In a remarkable surge for fleet renewal, over 50,000 new light commercial vehicles hit the roads of the United Kingdom in March, marking the highest influx of fresh models in the past three years. This bumper month witnessed the registration of 52,916 new vans, 4x4s, and pickups, reflecting an 11.1 per cent increase. 

The latest data by the SMMT shows the van sector's performance in the first quarter of 2024 has been outstanding, achieving its best quarterly result in three years. Presently, volumes are merely 7.7 per cent below those of the first quarter of 2019.

UK’s best-selling LCV models in March 2024:

1. Ford Transit Custom - 7,809

2. Ford Transit - 4,864

3. Ford Ranger - 2,881

4. Volkswagen Transporter - 2,773

5. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - 2,089

6. Vauxhall Vivaro - 1,977

7. Ford Transit Connect - 1,959

8. Renault Trafic - 1,903

9. Citroen Berlingo - 1,876

10. Toyota Hilux - 1,711

The surge in registrations was predominantly driven by a soaring demand for larger models, weighing between 2.5 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes, which constituted more than two-thirds (67.3 per cent) of the market. The most notable percentage increase in uptake was observed in the category of smallest vans, soaring by 44.8 per cent to 986 units. 

UK’s best-selling LCV models year-to-date:

1. Ford Transit Custom - 12,076

2. Ford Transit - 8,600

3. Ford Ranger - 5,106

4. Vauxhall Vivaro - 4,762

5. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - 4,649

6. Volkswagen Transporter - 4,519

7. Citroen Berlingo - 4,175

8. Toyota Hilux - 3,708

9. Ford Transit Connect - 3,218

10. Renault Trafic - 3,032

Moreover, the month witnessed a substantial increase in the adoption of environmentally friendly practices, with more fleets opting for green alternatives. The number of new battery electric vans surged by 14.7 per cent, reaching 2,906 units. While this signifies progress, it's imperative to note that the proportion of these eco-friendly vans within the LCV market only slightly increased from 5.3 per cent in March of the previous year to 5.5 per cent presently.

UK new van registrations, March 2024

"A strong new plate month with the greatest number of zero-emission vans joining UK roads is a bellwether of the sector’s progress, cutting emissions while keeping British businesses on the move. Industry is ready to deliver further, but with green uptake still below mandated levels, swift action is needed to give new van buyers the confidence to go electric. Rapid delivery of van-suitable public charging points and removing the hurdle of taxation on their use are key to greener fleets and a greener future," Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, commented.