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Van registrations up 2.4% in May

Light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations were up for the second month running in May, latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show.

May's uplift in vans weighing 2.0-tonnes or more offset the double-digit decline in smaller vehicles

May’s uplift in vans weighing 2.0-tonnes or more offset the double-digit decline in smaller vehicles

A total of 27,639 LCVs hit the road last month, up 2.4%. This follows a 3.9% increase in April and the 5.6% decline seen in March.

Demand in May saw registrations for mid-size and larger vans grow by 21.5% and 2.0% respectively, helping offset a 21.0% decline in smaller vehicles weighing less than 2.0-tonnes. Pick-ups also fell, with 3,826 registered in the month, down 2.6%.

In line with five months of fluctuations, registrations for the first five months of the year were down by 1.4% on the same period last year. However, the total of 145,514 vans and pick-ups is a third (34.8%) higher than five years ago.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “It’s reassuring to see a bit of stability in the van market. Variations in buying cycles are a natural feature and, despite the year-to-date decline, it’s important to remember that demand remains at an historically high level. Barring any unforeseen shocks, we expect the rest of the year to follow a similar pattern, in line with forecasts. To drive long-term growth, however, we need the right economic conditions to give businesses the confidence to invest in their fleets.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.