this sector. These are vital hurdles to overcome, more so given next year will see a ZEV mandate with minimum sales targets for every brand.”

With the London ULEZ expanding at the end of August, vehicle registrations are likely to increase this month, as customers look to replace older vehicles with ULEZ compliant vans.