New van registrations fall -4.2% to 20,475 units in January 2018 with the biggest impact seen in the light van sector.
The figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that car-derived vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes fell 28.9% against January 2017 while pickups and large vans were down by 2.3% and 1.8% respectively. Medium vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes registered an uplift of 1.2%.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “With business confidence continuing to be affected by economic and political uncertainty, this decline comes as no surprise. Despite this, the UK van market remains at a very high level and, although purchasing patterns are cyclical they do fluctuate with business confidence, so we continue to look to government to improve conditions so the sector can grow.”
Russell Adams, commercial vehicle manager at Lex Autolease, said of the figures: “January is traditionally a quiet month so it’s not surprising or overly concerning to see a dip in new LCV registrations. We’re still seeing a high level of enquiries, particularly in the medium and high weight ranges, which suggests the market may gain momentum as we move further into 2018.
“The Government’s direction of travel on emissions means we’re continuing to see interest in alternatively fuelled vehicles. The low-emission van market is still in its infancy, which means new diesel is still the right fuel type for a large number of job roles. As electric vehicle technologies progress and investment in the UK’s charging infrastructure increases, viable alternatives to conventional fuels will improve for LCV fleets.”