New truck registrations fall in Q1 2018

The market for new HGVs fell again in the first three months of 2018, the third consecutive quarter of decline for new truck registrations in the UK.

Some 9,785 new trucks over 6-tonnes GVW were registered in January, February and March of 2018 - a 6% fall on the same period in 2017.

This marked the third consecutive quarter where new truck registrations had declined when measured against the same period in the previous year: Q4 2017 saw 12,271 HGVs registered, a fall of 9.5%, while Q3 2017 saw a 5.7% fall when 10,597 units were registered.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Fluctuating fleet orders are a natural feature of the HGV market and, following strong demand in Q1 2017, this fall isn’t altogether unexpected."

But he warned: “This now the third consecutive quarter of decline [and] it is clear that economic and political uncertainty is having an impact. We need government to create the right conditions to give operators confidence to invest in their fleets and get more of the latest, safest and low emission commercial vehicles onto our roads.”

Artics accounted for 42.5% of new truck registrations in the quarter, and 4,171 registrations was a 6.6% increase on the same period a year ago.

Demand for rigids fell 13.5%, with 5,613 units registered. Rigids between 6-tonnes and 16-tonnes GVW particularly suffered, down 21.6% year-on-year.

As ever, DAF remained the market leader, but its market share fell to 27.9%, with 2,734 units registered, compared to a market share of 32.7% and 3,402 units registered in Q1 2017.

Scania, which only has a range above 16-tonne GVW, took second place with a 16% share and 1,564 units registered (it increased its market share from 14.8% in Q1 2017). Volvo ran Scania incredibly close taking a 15.9% share with 1,556 units registered (it too increased market share from 13.8% in Q1 2017).

Mercedes took a 15% market share (up from 12.6% in 2017) with 1,466 units registered. Its Mitsubishi-Fuso division had a 1.7% market share.

MAN had an improved quarter taking 8.2% market share (compared to 7.9% in Q1 2017), while Iveco saw its share dip from 7.6% to 6.4% and Renault had a drop from 4.9% to 4.3%. Dennis Eagle took 2%, compared to 1.5%.