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UK new van market dips ahead of plate change

UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations continued their rollercoaster ride in February, falling 2.0% following two months of growth.

LCV registrations fell 2.0% in February following two months of growth

The figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 14,103 new units were registered last month, driven by double-digit downturns in pickups and small vans; down 10.1% and 11.0% respectively. Larger vans weighing more than 2.5-3.5 tonnes were also down, with a 2.8% decline. Mid-size vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes bucked the trend though, rising 9.3%.

Year-to-date performance remains ahead, up 2.8%, with 37,660 new LCVs registered. Pickups were down 9.8% while large vans of 2.5-3.5 tonnes fell 1.7% but growth was seen in all other sectors, from the 13.3% for small vans, to 20.5% for 4x4s and 27.3% for mid-size vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “It is important to remember that February is usually a quiet month ahead of the March plate change. However, the dip in registrations is concerning at a time when fleet renewal is more important than ever. The upcoming Budget is an opportunity for government to bolster confidence in the market with supportive fiscal measures to encourage operators to invest in their fleets, because getting more of the latest, cleanest models onto our roads is good for business and the environment.”

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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