Find out how, why and when commercial vehicle buyers will spend on new or used trucks

Commercial Motor
August 5, 2019

The truck-buying market remains in a state of flux. On the face of it, new truck registrations started the year in a positive manner. Comparing Q1 2018 to Q1 2019, new truck registrations were up 21.2% – from 9,785 units to 11,859 units. Rigids were up 12.9%; artics were up a staggering 32.3%. So far, so good. This type of upturn has only been seen in the past during periods of economic recovery or legislative change. But what has changed?

The truth is, nothing changed. And that is the problem. Business was busy preparing for Britain’s exit from the European Union on 31 March and, without even the barest hint of what trading conditions would look like after this deadline, stockpiled to avoid tariffs should the UK’s trading relationship with its largest partner revert to WTO rules under a no-deal Brexit.

The RHA reported that tariffs on an imported vehicle (and the majority of new trucks are vehicles imported from the EU) would be 22% for anything above 5-tonne GVW. So there is every chance that operators in need of a truck registered them before the blown Brexit date. The industry awaits the publication of the second quarter sales figures for confirmation.