UK HGV registrations in Q2 2021 up on last year, but not pre-Covid levels

New figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have revealed a significant increase in the amount of HGV registrations in Q2 2021 compared to the same period a year earlier. However, a full coronavirus recovery has yet to materialise.

UK HGV registrations in Q2 2021 up on last year, but not pre-Covid levels
Photo © Copyright David Dixon

According to the SMMT, new HGV registrations increased by 128.7% in the second quarter of 2021.

The increase saw some 9,493 units registered, up from 5,342 in Covid-impacted 2020. Compared to the pre-pandemic five-year average, however, truck registrations fell by 20.1%. The SMMT says this is a result of the nationwide lockdown and business uncertainty continuing to discourage greater investment in new equipment.

Photo: SMMT

Performance for the year to date followed a similar pattern, with 19,557 vehicles registered in 2021. That represented a 46.6% increase on 2020, but fell short by some 7,907 trucks when compared to 2019 (a reduction of 28.8%).

All segments saw volume increases compared to 2020, with articulated trucks up 128.3% and rigids up 128.9% respectively, while tractors continue to be the most popular vehicle body type, making up more than a third of all registrations in the quarter (35.9%).

Meanwhile, the refuse disposal sector saw one of the smallest gains, up 68.4% to 586 waste collection vehicles. This, the SMMT states, is down to local authority funding being impacted by Covid and thus delaying new orders.

Photo: SMMT

Commenting on the figures, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said:

“While it’s good – if unsurprising – to see an increase in HGV registrations, 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 and more significant challenge as the Government proposes the complete decarbonisation of this sector by 2040. This would be an incredibly tough timeline when the technological solutions are unclear, with nearly all of the sector diesel-powered. The sector needs stability, certainty and support if it is to develop the technologies and make them commercially viable for our heaviest mobility challenges.”


Photo © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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