Van sales fell by 6.1% last month, with the market down 3% year-on-year.
The sales dip was less catastrophic than that of the passenger car market, which declined by 20% last month.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “We have seen fluctuations in UK van registrations so far this year, but the overall downward trend shows that there is some hesitancy in the market. Businesses need certainty to invest and future growth now depends on government providing the right economic conditions to encourage operators to renew their fleets.”
Just under 54,000 new LCVs were registered in September, with larger vans suffering the smallest decline.
Vehicles weighing less than 2.0-tonnes suffered the most, with a 42.9% decline last month.
In contrast, the Pick Up market remains in strong demand, growing 8.8%.
The best-selling van in the UK remains the Ford Transit Custom, achieving more than 9,800 registrations in September.
So far this year 274,247 new LCVs joined British roads. Overall the market remains at historic high levels that have been maintained since August 2015, with pickups enjoying a 4.6% boost so far this year taking them to more than 42,000 units registered.
Russell Adams, commercial vehicle manager at Lex Autolease, said: “Despite a drop in year on year new van registrations, we’re still seeing strong demand across all sectors and expect this to continue through to the end of the year. Maintaining strong service levels and avoiding downtime remains the priority for operators, and updating ageing fleets is key to this.
“We’re still seeing a high number of enquiries related to electric vehicles and are working with customers to determine how best to introduce electrification into their fleet.”