LCV sales growth hits two-year high

Britain’s new light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations increased by 17.7% in October with 26,342 units joining Britain’s fleets.

According to the latest figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the growth is some 3.8% above pre-pandemic 2019 levels and rounds off 10 consecutive months of rising demand this year, totalling 284,321 units.

This is the highest volume for two years as the easing of supply chain disruptions means that more operators can more readily renew their fleets.

However, following a glut of new battery electric van (BEV) registrations in September, uptake was slower in October, down by a fifth (20.2%) to 1,362 units. In 2023 to date, BEV demand has risen by 19.8%, with 15,658 units registered since January, representing one in 20 (5.5%) new LCVs.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “As the crucial pre-Christmas delivery period commences, there is a clear appetite for fleets to be fitted out with the latest vans – and it is of critical importance that those vans are the latest, cleanest zero emission models. With van makers committed to decarbonisation, the upcoming Autumn Statement is the moment for government to send the right signal to operators ahead of the introduction of the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate. Measures that address van-specific infrastructure challenges and enable more operators across the UK to make the switch are essential as we move towards a pivotal stage of the transition.”