In a promising sign for the UK economy, demand for new light commercial vehicles soared by 5.4 per cent in April. The latest data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveals that 23,889 new vans, 4x4s, and pickups were registered last month, marking the highest total for April since 2021.

Businesses, particularly fleets, have been actively investing in vehicles to bolster local trades, doorstep services, and other crucial segments of the logistics sector, contributing to the growth across the market. Notably, the larger LCV models weighing between 2.5 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes experienced a 3.3 per cent surge in registrations, comprising almost two-thirds (65.8 per cent) of the total registrations.

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

1. Ford Transit - 2,148

2. Ford Transit Custom - 1,920

3. Vauxhall Vivaro - 1,661

4. Ford Ranger - 1,416

5. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - 1,411

6. Volkswagen Transporter - 1,218

7. Ford Transit Connect - 1,003

8. Vauxhall Combo - 951

9. Renault Trafic - 852

10. Peugeot Partner - 829

Medium-sized vans also witnessed a healthy growth of 6.8 per cent, with 4,611 units registered, while the smallest vans saw a 41.1 per cent increase, although they still represent a modest 2.5 per cent share of the market. Pickup volumes also saw a notable rise, climbing by 16.2 per cent to 2,487 units. However, deliveries of new 4x4s experienced a slight dip of 17.6 per cent, with 473 units registered, compared to a particularly strong April last year.

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

1. Ford Transit Custom - 13,996

2. Ford Transit - 10,748

3. Ford Ranger - 6,552

4. Vauxhall Vivaro - 6,423

5. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - 6,060

6. Volkswagen Transporter - 5,737

7. Citroen Berlingo - 4,870

8. Ford Transit Connect - 4,221

9. Toyota Hilux - 4,203

10. Renault Trafic - 3,884

Looking ahead, the industry's latest market outlook anticipates a 3.3 per cent growth in the UK's new van market this year, reaching 353,000 units. However, the BEV market share has been revised downwards to 8.3 per cent due to a declining trend seen recently, down from 9.4 per cent in the January outlook. Despite an expected 44.1 per cent increase in BEV volumes in 2024 to 29,000 units, uptake is projected to fall short of the ambitious sales targets set by manufacturers in the Vehicle Emissions Trading Scheme (VETS).

UK new van market, April 2024

"Britain’s new van market continues to grow with the very latest, more fuel-efficient models driving down CO2 – a core mission for the sector. Manufacturers are investing billions to bring electric vehicles to market, however, uptake is slowing and urgent action is needed. If government is serious about delivery of its ambitious targets, it must deploy an equally bold strategy for delivering van-suitable public chargepoints across the UK, now the single most important step to get a greener Britain moving," Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, commented.