Last reviewed 26 May 2022

UK heavy goods vehicle (HGV) registrations declined by -2.3%, with a total of 9837 registrations in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

This has left the sector some distance from a full recovery after the pandemic and -17.1% below Q1 figures for 2019. While demand for HGVs, particularly from the construction industry, has therefore remained robust, global shortages of semiconductors and raw materials, including steel and aluminium, have restricted vehicle deliveries to fleet operators.

Registrations of rigid trucks fell by -10.1% to 4975, accounting for 50.6% of the market, while those of articulated trucks rose by 7.4% to 4862 units.

There was increased demand for tractors, the largest segment by volume, up 8.3% and comprising 49.1% of the market. However, all other segments saw decline, including box vans (-13.7%), tippers (-16.0%), curtain-sided trucks (-12.4%) and refuse disposal vehicles (-31.3%).

Across the UK nations, uptake varied considerably. Around four in five new trucks were registered in England, which recorded a decline of -2.8%, while registrations in Scotland fell by -14.0% and Northern Ireland and Wales registered 40.8% and 8.7% more HGVs than the same period last year respectively, although they made up a combined total of only 6.3% of UK registrations.

SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said: “Despite the myriad challenges facing the HGV sector, manufacturers have remained resilient, striving to fulfil order books as quickly as possible amid robust demand for the latest technology trucks.”

The market’s post-pandemic recovery continues to be frustrated by supply chain shortages and disruptions, he went on, but HGV operators considering their next fleet investments are encouraged to move early to secure the new vehicles that will meet their business needs.