The commercial vehicle market grew by 11% to 363,155 units in 2014, the highest level since 2007, with the van market leading the way with 321,686 registrations for the year, up 18.7%.
However, truck registrations fell by 26.2% throughout the year due to changing legislation.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, explained: “The truck market has been distorted by the introduction of Euro-6 emissions regulations at the start of the year and new type approval legislation at year end, which affected fleet renewal patterns and caused in a drop in registrations.
“The outlook for 2015 is bright, however, with stability expected to return to the market.”
The LCV fleet leasing sector also reported strong growth throughout last year, according to the BVRLA.
The association’s chief executive Gerry Keaney told Fleet News that 2014 had been a great year for van leasing, with volumes rising around 10%.
He continued: “We expect to see van registrations continue to grow with the economy.
“The van sector is seeing a growing popularity for vehicle finance – largely thanks to the development of flexible rental and leasing finance and ‘driveaway’ products that dramatically reduce the lead-times on pre-fitted out vans.
“The van market is also benefitting from a continued trend for operators to downsize from larger trucks.”