New van sales reached record levels in May as more than 29,000 were registered, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
A total of 29,354 new vans joined UK roads last month, an increase of 4.7% on the five-year pre-pandemic average and the best performance on record.
To date, more than 157,000 new vans have been registered this year.
Registrations grew across all vehicle segments in May, with the total number of units quadrupling on last year’s lockdown-impacted figures. Demand for larger 2.5-3.5 tonne vans drove the increase, comprising two thirds of all registrations, some 19,687 vans.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “May’s figures are welcome news, suggesting Britain’s additional reliance on commercial vehicles is a long-term shift rather than a lockdown stopgap.
“As the nationwide vaccination rollout continues at pace, maintaining business confidence is essential for the LCV market. However, to counter the environmental impact accompanying increased demand, we need to incentivise some 4.6 million van users and operators alike to make the switch to zero-emission capable technologies.
“This starts with plans for a nationwide charging infrastructure that can support the diverse needs of the commercial vehicle sector.”
The boom in sales comes despite reports of supply issues from manufacturers, as a result of the global semi-conductor shortage.
Ford retains its top spot in the monthly and annual sales ranking, with its Transit Custom achieving the most registrations. Almost 23,000 Transit Customs have been registered in 2021, with some 4,000 units joining in May.
The Ford Transit remains the second best-selling model.