Mercedes-Benz Vito of HTEC

Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that the number of light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations for March dropped 0.9% compared to the same month in 2016.

This follows the more significant drop in sales of 4.3% in February 2017.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, called the dip in registrations “a natural rebalancing of the market” after the record-high-year of 2016.

Hawes noted that 2017’s year-to-date registrations match those of 2015. “We expect demand to remain stable at this high level throughout the year”.

March saw a total of 63,316 LCVs registered, compared to 63,913 in the same period last year. 2017’s 0.9% decline is the first time registrations of new LCVs have fallen since March 2012.

Graph showing UK van registrations from March 2011 - March 2017
The SMMT called March’s dip in van registrations “a natural rebalancing of the market” after the record-high-year 2016.

The upward trend in the demand for pick-ups continued. 9,660 pick-ups were registered last month, compared with 7,856 in March 2016, an increase of 23%. There was also a 3.6%-spike in the number of new 2.5-3.0-tonne vans that were registered.

In relation to March 2016, small sub-2.0-tonne vans saw the biggest percentage drop of 31.6%, down to 4,804 units, whilst demand for 2.0-2.5-tonne vans decreased by 4.0% to 8,496. The only increase in registrations was in the 2.5-3.5-tonne category which saw a rise of 3.6% to 40,237 from 38,847.

Table showing the best-selling LCVs under 3.5 tonnes for March 2017 and the year-to-date
The Ford Transit Custom remains the most popular LCV by a wide margin.
Katharine Morgan

Katharine graduated from university in 2016 with a degree in Classics. She contributes to both The Car Expert and The Van Expert and manages their social media accounts.