Best August for van sales within a decade

  • August 2016 up 6.3% compared with August 2015
  • 15,385 new van registrations = best August in 10 years
  • Growth mainly driven by heavy vans and pickups

There were more vans sold in August 2016 than any August for the last 11 years. That's according to the UK's Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which has just released the official registration data for last month.

In total, 15,385 new Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs - or commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes) were registered in August 2016, a 6.3 percent rise compared with August 2015, and the best total for the month since 2006.

What's driving increased van sales?

Two areas of the market are driving LCV sales at the moment: pickup trucks and heavy vans (meaning those between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes). Demand for pickups grew 6.9 percent, while heavy vans saw a 14.4 percent rise. Not bad.

The SMMT also noted that it believes August's unusually impressive performance - it's typically a quiet month ahead of the new number plate arriving in September - was down to businesses taking advantage of low interest rate finance packages and discounts.

How's 2016 doing for van sales overall?

There's been a "steady" 2.9 percent rise in overall van sales since the start of the year, with total registrations numbering 231,857; at this point last year 225,417 new vans had been registered.

Which van manufacturer is top of the pile?

Ford consistently outsells all its rivals in the UK; in August it secured 4,040 new registrations, with second-place Vauxhall managing 2,329 ahead of Volkswagen in third with 1,851.

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Year-to-date, Ford leads the way with 70,707 new sales, ahead of VW with 26,754 and Vauxhall with 26,079. Guess it'll be a competition for the second-place model this year, eh?

Who's not doing so well?

Renault didn't have a very good August 2016, recording just 533 registration and putting it last in the UK top 10 for the month.

This is in sharp contrast to the French brand's status as the number one best-selling LCV make in Europe; it sits in seventh place for the year with 15,365 sales here since January 2016.

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