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Brits’ dependence on commercial vehicles revealed as new research shows 9 in 10 would be worse off without them

24 April 2018 #CV Sector #CV Show #Event News #News #SMMT News #Truck #Van
  • Almost 9 in 10 (88%) British consumers say reduced or restricted services from CV-driven services would significantly affect their quality of life.
  • New survey shows extent of British people’s reliance on CVs for their day-to-day lives, with 46% recognising they benefitted in some form in the last 24 hours.
  • Rubbish collection, online deliveries and sending and receiving post most popular uses of a commercial vehicle.
  • Industry highlights vital role Britain’s 5 million goods and service vehicles play in driving our society and economy, as UK’s biggest commercial vehicle show opens.

The extent of British consumers’ reliance on commercial vehicles (CVs) was revealed today by new research published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Responding to a YouGov survey commissioned by the trade body, almost nine in 10 people (88%) said they believed their life would be negatively impacted if their use of at least one CV-driven service such as rubbish collection, bus services and online deliveries was restricted.1

The survey, published as the CV Show 2018 opens its doors at the NEC in Birmingham, shows 46% of respondents directly benefitted from a commercial vehicle in the last 24 hours. Receiving post and online deliveries were the most popular daily uses, while 79% said they benefit from CVs at least once a week, with rubbish collection the most commonly recognised weekly use. Regularly travelling by bus or minibus and taking a taxi were other popular ways to use commercial vehicles.2

Commercial vehicles play an essential part in our daily lives – and in driving our economy. From the 1.8 million sole traders who depend on their vans for their livelihoods,3 to the 17,228 ambulances that carry some 5 million people to A&E each year,4 Britain’s CVs are responsible for keeping the country running. Over 96% are powered by diesel and the latest low emission Euro VI models are delivering real world improvements in emissions in towns and cities across the UK. Utility and delivery vans and trucks together move three times more goods than water and rail combined5 – contributing some £27.5 billion to the UK economy.6

Although commercial vehicles’ role in society is often overlooked, when asked to think about their day-to-day activities and told about those that require the use of commercial vehicles (such as catching a bus and receiving online groceries), 84% of respondents recognised the importance of them. Further, when presented with a list of situations, nearly nine in 10 (88%) said that reduced or restricted services from commercial vehicles would significantly affect the quality of their life. Less frequent rubbish collection was seen as having the most significant impact, with nearly seven in 10 (67%) stating this would negatively affect them. Meanwhile, nearly four in 10 (38%) said that less frequent bus services would impact their life, and almost a third (32%) said the same about the idea of increased time to receive online deliveries.

As well as delivering essential services, Britain’s commercial vehicle fleet is increasingly serving growing demand for online purchasing. The UK is now the EU’s biggest online retail sector, with consumers here buying some £67.3 billion worth of goods and services online in 2017, and online sales are forecast to have made up 17.6% of all retail sales last year.7 Commercial vehicles transport some 1.9 billion tonnes of goods across the UK every year – including medicines, clothing and groceries.8

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

There are 5 million commercial vehicles on Britain’s roads and they play a vital role in powering our essential services. Britain’s CVs are the backbone of our economy, and manufacturers invest heavily in technology, with the latest CVs on our roads today the cleanest, safest and most advanced in history. For the sector to grow and continue to drive investment and jobs, government must maintain the right economic conditions, and help promote fleet renewal through the right policies and incentives.

Around 21,000 people are expected to attend the Commercial Vehicle Show, which opens its doors today at the NEC in Birmingham. Now in its 19th year, CV Show 2018 will see 460 companies exhibiting, including some of the biggest van and truck names on the market. The show runs from 24-26 April and entry is free. Find out more at:

Notes to editors

  1. When asked which do you think would significantly negatively affect the quality of your day-to-day life, 67% cited less frequent rubbish collection, 38% less frequent bus services and 32% cited increased time to receive online deliveries.
  2. Of those surveyed, 42% took a bus or coach and 25% took a taxi within the past 3 weeks.
  3. SMMT estimate based on DfT National Transport Survey data and SMMT Motorparc data
  4. NHS England Ambulance Quality Indicators Data 2016 – Incidents where a patient was transported
  5. Government Transport statistics – October 2016 to September 2017.
  6. ONS data
  7. – Online Retailing: Britain, Europe, US and Canada 2017
  8. Government Transport statistics – 2016 figures

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2007 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th – 17th April 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

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