Last month saw more new LCVs registered than ever before during the month of May, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

It said the total of 29,354 registrations was not only up by 289.3% compared with May 2020, when the market was severely affected by the first Covid-19 lockdown, but also up by 4.7% compared with pre-pandemic levels.

The latest figures mean that overall LCV registrations to this point in the year, currently standing at 157,150, are also the highest on record, up 99.3% compared with 2020, and up 4% compared with a pre-pandemic five-year average.

In May, usual market leader the 2.5-3.5t van segment accounted for two-thirds of registrations, with 19,687.

There were 3,955 2.0-2.5t vans registered, 3,570 pick-ups, 1,743 vans weighing less than 2.0t, and 399 4x4s.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes 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 LCV model sales chart in May was topped by the Ford Transit Custom, with 4,065 registrations, ahead of the Ford Transit with 2,401, the Volkswagen Transporter with 1,872, the Vauxhall Vivaro with 1,801, and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with 1,597.

Completing the top ten were the Citroen Berlingo (1,384), the Ford Ranger (1,362), the Ford Transit Connect (987), the Peugeot Partner (964), and the Volkswagen Crafter (854).