Van market reaches new heights with best May on record for registrations

The light commercial vehicle (LCV) market had another record-setting month, with 29,354 vans registered in May, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

It was the best May performance on record for the LCV market, 4.7% up on pre-pandemic levels as the increasing sector confidence continues beyond lockdowns, when demand for deliveries, e-commerce and essential services first put commercial vehicles to the test.

Registrations grew across all vehicle segments, with the total number of units quadrupling on last year’s lockdown-impacted figures. Demand for larger 2.5-3.5 tonne vans drove the increase, comprising two thirds of all registrations, some 19,687 vans.

With 157,150 vans registered so far in 2021, performance year to date is the highest on record, almost double what it was in 2020 (up 99.3%), and up 4.0% on a pre-pandemic five-year average.2

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “May’s figures are welcome news, suggesting Britain’s additional reliance on commercial vehicles is a long-term shift rather than a lockdown stopgap. As the nationwide vaccination rollout continues at pace, maintaining business confidence is essential for the LCV market.

“However, to counter the environmental impact accompanying increased demand, we need to incentivise some 4.6 million van users and operators alike to make the switch to zero-emission capable technologies. This starts with plans for a nationwide charging infrastructure that can support the diverse needs of the commercial vehicle sector.”