Latest figures show HGV registrations still falling

Colin Barnett
May 19, 2022

The latest HGV registration figures from SMMT, covering the first quarter of 2022, show a continued decline overall, but it’s not through lack of demand.

With the war in Ukraine, a significant supplier of automotive components, adding to the existing shortages of semi-conductors, and raw materials such as steel and aluminium, the market is unable to make headway in the recovery from the pandemic, and is still 17.1% below the same period in 2019.

Compared with the equivalent period in 2021, the latest UK figures are 9,837, down 227 units or 2.3%. By vehicle type, only tractors, which constitute just under half of the market, are bucking the trend, up 8.3%. All other types are down, including tippers (-16.0%), box vans (-13.7%) curtainside rigids (-12.4%) and RCVs (-31.3%).

Regionally, England, which accounts for around 80% of the market was down 2.8%, with Scotland seeing a 14.0% drop. Rises were recorded in Northern Ireland (40.8%) and Wales (8.7%), although together they only make up 6.7% of the UK market.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Despite the myriad challenges facing the heavy goods vehicle sector, manufacturers have remained resilient, striving to fulfil order books as quickly as possible amid robust demand for the latest technology trucks. Despite the market’s post-pandemic recovery continuing to be frustrated by supply chain shortages and disruptions, HGV operators considering their next fleet investments are encouraged to move early to secure the new vehicles that will meet their business needs.

"The sector continues to play a crucial role in the UK economy and faces the same decarbonisation challenges as the rest of road transport. The government’s newly announced zero emission HGV demonstrator programme will provide useful guidance to help operators plan their longer term fleet strategy.”

About the Author


Colin Barnett

Colin Barnett has been involved in the road transport industry since becoming an apprentice truck mechanic and worked on Commercial Motor for 27 years

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