heavy commercial vehicles

The most common types of heavy commercial vehicles on UK roads


At the end of September 2023, vehicle licensing statistics recorded that over 500,000 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) were registered in the UK, with van traffic seeing the fastest growth in percentage terms of any motor vehicle type over the past 25 years, increasing by 90% to 57.5 billion vehicle miles in 2022.

Now with so much emphasis on the transport and logistics sector that we see today, it’s no wonder that the vehicle types and needs have changed over the years.From considering how powerful the engine is and how much room there is in the cab, to whether it’s a long or short wheelbase, and if they’re prone to common maintenance issues, not to mention whether electric or battery options are viable too.  

Researching the right HGVs can feel like a never-ending task as there’s quite simply so much choice. However, when making an investment of that sheer size and necessity, it’s important to not ignore one very important thing: reputation.

Word of mouth goes a long way. Online reviews, customer forums and peer recommendations can make or break a new business deal for a HGV fleet, so it’s no surprise that brands across the UK are doing all they can to keep their credit spick and span.

So let’s explore this for ourselves, and find out if the most popular HGV brands are really true to their reputations.

The latest Statista report names DAF Trucks as the leading HGV manufacturer in the UK, having increased their increased market share to 32.1% year over year and a staggering 13.2% change. In figures, this left DAF with 13,068 vehicles registered in 2022, compared to their 11,547 in 2021.

The report then lists Volvo as a runner-up with 5,655 units registered during the same time, and Scania in third place with 5,906 units. Whereas IVECO dropped beneath the 5% mark, ending 2022 with 4.90% share, and FUSO hangs on by a thread with 0.50% in the UK.

However, vehicle registration and market share figures don’t necessarily reflect a drivers’ favourite HGV brand overall, so it’s worth looking at other sources such as driver preferences and industry expert opinions.

For example, the International Truck of the Year Award praised different brands in their top spots recently, with the Mercedes-Benz Actros taking 1st place in 2020, MAN‘S new TGX in 2021, and the  DAF XF in 2022.

At the same time, when we directly ask the people who drive those HGVs on a daily basis, their opinions are a combination too, as the top 3 brands highlighted in a recent driver poll on UK driving community forum TruckNet UK were listed as Volvo, Scania, and Mercedes-Benz.

But, taking the ultimate crown at the International Truck of the Year 2023 ceremony, was none other than the DAF XD.

Recognised by a jury of 24 commercial vehicle editors and senior journalists, representing 24 major trucking magazines throughout Europe, the DAF XD secured a winning score of 134 votes, fighting off challenges from Scania and Mercedes-Benz.

A well-deserved win, as according to the rules, the annual award goes to the truck introduced into the market within the past 12 months which has made the most significant contribution to road transport efficiency, based on a criteria of technological innovation, comfort, safety, driveability, fuel economy, environmental ‘footprint,’ and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

This makes the DAF XD the official number 1 HGV choice of today, and offers fleet managers benefits such as improved direct visibility (a key factor for distribution vehicles), as well as better internal cab space, aerodynamics, fuel efficiency, active and passive safety, and driver comfort.

And whilst this is sure to be a great investment and a brand well worthy of the top spot, it’s important to remember that no HGV is ever completely sound, and accidents can happen to anyone.

Knowing who to call when you’re stuck

Whether you run a fleet of DAF trucks, MAN, or Mercs, Egertons will be right there when you need us most.

We’re one of the UK’s leading vehicle rescue and recovery operators and with services stretching from breakdown recovery to specialist assistance, we pride ourselves on being available 24/7/365.

But why do so many businesses choose us?

From the first notification of loss (FNOL), our team will work towards completing crucial steps to find out exactly what’s happened, how we’ll get to you and which vehicles are going to get the job done. This means: 

  • Asking critical questions such as an exact description of location, load, intended destination and of course, what the breakdown issue is.
  • Determining the most appropriate emergency response vehicle, confirm a plan of action if a vehicle can be repaired, or send a recovery vehicle to take the vehicle away if needed.
  • Then deploying the exact right vehicles, the very first time, to ensure recovery takes place as safely and efficiently as possible.

This service delivery is further supported by our 24-hour control room, equipped with the latest industry technology, and our call centre team use this alongside our sophisticated online portal to efficiently manage our 300-strong fleet, including everything from our staple service vans, 4x4s and slidebeds, to the heavy underlift, low loader, rotator and infamous Hiab Accident Unit.

Our incident support vehicles are on-hand to rescue, recover and resolve any HGV in a crisis.  

It’s a fleet we’re proud to put our name to, and if thanks to their excellent capabilities, there’s one thing we can say with absolute confidence:

We’re the preferred vehicle rescue and recovery operator for UK HGV fleets to rely on, no matter what.

Reach out today to find out more.