Fear of new smart tachographs saw operators pull forward orders of new trucks and give another boost to the market after a surge in orders ahead of the expected Brexit date of March 29 according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Sales of rigid trucks over 6 tonnes rose 52% to 9,574 and and tractor units were up 38% to 6,031 units (over 90% being 6x2 as usual) in Q2 2019. This follows a 13% rise in sales of rigids to 6,339 and a rise of 32% in tractors to 5,520 in Q1, meaning sales in H1 2019 were up 34% to over 27,000 vehicles compared with the same period in 2018. Tractors and tippers remained the most popular HGV type.

UK HGV Registrations

The SMMT put the Q2 rise down to "a number of large orders ahead of the mandatory fitment of smart tachographs" and warned economic uncertainty ahead of teh next Brexit deadline in October could flatten the market in H2.

Chief executive Mike Hawes said: “A second strong quarter for truck registrations is certainly welcome news, however the swell in market size is undoubtedly due to operators choosing to expand their fleet ahead of the introduction of additional regulation. This significant performance means we may see the market level out throughout the second half of the year, especially given the role ongoing political and economic uncertainty could play in deterring further commitments to big fleet purchases.”