Registrations of new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) increased by 22.0% to 17,205 units in February.
The increase follows the 2.0% rise seen in January and was again driven by demand for large vans; the figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that vans weighing more than 2.5-3.5 tonnes were up 30.0% to 11,809 units. Pickups also rose, up 26.8% to 1,716 units respectively.
Meanwhile 4x4s and medium sized van registrations were up a moderate 6.3% and 9.0%.
But smaller vans weighing less than or equal to 2.0 tonnes were down 25.3% to just 689 vehicles registered in the month.
The latest increase in LCV registrations means year-to-date figures are up 9.5% overall, driven entirely by demand for popular 2.5-3.5t vans with some 6,069 more of these vehicles registered in the first two months of the year. But all the other market sectors were down.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said the February rise was welcome news, but noted that it’s important to remember that February is typically a small volume month ahead of the March plate change.
He continued: “Capitalising on this momentum will be important and an economic plan that encourages growth could help pivot the LCV market toward full recovery. With a clear roadmap now in place for how the nation can safely emerge out of lockdown, businesses can look to the next few months with increasing confidence and upgrade their fleets with the many latest, most efficient vans on the market.”