The UK’s heavy goods vehicle (HGV) market shrank by -73.4% in the second quarter of the financial year, new data reveals.

According to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the decline is due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and a particularly strong second quarter in 2019 when the introduction of smart tachographs saw a large uptick in orders.

Registrations of rigid trucks fell -72.6%, with both the >6-16T and >16T segments experiencing similar sharp declines. Elsewhere, demand for articulated heavy trucks fell by -74.7% to 1,525 units.

In the year to date, the market is now some -51.4% lower than the same period in 2019, with 14,120 fewer vehicles registered.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, commented: ‘Such a sharp decrease in heavy commercial vehicle registrations is deeply concerning given the sector’s critical role in keeping the country moving.

‘While it is important to be mindful of the pronounced boost the introduction of new technologies had on last year’s figures, 2020 has been unprecedented.

‘Given the current economic uncertainties, restoring operator confidence will be crucial in driving the UK’s recovery but also ensuring it is a green recovery, as getting more of the latest high-tech, low emission vehicles onto our roads is key to addressing environmental concerns.’

New bus and coach registrations also fell -77.1% in the second quarter of this year, with just 328 units joining British roads.