Van sales continue to grow 

row of vans at the dealership

UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales were up for the second consecutive month in October, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 

New registrations increased by 13.3% making last month the highest performing October on record, with a total of 28,753 vans, pickups and 4x4s registered.

Demand was highest among heavier LCVs, with registrations for vans between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes up 26.8% to 20,492. Many of the sales have been attributed to the anticipated busy Christmas period, along with growth in the construction sector. 

Registrations for smaller vans weighing up to two tonnes increased by 1.6%, while medium vans weighing between two and 2.5 tonnes grew 2.9%. However there was a decrease in demand for 4x4s and pickups.

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: “A second month of growth for the van market is testament to the resilience of the sector and society’s reliance on it amidst a difficult year. However, with a second nationwide lockdown ahead, future performance is difficult to gauge. 

“Industries such as construction and logistics will keep the country moving as they did earlier in the year, but continued uncertainty and closures across retail and hospitality will have an effect on all businesses, and consequently commercial vehicle demand.” 

Van registrations for the year so far are still down 24.1% or around 75,000 units on where they were expected to be, with the second lockdown in England meaning it’s unlikely the sales will be made up before the end of the year. 

Before these latest figures were released, the highest recorded October was in 2018, when 28,494 new vehicles were registered. 

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