Booming demand for light commercial vehicles saw van ownership in the UK increase by 2.7% year-on-year in 2019 to more than 4.5m units.

According to Motorparc data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), this represented the largest percentage growth in ownership of any vehicle sector and contributed to a 28% jump in LCV ownership during the last 10 years. The biggest driver for growth has been the explosion in online shopping, which has triggered a surge in demand for delivery vans but the SMMT claims many LCVs are now helping to provide transport for essential workers and emergency services during the coronavirus crisis, with 25,000 ambulance and fire service vehicles in use, for example.

The SMMT adds that the workshops remaining open to ensure these vehicles are safe and roadworthy are playing an equally crucial role during the pandemic.

SMMT boss Mike Hawes said: “As the UK continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, keeping food, medical supplies and the people serving on the front line moving has never been so important – and these figures show the essential role Britain’s vehicle fleet plays for society.”