The Role of Vans

With over 4 million vans on the UK’s roads, van drivers and operators provide a vital service to the UK economy; their contributions must be valued and their concerns and hopes for the future heard and acted upon.

The Role of Vans


With the growth of vans on UK roads, politicians and policy makers are seeking to impose greater regulation and restrictions on the sector without fully understanding the vital contribution the van sector makes to the UK economy and the benefits it brings to communities across the country. 

Logistics UK's ambition for the van sector is one that is: 

  • Flexible and resilient.

  • Recognised for the value commercial vans adds to society and the economy, especially at a local level.

  • Seen as an essential service.

  • Progressing towards zero environmental and safety negativities.

Key facts

  • There are 4.1 million registered vans in the UK (DfT statistics).
  • The majority of vans in use are for the service industries (i.e. tradespeople carrying tools) whilst only one third are for freight purposes (RAC Foundation). 
  • Van drivers cover 55.5 billion miles per year (DfT statistics).


What are Logistics UK's key priorities for vans?

  •  Decarbonisation – including a fairer way of funding grid capacity upgrades for depot electrification and support for alternative fuels that are environmentally beneficial and fit for purpose in the road freight section, including heavier vans. 
  • Micro-mobility/Ultra-light logistics – understanding the developing role of this innovative and growing sector. 
  • Van safety – a recent report from the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) shows that, by distance travelled, vans and light goods vehicles (followed by HGVs) cause the highest rate of deaths of other road users. 
  • Van security - allocation of a national crime reporting code for all commercial van thefts and thefts from vans and a UK-wide standard reporting mechanism, ideally online, for van operators to report van crime.



Policy Manager


Denise Beedell  

Policy Manager - Vans and Urban



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