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Van Registrations Grow for the Fourth Month

Light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations rose 4.9% in April to reach 22,665 units. This increase marks the fourth consecutive month of growth in the LCV market, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Year to date, this takes the total to 109,937 for 2023 so far, which is 13.7% below 2019 numbers. However, the continuous growth is gaining ground on pre-pandemic numbers, from 15.1% behind the previous month.

Year on year, the main cause of the growth was a 103.5% increase in vans in the 2.0t to 2.5t category, registering 4,318 in April 2023 compared to 2,122 in April 2022. 4x4s also showed a strong increase, from 122 to 574 units this April. 

The push to net zero continues on, with Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) increasing by 62.6%, from 919 in April 2022 to 1,494 in April of this year. However, year on year, market share has not improved, remaining at 5.4% as it was at this point in 2022.

This BEV result is disappointing, though there are many mitigating factors, such as high energy costs and inflation, plus the ongoing issues with infrastructure and support networks. Charge point availability is still the main issue when it comes to BEV confidence, along with vehicle range, and improvements must be made if BEVs are to take market share from diesel LCVs.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Four months of growth signals recovery is in sight for the van market, with easing supply chain issues raising confidence and boosting the overall market outlook. Ongoing economic uncertainty, however, must be addressed to help sustain and expand EV uptake. To ensure green growth that decarbonises the UK, the ever-growing choice of electric vans delivered by manufacturers must be backed by the right infrastructure and incentives so more businesses can confidently make the switch.”

While registrations are slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels, there are still manufacturer delays and shortages in the production and supply sectors.

Van Ninja has vehicles available in all weight classes up to 3.5t, but there is still little variety. Waiting times for factory orders are still six months or more, so any customers needing a van urgently are advised to choose from stock vehicles instead of placing orders.

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