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Van Registrations Continue to Fall in November

After a brief September rally, the UK’s new light commercial vehicle market has returned to the downward trend it’s been on all year.

November finds the market 22.2% down, year-on-year, with a total of 24,352 new vans registered in the month. While it must be pointed out that this is compared with an excellent November last year (the best November since 2013) it is still around 14% below the pre-pandemic average.

This keeps the year-to-date total down 20.1% from the previous year.

Demand has not been an issue in 2022. Order books are strong, causing long lead times for delivery. The main causes for the low registrations are the continuing supply issues in the wake of the pandemic and the semiconductor and other part shortages that remain.

Looking more closely at the numbers, the only growth categories were pickups, showing a 26% increase compared to November 2021, but even this is down year-to-date on 2021 as a whole.

Despite the consistent downward trends overall, the battery electric vans (BEVs) market Is growing. Pressure is increasing on suppliers and consumers to switch to zero emissions solutions, and while the change is happening slowly, it is noticeable. November year-on-year is up by almost 15% to 1,974 new BEVs registered in November 2022. When the year to date figures are viewed, it’s clear that the shift to zero emissions is fully underway. While 15,039 BEV registrations for 2022 so far might not seem so many, it is up 46.5% from 2021’s total.

Looking forward, the SMMT are estimating that 2023 will see somewhat of an upturn in registrations and a return to something approaching pre-pandemic numbers. Supply issues and shortages are hopefully going to ease in the early months of next year, which will help increase vehicle production and allow manufacturers to catch up on the backlog.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The UK van market has experienced a very difficult year, battling a multitude of challenges to meet demand, but has benefitted from an EV boost as operators increasingly make the switch to zero emission. As supply constraints ease, we look with some optimism towards next year and a return to growth. It is imperative, however, that government takes action to help accelerate commercial vehicle recharging infrastructure, so that the vehicles that keep Britain moving can fully deliver on their ability to boost the economy.”

The experts at Van Ninja can see similar trends. While we do have stock, factory orders remain difficult to attain, and we continue to see long lead times for specific orders.

Our advice at this time remains the same as it has been since the supply issues began. If you are happy to wait 9 to 12 months for your ideal van, then we can order that for you. If you need a van lease urgently, you may have to compromise on your selection, and choose a van that will do the job to see you through the next few years.