Drivers of white-coloured light commercial vehicles may be set to disappear after new figures revealed sales of white vans are on the wane – while the popularity of bronze models suggests a new shade of delivery van is taking over Britain’s roads.
Statistics from the DVLA show registrations of white light commercial vehicles have decreased by 34% over the past five years. During the same period, bronze-coloured small vans have shot up by a staggering 215% – making it the fastest-growing shade across the board.
Darren Jasper, head of commercial vehicle leasing at Select Car Leasing, which unearthed the data via a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, said: “This news could sound the death knell for the term ‘White Van Man’, and that’s no bad thing.
“In our view, it often comes with negative connotations, and it’s unfair to label all drivers of white vans as rude and unreasonable.
“A survey by Mercedes Benz last year found that 43 per cent of van owners are now women, while a third prefer yoga and gym workouts to fry-ups and pies.
“This changing demographic could have something to do with the popularity of smaller white vans decreasing as drivers look to smash the stereotype.”
The DVLA figures cover the period from January 2018 to November 30 last year. Vehicles included were in tax classes 39 (Light Goods Vehicle) and 36 (Euro 4/5 Light Goods Vehicle).
Examples include the Ford Transit, Renault Trafic and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
The number of white models first taxed in 2018 was 187,260, but by the first 11 months of 2022 that had dipped to 122,795.
Silver models went from 43,410 down to 14,985, while black van numbers descended from 31,198 in 2018 to 18,263 this year.
Meanwhile, bronze was the only colour to see a rise – from 209 five years ago to 658 in 2022.
Select Car Leasing’s Mr Jasper added: “Of course, white vans are still by far the most popular on UK roads. Our research found that on November 13 last year, there were more than 2.2 million taxed white LGVs in this country. The next most popular colours were silver (484,773), grey (429,68) and black (322,793).”
Previous research carried out by Select Car Leasing highlighted that White Van Man might be getting unfair criticism anyway – because they are less likely to lose their cool than high-level professionals.
A survey of British motorists found that 17 per cent of those with job titles such as surgeon or chief executive admitted to having a verbal or physical fight with someone in a vehicle.
This was compared with only seven per cent of “skilled manual workers”, including plumbers and electricians.