New HGV registrations up by a fifth in first three months of 2019

Registrations of new HGVs were up by 21.2% in the first quarter of this year compared to 2018, new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have revealed.

In all, 11,859 units were registered in the first three months of 2019, up from 9,784 in the same period of 2018. The trend was across all forms of HGV, with artics up by 32.3% and rigids by 12.9%.

Registrations of all sizes of HGV increased year-on-year; with 2-axle artic registrations up by 54.4% – although this is a small market, sales went from 366 to 565 and 3+-axle artics were up by an impressive 30.2%. Meanwhile at the smaller end of the market, rigids between six and 16 tonnes were up by 15.3% and greater than 16 tonnes up by 11.6%

The boost in sales was attributed in part to a number of large orders and strong market incentives.

This trend was seen across the UK, with all four nations reporting a growth in sales. Demand was particularly strong in England, with 10,521 HGV registrations – up by 22.8% year-on-year. Demand in Wales was also strong, with 293 registrations, a rise of 16.3%. Northern Ireland and Scotland both registered a rise in registrations of 8.1%.

The rise in registrations was reflected among most body types. Tractor units remained the most popular, with registrations up by more than 25% year-on-year, going from 4,162 in 2018 to 5,417 in 2019.

Demand for box vans also grew strongly, with 1,493 registered, compared to 908 in the first quarter of 2018. Tipper orders were also up by a fifth. However, registrations of curtainsiders remained flat with 952 ordered this year and also in 2018. There was a slight dip in the number of refuse disposal trucks registered, down from 485 in 2018 to 467 in 2019.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The significant rise in truck registrations is certainly welcome news but it is important to remember that large fleet orders can have a big impact on this relatively small volume market. Despite the increase in demand, ongoing political and economic uncertainty is still a significant factor for businesses, and we may see the market level out throughout 2019.”

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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