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Heavy goods vehicles in the UK - Statistics & Facts

Heavy goods vehicles, encompassing all commercial vehicles over 3.5 metric tons, are an important segment of the vehicle manufacturing industry in the United Kingdom. Here, new commercial vehicle registrations rose by around two percent between 2018 and 2019. This rise came as legislations made the fitment of Smart Tachographs mandatory in the second part of the year, leading to an increase in registrations in the first sixth months of 2019. This put registration numbers slightly above 2003 figures, a recovery after the slump between 2016 and 2017, which had been a result of ongoing economic uncertainty in part linked to Brexit. The United Kingdom also had an overall young fleet, with heavy goods vehicles being on average just over seven years old in 2019. That same year, around 54,000 new vehicles were registered.

Despite the general decline from 2017 onwards in commercial vehicle numbers, figures for licensed heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) continued to rise and reached over 525,000 in 2019. This growth was most strongly felt in England, which boasted some 80 percent of all the vehicles licensed in the country, especially in its South East region. Diesel was the leading fuel type for these licensed vehicles, taking up more than 99 percent of the market, but a slow rise in hybrid and electric vehicles in use is anticipated. Between 2018 and 2019, ultra-low emission heavy goods vehicles registered in the UK went up from 12 to 19.

In 2020, tippers were one of the most common types of heavy goods vehicles, with some 40,200 licensed units. Between 2010 and 2018, the number of licensed dropside vehicles remained relatively steady and accumulated to 21,700 in 2019. Curtain-sided commercial vehicles on the other hand decreased in number, down to 34,600 units in 2019 compared to 35,300 in 2018.

While the PSA Group was the leading commercial vehicle manufacturer in the country, having manufactured some 55,000 units in 2019, DAF Trucks surpassed it in terms of new heavy goods vehicle sales, having sold close to 15,000 units across its various models that same year, and close to 7,000 in the first three quarters of 2020. The Fiat Ducato was the most popular medium and heavy commercial vehicle model as of the third quarter of 2020, with some 13,000 registered units reported.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 25 most important statistics relating to "Heavy goods vehicles in the United Kingdom".


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