More than 600,000 lorries on UK roads27 Apr 2020

SMMT data shows rise in registered vehicles

There are now the highest number of heavy goods vehicles on the UK’s roads since 1990 according to data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The SMMT says that at the end of 2019 there were 607,998 lorries registered in the UK, with 20,000 of them dedicated to delivering to supermarkets.

The analysis is based on the organisation’s Motorparc dataset.

There were also 4,527,724 vans, a rise of 2.7% on the previous 12 months, and up 28% in a decade.

Commenting on the figures, Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“For all the focus on the number of cars on the road this is a reminder of our reliance on commercial vehicles which are vital to keeping food on the shelf and medicine in the pharmacies. We normally take the availability of life’s essentials for granted but in these difficult times we have become acutely aware of how important the supply chain is, and how fragile it can be.”



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

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Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.

The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at: