HGV registrations rally but remain below pre-pandemic levels

New heavy goods vehicle (HGV) registrations increased by 128.7% in the second quarter of 2021, but remain more than 20% below the five-year average.

This is according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The increase saw some 9,493 units registered, up from 5,342 in Covid-impacted 2020. Compared to the pre-pandemic five-year average, however, truck registrations fell 20.1%.

Performance for the year to date followed a similar pattern, with 19,557 vehicles registered in 2021 – a 46.6% increase on 2020, but falling short by some 7,907 trucks when compared to 2019, a 28.8% reduction.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive,said: “While it’s good – if unsurprising – to see an increase in HGV registrations, these are still relatively low numbers compared to the rapid growth the sector enjoyed before the start of the pandemic. As operators continue to battle against acute driver shortages, the sector faces a longer term and more significant challenge as the government proposes the complete decarbonisation of this sector by 2040.

“This would be an incredibly tough timeline when the technological solutions are unclear, with nearly all of the sector diesel-powered. The sector needs stability, certainty and support if it is to develop the technologies and make them commercially viable for our heaviest mobility challenges.”