October truck registrations spike as buyers act to avoid any type-approval hiccups

Truck registrations went through the roof last month in a rush to avoid any last-minute hitches due to the introduction of EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA).

Registrations of new trucks of 6-tonnes GVW or more totalled 7,909 in October, comfortably the biggest monthly total so far this year and the only month of registrations growth. It is roughly twice as many as the long-term average for October and even 72% up on the same month last year when the pull ahead to beat Euro-6 was underway.

“October marks the first month of 2014 in which truck registrations have seen positive growth, given the paucity of demand following the introduction of Euro-6,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes. “While encouraging, we should treat such a sharp percentage increase with caution, owing to a relatively small total market and new type approval regulations coming into force at the end of the month.”

On 29 October ECWVTA rules introduced type approval for completed vehicles built in more than one stage, such as a rigid chassis bodied by a separate bodybuilder. After this date, unregistered rigid chassis would be caught in limbo if the bodybuilder did not have the correct body type approval in place, so there was a rush to register vehicles to avoid that risk.

The biggest beneficiaries are manufacturers with particular interest in the rigid sector. Isuzu Truck’s monthly registrations were 270% up on October last year, Iveco’s were 180% up and Daf’s rose by 105%.

This massive boost means that with only two months of the year left, registrations are now running just 10.5% behind last year’s total at this juncture, compared with 28.8% behind at the end of the first half.