UK van registrations saw a slight downturn in March, with a marked decrease for smaller vehicles.
Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show a total of 63,316 light commercial vehicles hit British roads last month, representing a decline of -0.9% – the first downturn in March for five years.
The decline was more pronounced for vehicles weighing less than 2.0 tonnes and vans between 2.0-2.5 tonnes, which fell by -31.6% and -4.0% respectively. In contrast, pick-ups and heavier vans were up 23.0% and 3.6% respectively. Rigids were up 1.9%.
Year to date, the total van market was also down 0.9% to 97,970 units, with vans under 2.0 tonnes and between 2.0 and 2.5 tonnes down 27.7% and 0.5% while rigids declined 2.7%. Pick-ups were up 21.7% while heavier vans rose 3.3%.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The new van market has experienced strong levels of demand in recent years and this dip in registrations represents a natural rebalancing of the market. Despite the decline, demand remains at an historically high level with year-to-date registrations matching 2015’s performance, which was only exceeded by demand in 2016. We expect demand to remain stable at this high level throughout the year.”