UK LCV market records best-ever November – Glass’s

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15th December 2021

The UK’s light-commercial vehicle (LCV) market recorded its best-ever November, with 31,320 new vans and pick-ups registered last month.

Although manufacturers fought hard to satisfy orders over the month, semiconductor supply shortages continue to blight LCV production, with the expectation of further instability well into 2022.

November’s registration total was up 9.7% on twelve months ago and 11.4% on the 28,119 unit 2015-2019 November average.

Year-to-date, the 325,976 units registered stands 22.8% (60,602 units) higher than in 2020, but is down 3.8% on the 338,801 unit YTD 2015-2019 average.

Registration shifts

Registrations in all sectors except vans under 2 tonnes recorded an increase in November.

The pickup sector was up 31.2%, vans between 2.0-2.5 tonnes increased by 21.2% whilst vans weighing between 2.5-3.5 tonnes, which made up nearly 71.5% of all vans registered in the month, rose by 7.7%. Vans under 2 tonnes decreased by 19.6%.

This is the opposite of what the market saw in October, with all sectors except vans under 2.0 tonnes recording decreases, highlighting the shifting nature of registrations in the UK.

November recorded another strong month for Ford, with the Transit Custom continuing as the best-selling LCV in the UK, registering 5,809 units.

The Transit was second with 3,203 units registered, the Transit Connect was seventh and the Ranger eighth.

A positive month for Stellantis saw the Vauxhall Vivaro, the Peugeot Partner and the Citroen Berlingo feature in fourth, sixth and ninth respectively.

The Mercedes-Benz duo of Sprinter and Vito held third and tenth positions. Vauxhall remains the UK’s best-selling electric LCV (e-LCV) manufacturer, registering 2,397 e-LCVs to date.

Top five LCV registrations

YTD 2021 November 2021 November 2020 
Ford Transit Custom49,671Ford Transit Custom5,809Ford Transit Custom3,773
Ford Transit31,083Ford Transit3,203Mercedes-Benz Sprinter2,475
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter20,862Mercedes-Benz Sprinter1,857Ford Transit2,135
Volkswagen Transporter20,033Vauxhall Vivaro1,371Vauxhall Vivaro1,923
Ford Ranger16,376Volkswagen Transporter1,325Volkswagen Transporter1,899

Demand for new vehicles has been positive all year, with the current outlook for 2022 equally as healthy.

Concern remains though, not only with the ongoing supply-chain challenges affecting both parts and raw materials but also the strength of the economic recovery in the UK, rising taxation and inflation and COVID-19.

Used LCV market

Average auction prices fell by over 2.7% in November, driven by a reduction in Euro 6 stock availability and an increase in Euro 5 de-fleets.

This trend looks set to continue into 2022 with more fleets looking to prioritise sending Euro 5 stock back into the wholesale market.

Currently, such stock, in good condition and with sensible mileages, continues to make strong money.

However, as greater volumes of this older stock appears in the used market, values will inevitably start to fall.

Demand for Euro 6 stock remains strong, with used prices set to increase through the remainder of the year and into 2022.

October in detail

Glass’s auction data shows that the overall number of vehicles sold in November increased by 10.8% versus October and was 3.4% higher than the same point twelve months ago.

Average sales prices paid decreased by 2.7% versus October, but remain 23.4% higher than November 2020.

The average age of vehicles sold has increased from 76.1 months in October to 78.6 months, whilst the average mileage has increased from 79,477 to 82,391 miles over the same period.

The latest average mileage for November is 4,186 miles, or 5.1%, higher than twelve months ago. First-time conversion rates have remained static at 81.7% in November.

Medium-sized vans remain the most popular at auction, accounting for 38.6% of sales during November, whilst 45.5%, the highest proportion of all LCVs sold and up from 43.1% in October, were models over six-years-old.

The number of used vehicles observed for sale in the wholesale market over the last month has reduced by over 7% to 33,400, with 36.7% on sale for in excess of £20,000 (€23,448), 28.9% on sale for between £20,000 and £10,000, 16.5% on sale between £10,000 and £5,000 and 6.3% for £5,000 or less.

Andy Picton, chief commercial vehicle editor, Glass’s

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