LCV market hits 25-year high

The UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market enjoyed its best February performance since 1998.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), LCV sales grew by 8.5% to 17,540 units, making it the best February in a quarter of a century.

Registrations of vans weighing greater than 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes rose by 14% to reach 12,125 units, more than two thirds of the total market (69.1%), while vans weighing up to and including 2.0 tonnes increased by 5.2%.

Deliveries of battery electric vans, meanwhile, declined to 966 units, down 44.5% on a particularly strong February in 2022, with traditionally smaller volumes in the month accentuating natural fluctuations in fleet investment.

Year to date, overall LCV registrations are up by 17.5% on the same period in 2022 and by 5.3% on the first two months of pre-pandemic 2020, reflecting demand for these critical vehicles from key sectors.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Following a torrid 2022, the UK van market is returning to sustained growth that is exceeding even pre-pandemic levels. Given the importance of vans to keeping the British economy and society on the move, this growth is good news. With the ZEV market still at a very early stage, however, a concerted effort by all stakeholders to accelerate van-suitable chargepoint installation must become an urgent priority, enabling long-term net zero fleet investment at the scale necessary.”