Van travel trends in Great Britain10 Apr 2014

One in ten vehicles on the road is a van

The number of vans on Britain’s roads has been rising more than 2.5 times quicker than cars.

Between 2002 and 2012, the number of vans increased by 29% to 3.3 million.

Over the same period the number of cars rose by 11% to 28.7 million.

Every tenth vehicle on the road is now a light commercial vehicle (LCV).

Over the same decade the number of lorries (heavy goods vehicles or HGVs) on British roads fell by 5% to 460,000.

The highest percentage change in van ownership over that period was seen in the North East, followed by the South West and Wales. This is the full table:

The RAC Foundation commissioned a report from the consultancy company AECOM to try and better understand what has been happening with van traffic. It shows that:

  • In Europe only France, Spain and Italy have more vans registered than Britain
  • Van traffic in Britain is predicted to almost double by 2040
  • 95% of vans are diesel powered
  • 20% of vans change hands each year
  • 3% of vans (112,000) are 20 or more years older
  • Almost one in two (44%) of UK registered vans visit London each year