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Van Market Declines for the Sixth Month

Total new LCV registrations were down in June, marking the sixth consecutive month of decline.

A total of 26,443 LCVs were registered in June 2022, which is down 23% on the previous year of 34,363.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released the latest figures today, which show that a total of 144,384 vans (3.5t and below) were registered so far in 2022. Compared to the 2021 figure, which was 191,513 for this point in the year, this shows a significant decline in ban registrations.

It must be kept in mind, however, that the first half of 2021 was very strong, due to increased demand coming out of lockdown and furlough. In fact, demand has remained strong throughout the year.

The cause of the low figures is due to component supply issues, which have impacted construction lead times and delayed deliveries.

Electric vans are improving strongly, with 2,015 units registered in June (up 52.4% on the previous year). While this is promising, electric vans remain in the minority of new registrations, only one in 13 in the UK this year. With the zero emissions regulations coming soon, there are concerns in the sector that the electric van uptake is not moving swiftly enough, and that more action is required to boost customer confidence.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The impact of the global shortage of semiconductors is severe, constraining supplies and extending lead times for commercial vehicles. While electric vehicle registrations are growing in response to an ever wider choice of plug-in models, a successful transition means accelerating uptake at pace, and this task could not come at a more difficult time. With inflation and energy costs hitting the pockets of UK van buyers, as well as the industry, operators need to be assured that charging infrastructure can meet their needs and that fiscal and grant incentives are in place for the long term.”

How does this affect customers? It means finding a new van is difficult. Van leasing companies do not have a full range of vehicles in stock, so might not have your preferred choice of van. Factory orders range from 4 months to over 12 months, depending on the manufacturer.

The used van sector is an option if you need a van swiftly and you’re not too worried about the vehicle’s age.

If you need a new van, then you may have to compromise. Van Ninja have small, medium, and large vans available either immediately or arriving more quickly than a factory order would. To navigate the manufacturer shortages and delays in the industry, our advice is to get one of the vans that is available now, and ensure your business stays mobile, rather than wait for your ideal van.

In a few years’ time, when that lease is due to end, the world should be in a better place, and there should be a much better range of stock available.