Truck registrations recovering thanks to post-Covid boost


Truck registrations have shown signs of recovery after a difficult few years.

Brexit concerns and then the arrival of the coronavirus meant new vehicle numbers dropped massively in 2020.

A total of 9,493 vehicles were registered in Q2 2021 – a 128.7% increase on the same period in 2020.

However, that figure remains down by 20.1% on the pre-pandemic five-year average.

In addition, the 20,000 trucks registered for the first half of 2021 is 28.8% down on the same period in 2019.

The figures have been provided by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Specifically, the biggest increase was in the Rigids >16-tonne, sector, which saw a 138.2% leap in registrations.

In Q2 2020 there were 1,595 vehicles registered, compared with 3,799 in Q2 2021.

Meanwhile, 2- and 3-axle artics saw registration increases of 125.9% and 128.5% respectively.

All segments saw volume increases compared to 2020. 

For example, articulated truck registrations went up 128.3% and rigids up 128.9% respectively.

Furthermore, tractors continue to be the most popular vehicle body type, with nearly 40% all registrations. 

However, one of the smallest gains was in the refuse disposal sector. 

The local authority funding continued to be impacted by Covid, thereby delaying new orders.

Mike Hawes the chief executive at the SMMT, was hopeful for more success in the following quarters.

“It’s good – if unsurprising – to see an increase in HGV registrations,” he said. 

“However, these are still relatively low numbers compared to the rapid growth the sector enjoyed before the start of the pandemic. 

“As operators continue to battle against acute driver shortages, the sector faces a longer term challenge. 

“The complete decarbonisation of this sector by 2040 would be an incredibly tough timeline,” added Hawes. 

Concluding, he called for stability, certainty and support in the sector.

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