New HGV registrations increase by a fifth in the first quarter of 2019

The UK’s new heavy goods vehicle (HGV) market increased 21.2% in the first quarter of 2019, with 11,859 units registered, according to figures released this month by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A number of large orders and strong market incentives helped drive registrations following flat performances for the past two years in a row.

Registrations of rigid trucks grew by 12.9%, with both the >6-16T and >16T segments experiencing growth. Meanwhile, demand for articulated vehicles also rose, up a significant 32.3% to 5,520 units.

The majority of body types saw a rise in registrations, including tractors, the most popular segment, with demand growing 30.2%. Tippers and box vans also experienced uplifts, of 18.2% and 64.4% respectively.

The geographical impact of the new registration was most evident in the UK, with a percentage uplift of 22.8%, with Wales experiencing growth of 16.3% and Northern Ireland and Scotland recording a more modest increase of 8.1%.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “The significant rise in truck registrations is certainly welcome news but it is important to remember that large fleet orders can have a big impact on this relatively small volume market.

“Despite the increase in demand, ongoing political and economic uncertainty is still a significant factor for businesses and we may see the market level out throughout 2019.”