Light commercial vehicle sales increased 9.6 % year-on-year in November to 29,051, according to the SMMT, to reach a total of 341,420 in the year-to-date – 15.7% up on the first 11 months of 2015.
But it will take a strong December market for sales to reach the SMMT’s full-year forecast of 375,000 units, which would represent a 16.5% rise on 2014’s total of 321,686.
The trade body said growing business confidence and the surge in popularity of online deliveries were driving up van sales.
“The commercial vehicle market continues to demonstrate phenomenal progress, with sustained growth over a number of years as ever-more confident businesses invest in their fleets,” said SMMT boss Mike Hawes.
Sales in the resurgent pick-up sector grew 19.6% in November to 2860 and volume in the dominant 2.5t to 3.5t segment were up 19.1% to 19,150.
But sales of vans weighing from 2.0t to 2.5t tumbled by almost 27% to 3444 units.
Market leader Ford, Vauxhall and Fiat Professional all enjoyed strong months but Volkswagen, still working to resolve the emissions-rigging scandal that has engulfed the brand, was down by more than 11% despite the recent launch of new Caddy and Transporter models.