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Invasion of the van driver – UK observes increase in LCV registrations

Over a five year period to end-2017, licensed light goods vehicle registrations rose 19%, according to new analysis of DfT data by Direct Line for Business.

Van registrations in the South West increased the most of any region, with 25% more vans on the road compared to five years prior
Van registrations in the South West increased the most of any region, with 25% more vans on the road compared to five years prior

There are now 3.9m commercial vans on the road in Britain, the highest number at any time in the last 25 years. At the end of 2017, the latest available data, there were 617,500 more vans on the road across the country compared to five years previous in 2012.

Van registrations in the South West increased the most of any region, with 25% more vans on the road compared to five years prior. This is closely followed by the East of England (24%), South East (23%) and Scotland (22%). By contrast, London – where today marks the introduction of the country’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone – in comparison, saw the lowest increase; with just 8% more vans on the road.

In terms of absolute numbers, the South East has the greatest number of vans of any region (650,000), while the North East has the lowest number (156,100).

The analysis also found that the proportion of vans on the road has been growing steadily in recent years, with Light Goods Vehicles accounting for 10% of all road vehicles in 2017, compared to 9% a decade before. Overall, the South West has the highest proportion of vans relative to the total number of vehicles, at 13%.

This record number of vans on the road has driven Direct Line for Business to offer free Basic Green Flag breakdown cover with all new van insurance policies purchased until 30 April 2019. This includes 24/7 roadside assistance, unlimited call outs and cover at home.

Matt Boatwright, head of Direct Line for Business said: “Vans are essential for many small businesses and tradespeople and they just couldn’t operate without them.  With time-poor Britons wanting services on demand, the pressures on vans to get van drivers from A-to-B is only set to increase. If a van breaks down, not only is it a huge inconvenience to a business but can cost significant amounts in lost income. With a record number of vans on the road we hope the free Green Flag breakdown cover will provide van owners added peace of mind that they will be kept moving should anything happen.”

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Written by Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.

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