The UK new van market continued its strong start to the year in April, with registrations up nearly 5% year-on-year, according to figures from the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
This growth is being driven by demand for small and large vans, which were up 9% and 7% respectively. Market incentives and new models were thought to be boosting performance. In contrast, demand for pick-ups and 4x4s fell by 1% and 4% respectively.
In all, 24,604 units were registered for British roads in April. In the year to date, sales of vans up to 3.5 tonnes are up 8%.
However, demand for rigids between 3.5 and 6 tonnes continued to significantly fall in April, down 27% year-on-year. In the year to date, sales of rigids are down 20%.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Such a strong start to the year is good news for the sector, drivers and the environment. Getting more of the latest, low emission models onto our roads is the fastest way to tackle climate change and improve air quality, and with modern vehicles also featuring sophisticated safety and comfort features, and a raft of attractive deals on offer, there’s never been a better time to invest in a new van.”
These figures follow publication of a report by SMMT last week, showing that one in ten British workers now rely on a van for their job.
The most popular van in April was the Ford Transit Custom, with 3,505 units registered. This was followed by the Ford Transit (1,897 units), Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (1,752) and Volkswagen Transporter (1,515).
Interestingly, the PSA small van triplets (Vauxhall Combo, Peugeot Partner and Citroën Berlingo) ended up with almost identical registration numbers for April, which is either remarkably coincidental or otherwise pre-arranged.
The Ford Transit Custom has also sold the most in the sector in the year to date, with twice as many units registered as its big brother in second place.