Registrations of new LCVs dip in March

First decline in March for five years


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 Morgan
Katharine graduated from university with a degree in Classics. She is a former contributor to both The Car Expert and The Van Expert.

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