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Van registrations decline following bumper 2016

  • Light commercial vehicle registrations have slowed
  • Down almost 1% compared with this time last year
  • Pickups continue to grow in demand

Light commercial vehicle registrations have declined slightly, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Overall, the number of vans registered in March 2017 is down 0.9% compared with March 2016 – the first time there’s been a decline in March in the last five years, while year-to-date registrations are also down by 0.9%.

March 2017 saw 63,316 vans (all up to 3.5-tonnes) hit the road, while the same month last year saw 63,913 registered.

Small vans and 4x4 vans are in less demand than they were this time last year, with lower numbers registered for each.

Best small panel vans

However, pickups are continuing to see growing demand, with 23% more registered in March this year compared with March 2016.

It’s the same for heavier vans between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes, up 3.6% on last year.

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Most popular vans so far in 2017

Despite the declining number of vans hitting the road so far in 2017 compared with the same period last year, there are still plenty out there with 97,970 registered so far (compared with 98,906 for the same period in 2016).

The most popular commercial vehicles so far in 2017 are:

It’s easy to see why the Ford Transit Custom is sitting at the top of the tree, too. Find out why we rate it so highly in our full review.

Demand remains strong

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes notes that ‘despite the decline, demand remains at an historically high level with year-to-date registrations matching 2015’s performance, which was only exceeded by demand in 2016.’

As more modern commercial vehicles are hitting the market and pickup trucks are becoming more like regular SUVs, it’s no surprise the numbers of these are on the up.

If you’re struggling to choose a new pickup, make sure you read our comprehensive pickup group test here.