The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders is looking to remove lengthy paper trails from its van registration recording process in order to increase the accuracy of its month-by-month manufacturer sales charts.
In February, the SMMT reported that Peugeot registered 1693 vans – a 144% year-on-year rise. Although the brand said it had enjoyed a particularly strong month and admitted that sharp sales increases are magnified during the low volume February market, it suggested some of its registrations had been carried over from previous months and enlarged the February figure while leaving it short previously.
A spokesman for the SMMT told What Van? that 94% of van sales are currently recorded by
the electronic AFRL (Automated First Registration and Licensing) system and it is working with the DVLA, manufacturers and dealers to increase this figure and ensure sales are registered quickly and not carried over to later months.
The AFRL system, which the spokesman said already covers all HGV sales, is being phased in to speed up the registration process by replacing the non-electronic Secure Registration scheme.
Paper trails can lead to delays in LCVs appearing as registered on the SMMT’s database, especially
if the van is sent to a body builder for conversion.
For example, if a manufacturer records a van as sold in January and sends it to a body builder who converts it to the customer’s specification in February and then registers it with the body type approved, it will not appear on the SMMT’s records until the conversion is completed. The SMMT conceded that year-to-date figures are likely to give a more accurate picture of sales volumes than the monthly snapshot.