According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the level of demand for new HGV registrations has reduced to the lowest level since 2010.
During 2020, 32,918 units were registered (57.7% rigids and 42.3% artics), showing a decline for both types of trucks with 7,352 fewer rigids and 8,265 artics registered.
This has been attributed to both the effects of the COVID19 pandemic on the sector as both operators and society at large adjusted to the new conditions brought on by nationwide lockdowns, and a better than average period during 2019, boosted by the new smart tachograph legislation that was introduced that year.
Although the 1.6% fall in registrations during the 2020 Q3 was described by the SMMT as optimistic, renewed lockdown measures and uncertainty around the legal impacts of Brexit at the border crossings during the latter half of the year combined with the 73.4% drop in demand during Q2 to result in a negative impact for the year’s performance as a whole.
“From September, truck utilisation began to exceed pre-pandemic levels – but registrations continued to fall.” Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said. “Operators have been sweating their existing assets given the ongoing uncertainty from lockdown and an underlying structural decline in the market given many would have renewed their fleet in 2019.”
“Following such a tumultuous year, where the industry has acquitted itself well under the circumstances, it is vital that operators can have confidence restored so they can invest in the latest low-emission vehicles, helping the country to deliver on its green goals while ensuring the economy, and society, continues to move.”