THE UK’s new heavy goods vehicle (HGV) market fell 22.5% in the first quarter of 2020, with 9,193 units registered, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Fluctuations in the sector’s naturally long fleet renewal cycle, together with lockdown measures partway through March affected HGV registrations, rounding off the first three months of the year down some 2,666 units.

Registrations of rigid trucks fell 12.0%, driven by a double-digit percentage decline in the >16t truck segment, while trucks weighing >6-16t saw a lesser 5.8% fall in registrations. Meanwhile, demand for articulated heavy trucks declined by more than a third, down 34.5% as 3,613 vehicles joined UK roads.

Elsewhere, refuse disposal and curtainsided vehicles experienced increased demand, up 24.4% and 1.2% respectively, likely due to ramped up essential services such as rubbish collection and supermarket and warehouse deliveries amid a nationwide pandemic.