January 08, 2019

Fourth best year on record for UK new van market in 2018

new Ford Transit Custom vans for sale

The UK new van market held steady in 2018, with the fourth best year on record, as expectations were surpassed for the year.

2018 new van registrations

Statistics released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed that the UK new van market declined slightly in 2018 with registrations dropping 1.3 percent from those in 2017, however these results surpassed expectations for the year. Figures showed the fourth best year on record, with a total of 357,325 new vans registered, this was helped in the most part by registrations of pick-ups which increased 4.3 percent from 2017. Sales of large vans remained steady in 2018 with a 0 percent change, whilst medium vans declined 7.4 percent and small vans declined by a larger 14.7 percent in 2018.

December 2018 new van registrations

The annual performance of the market has proven steady, however the monthly figures for December 2018 proved less encouraging, declining 8.8 percent in total from 2017. All new van categories declined in December, medium vans were largest casualties with a decline of 21.8 percent in registrations from December 2017. Small vans declined 8.6 percent, whilst pick-ups declined 8 percent and large vans declined 6.5 percent in the same period.

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes commented on the figures for December 2018 and 2018 as a whole, emphasising the competitiveness of the market as a whole:

”This sector is a key indicator of business confidence in the UK, and operators need stability to renew their fleets. December’s performance was worrying, as was the overall drop in fleet purchases. Business confidence depends on government providing the right conditions, which first and foremost means taking a ‘No Deal’ Brexit off the table. We have a strong and competitive commercial vehicle market in the UK, one that can flourish in the right economic climate.”

Best-selling new vans in 2018

The Ford Transit Custom finished 2019 as the UK’s best-selling new van, in fact it was the third highest selling vehicle overall with a staggering 54,806 registrations. Second place went to its big brother from Ford vans, the Ford Transit with 32,694 registrations, with the Volkswagen Transporter taking third spot with 21,763. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Vauxhall Vivaro made up the remainder of the top five with 21,278 and 19,232 registrations respectively.

Two Ford vans took sixth and seventh places in the form of the Ford Transit Connect and Ford Ranger with 17,495 and 16,440 registrations respectively. Whilst finishing off the top ten with the Peugeot Partner with 15,056, Citroen Berlingo with 13,528 and Peugeot Boxer with 11,731 new van sales each.

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