Commercial vehicle sales go cold in November

The UK’s new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market fell by 22.2% in November, with 24,352 of the latest vans joining Britain’s roads.

This is according to the latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

While the scale of the decline is artificially inflated in comparison with last year, which saw the best November performance in history, the total is the lowest recorded for the month since 2013, and is some 13.4% below the pre-pandemic five-year average.

Battery electric van (BEV) registrations, however, continued to grow as more operators look to make the switch to the latest zero emission vehicles. Uptake rose by 14.8% in November to reach 8.1% of the market – up from 5.5% in 2021. Increasing model choice and robust purchase incentives mean BEV volumes are up 46.5% year on year from January to November, although concerns remain over a lack of public charging infrastructure particularly for commercial vehicles.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The UK van market has experienced a very difficult year, battling a multitude of challenges to meet demand, but has benefitted from an EV boost as operators increasingly make the switch to zero emission. As supply constraints ease, we look with some optimism towards next year and a return to growth. It is imperative, however, that government takes action to help accelerate commercial vehicle recharging infrastructure, so that the vehicles that keep Britain moving can fully deliver on their ability to boost the economy.”