Registrations of new trucks up 13.5% in 2023

By Categories: NewsPublished On: Friday 23 February 2024

UK registrations of new HGVs rose by 13.5 per cent in 2023, according to recently released figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), representing a growth in demand for the second con­secutive year.

The total number of new trucks put on the road last year was 46,227, the highest annual figure since the Covid pandemic, though still 4.8 per cent less than the 2019 total of 48,535. The majority of trucks regis­tered in 2023 were rigids (24,439 units), accounting for 52.9 per cent of the market and up 14.7 per cent on the previous year. Artic demand was also strong, up 12.2 per cent to 21,788 vehicles.

Tractors, curtain-sided trucks, box vans and re­fuse vehicles all saw increased registration num­bers, though tipper registrations declined following a strong performance in 2022.

Meanwhile, registrations of electric and hydrogen vehicles increased more than threefold last year, with a total of 234 units as compared to just 64 in 2022. SMMT added, however, that with these vehicles ac­counting for just 0.5 per cent of the total HGV market, “the clock is ticking” as the 2035 deadline looms for the end of sale of new non-zero emission trucks of 26 tonnes and under.

The organisation said operators needed certainty of the commercial viability of switching to zero-emis­sion vehicles in the context of tight margins.

Highlighting “acute concerns over the lack of pub­lic chargepoint infrastructure”, it said charging sup­port for HGVs was needed in every part of the UK as part of a national strategy.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of SMMT, said: “In­creasing availability of electric and hydrogen models – and record demand for them – is encouraging mar­ket growth but operators need cast-iron confidence to switch. More than ever, government must compel truck infrastructure rollout and provide a signal that the time to invest is now.”