Van market enjoys best February for 26 years and 14th month of growth in row

  • New LCV registrations grow by 2.2% to 17,934 units in best February performance since 1998
  • Large vans remain most popular as demand rises by 1.4% to 12,300 units
  • But medium and small-sized van demand declines by 5.9% and 20.5% respectively
  • Battery-electric van uptake at 4.7% market share as volumes fall by 12.3%

Time 11:22 am, March 5, 2024

Demand for new LCVs grew by 2.2% in February to 17,934 units, marking 14 months of growth in a row.

That’s according to figures published this morning by the SMMT, which said that while February is traditionally a lower volume month, the rise represented the best February performance since 1998, when 18,044 units were registered.

Registrations of vans weighing between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes rose by 1.4% to 12,300 units – almost seven in 10 (68.6%) of all new vans.

Deliveries of small vans weighing up to and including 2.0 tonnes and medium-sized vans weighing 2.0 to 2.5 tonnes both saw declines, though, falling by 20.5% to 275 units and 5.9 % to 3,162 units respectively.

The SMMT said fleet renewal was crucial for decarbonisation and the government’s recent decision to scrap changes to double cab pick-up vehicle taxation will ensure that operators can continue to invest in newer, lower-emission models.

With manufacturers now having to hit a minimum proportion of zero-emission registrations every year, February saw a decline in registrations of battery-electric vans weighing up to 3.5 tonnes.

They fell by 119 units to 847 units, taking a 4.7% market share, which was down from 5.5% a year ago. Volumes were down by 12.3%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘Britain’s appetite for new vans remains undiminished with 14 months of growth and, with last month’s rethink of taxation for pick-ups, expansion looks to be sustained.

‘However, this growth and confidence must be translated into zero-emission vehicles if we are to deliver our green goals.

‘Maintenance of essential incentives and a ramp-up of dedicated van-suitable chargepoint installation will be vital if we are to help keep long-term, net zero fleet investment moving forward at the pace needed.’

The Ford Transit, pictured, was February’s best seller at 1,838 units, followed by its Custom stablemate at 1,611 sales and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at 1,325.

In fourth place was the Vauxhall Vivaro (1,173), then the Toyota Hilux (836), Maxus Deliver 9 (779), Ford Ranger (741), Citroen Berlingo (701), Citroen Dispatch (626) and then the Ford Transit Connect (578).

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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