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Vans on Britain’s Roads are Getting Older

There are nearly 5 million vans on Britain’s roads, according to a report published by the SMMT recently.

The report, which looks at commercial vehicles in general, shows that at the end of 2021, there were 5,483,319 commercial vehicles on the roads – the highest level in history and a 4.1% increase over the previous year.

Of these, vans and light commercial vehicles amounted to the large majority of this number, a total of 4,804,833.

When split by region, it is clear to see that the South is where the majority of vans are registered, with the North East as the region with the fewest vans.

Of these, 96.3% remain powered by diesel, and a further 3.1% by petrol. This leaves less than 1% of all vans in use today as plug-in, zero emission vehicles. That is one statistic that we expect to change over the next few years.


The average age of all vans on the road has also increased, and is currently sitting at 8.7 years old. There are plenty of reasons why people have not replaced their older vans, such as supply shortages and the ongoing semiconductor issues.

This number, however, is not necessarily a good thing. As vans age, they become costly to maintain, and even if they are well-looked after, parts will fall victim to wear and tear eventually.

The second issue is that of emissions. Older vans have worse emissions ratings at the time of construction, and the emissions are likely to worsen as the engine ages.

Is it Time to Upgrade?

While there is still a vehicle shortage across the UK, there are new vans available. New diesel vans are coming off the production lines every day, and provide a significant improvement over an eight-year-old, well used van in just about every department.

At some point, maintaining an old van will cost more than the lease price of a new van. Not necessarily as a monthly payout, but repairs are far more likely to be required if your van is eight years old, and the cost of a major repair could add up to six months’ worth of new lease payments. Add to that the cost of the MOT and any minor fixes required at that stage, and it becomes clear that there is a point where keeping your old van is just not viable.

What is in Stock?

At Van Ninja, new stock arrives on a weekly basis. We keep our stock list updated, so you can see what is available right now.

If you’re looking a little further ahead, and don’t need a van for a few months, you’ll want to speak to our sales team. They have a full list of our order schedule and can help you choose a vehicle and get it ordered and booked in ahead of time.

Visit our In Stock page now to see what’s currently available, or Contact Us directly to speak to a member of the team.