New and Commercial Vans Shortage

Posted: 21/02/13

Fleets need to prepare themselves for a shortage of new and commercial vans due to supply chain issues and demand outweighing supply.

There has been a perfect storm brewing resulting in a shortage and delay of new vans available to the market. An emerging shortage of semiconductors disrupting car and van production globally is the first problem. Brexit, Covid-19 and the booming home delivery sector are the other drivers leaving new and commercial vans in short supply. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found that overall van sales grew to nearly 100,000 in quarter one of 2021, while the light commercial van market grew by 43% year-on-year. Pickups and larger vans grew by 36% and 60% respectively over the same time period. The UK commercial van manufacturing for the domestic market fell by nearly 33% in the first two months of 2021, compared to 2020. The result is that demand is outweighing supply, leading to long lead times and a real headache for fleets.

So, what does this mean for fleet managers and individuals who are in need of a new or commercial van? It is still possible to get these, but it may become increasingly more difficult. With waiting times for new vans extending to January 2022 for some models, van hire could prove a fantastic short-term (or longer-term) option to plug the gap.

Denise Lane, director at the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) had this to say to fleet managers:

“Job one for fleet managers is to get a clear picture of the situation so that they can formulate a plan. There are a number of options – for example, if a car or van they have ordered will be slow to arrive, they can continue to operate their existing vehicles for longer or potentially look at alternative models.

“Where vehicles are required to fulfil a new need, then short or medium term hire may be the best option, although it could be that daily rental companies themselves could come under pressure, both in terms of getting hold of planned vehicle supply and meeting increased demand as a consequence of the semiconductor shortage.

“What is most important, we believe, is for manufacturers and others in the manufacturing supply chain to continue to provide updated and accurate information. Fleets should be able to resolve most of the problems created by this situation, but clarity is needed so they know exactly what problems they are likely to face.”


Exchange Van Hire Services offer combi van hire throughout Doncaster and the surrounding areas. View our van hire page or call 01302 340000 for a quotation.

With Exchange Van Hire Services all our hire vehicles are fully maintained and serviced by our experienced mechanics on and off site, fully Autoglym cleaned and protected and all vehicles are covered for breakdown 24 hours a day 7 days a week.