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HGV registrations surged by more than a fifth (21%) to 11,859 units in the first quarter of 2019, according to the SMMT.

Registrations of rigids at 6,339 units showed a close to 13% increase year on year, while artics were the star performer with registrations close to a third higher (32.3%) than a year ago at 5,520.

The SMMT said that a number of large orders and strong market incentives had helped drive registrations after flat performances in 2017 and 2018.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “The significant rise in truck registrations is certainly welcome news but it is important to remember that large fleet orders can have a big impact on this relatively small volume market.

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“Despite the increase in demand, ongoing political and economic uncertainty is still a significant factor for businesses and we may see the market level out throughout 2019.”

Tractors remained the most popular body type, growing 30.2% year on year to make up almost half of all registrations during the quarter at 5,417.

Tipper and Box Van bodied trucks also experienced an uplift with registration growth of 18.2% to 1,221 and 64.4% to 1,493 units respectively.

Last year total HGV registrations in the UK declined 4.3% to 43,103 units, marking a second twelve month period of decline.

  • Newly published figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, which are not directly comparable to SMMT's data, nevertheless show that heavy truck registrations (16-tonne and above) grew during April across the EU. In the UK, heavy truck registrations were 14.3% up on the same period a year ago at 3,415.