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Gloucestershire Business News

Van sales are 'going through the roof'

The van market is booming after lockdown, having just witnessed a record-breaking May.

Nearly 30,000 vans were registered last month, the best-ever performance for May.

Registrations were up 4.7% on the pre-pandemic five-year average and the sector saw the best ever year-to-date growth, with 157,150 vans registered in the first five months of the year.

The surge is down to high demand for deliveries, e-commerce and essential services, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

NIck Broady, owner of Avenue Cars in Gloucester, said the demand for vans had "gone through the roof". He said Amazon had been a major factor driving the demand for vans.

"I've never known it like this," he said. "We are struggling to supply all the people who want vans. Since lockdown the industry has changed so much."

Registrations grew across all vehicle segments, with the total number of units quadrupling on last year's lockdown-impacted figures. Demand for larger 2.5-3.5 tonne vans drove the increase, comprising two-thirds of all registrations, some 19,687 vans.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "May's figures are welcome news, suggesting Britain's additional reliance on commercial vehicles is a long-term shift rather than a lockdown stopgap.

"As the nationwide vaccination rollout continues at pace, maintaining business confidence is essential for the light commercial vehicle market. However, to counter the environmental impact accompanying increased demand, we need to incentivise some 4.6 million van users and operators alike to make the switch to zero-emission capable technologies. This starts with plans for a nationwide charging infrastructure that can support the diverse needs of the commercial vehicle sector."

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