Another record for UK’s new van market, as demand grows for fourth consecutive year

05 January 2017

  • New light commercial vehicle registrations rise 1.0% to 375,687 units in 2016 – marking four years of consecutive growth.
  • Pick-ups drive growth, with 47,715 leaving showrooms in the past 12 months – an uplift of 17.6%.
  • Overall market falls -10.4% in month following bumper December 2015 – only the fourth month of decline in 2016.

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A record number of new vans and pick-ups hit British roads in 2016, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 375,687 new light commercials were registered in the year – the highest ever level and marking the fourth consecutive year of growth.

The record was achieved despite a downturn in December, when registrations fell for only the fourth time in 2016. Despite the -10.4% fall, it was still the second biggest December on record after 2015’s all-time record month when demand grew by 14.6%.

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Overall in 2016, pick-ups were the biggest success story of the year, with 47,715 vehicles leaving showrooms – an uplift of 17.6%. The segment grew significantly in every month except for January, culminating in a bumper December when demand rose 52.2%. Meanwhile, heavy vans weighing 2.5-3.5T also grew in the year by 4.8% to 232,948 units to take a 62% market share.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

Another record year for light commercial vehicles is great news, even with marginal growth, and underlines the fundamental strength of the sector. To ensure future fleet investment and growth in this important market, buyers – and manufacturers – are looking for a strong economy and business environment.

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Download the press release and data table.