How Many Vans Are on UK Roads? Over 3.9 Million, As Online Delivery Soars

There has been a 19 per cent increase in new registrations of licensed light goods vehicles over five years, according to new analysis of Department of Transport data by Direct Line for Business. There are now 3.9 million commercial vans on the road in Britain, the highest number at any time in the last 25 years.

At the end of 2017, the latest available data, there were 617,500 more vans on the road across the country compared to five years previous in 2012.

Van registrations in the South West have increased the most of any region, with 25 per cent more vans on the road compared to five years prior. This is closely followed by the East of England (24 per cent), South East (23 per cent) and Scotland (22 per cent). London, in comparison, saw the lowest increase; with just eight per cent more vans on the road in the capital. In terms of absolute numbers, the South East has the greatest number of vans of any region (650,000), while the North East has the lowest number (156,100).

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The analysis also found that the proportion of vans on the road has been growing steadily in recent years, with Light Goods Vehicles accounting for 10 per cent of all road vehicles in 2017, compared to nine per cent a decade ago. Overall the South West has the highest proportion of vans relative to the total number of vehicles, at 13 per cent.

As UK High Streets gradually decline, with a combination of high rents, business rates, rising wages, increasing parking restrictions, anti-social behaviour and more factors all putting people off, internet shopping is booming. The only way that many packages can be delivered rapidly – and at a low cost per mile – is via a small van, often diesel.


This record number of vans on the road has driven Direct Line for Business to offer free Basic Green Flag breakdown cover with all new van insurance policies purchased until 30 April 2019. This includes 24/7 roadside assistance, unlimited call outs and cover at home.

Matt Boatwright, Head of Direct Line for Business said: “Vans are essential for many small businesses and tradespeople and they just couldn’t operate without them.  With time-poor Britons wanting services on demand, the pressures on vans to get van drivers from A to B is only set to increase. If a van breaks down, not only is it a huge inconvenience to a business but can cost significant amounts in lost income. With a record number of vans on the road we hope the free Green Flag breakdown cover will provide van owners added peace of mind that they will be kept moving should anything happen.”

For more information about Direct Line Van Insurance and to take advantage of this free breakdown cover, simply visit:

About alastair walker 10567 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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