The UK new LCV market grew by 22% year-on-year in February, with the construction and online delivery sectors said to be driving demand.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported that, as in January, it was larger vans that mainly drove market growth, with 2.5-3.5t van registrations up by 30%, accounting for 11,809 of the 17,205 total LCVs sold.

It was also a strong month for pick-up registrations, up by 26.8% year-on-year with 1,716 hitting the road.

There was also a rise in 2.0-2.5t van registrations, up by 9% to 2,940, but a big decline in sales of vans weighing less than 2.0t, down by 25.3% to 689.

The very niche 4×4 segment saw a 6.3% rise, with 51 vehicles registered.

February’s figures mean that for the year so far, the LCV market is up by 9.5%, but this is purely down to the 2.5-3.5t van segment, with every other segment showing a fall for the year so far thanks to January losses.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “These figures are welcome news, but it’s important to remember that February is typically a small volume month ahead of the March plate change and we want to see this growth continue throughout the year. 

“Capitalising on this momentum will be important and an economic plan that encourages growth could help pivot the LCV market toward full recovery. 

“With a clear roadmap now in place for how the nation can safely emerge out of lockdown, businesses can look to the next few months with increasing confidence and upgrade their fleets with the many latest, most efficient vans on the market.”

The trend towards large vans was shown in the model sales charts, as the Ford Transit took the number one spot from its sister model, the Transit Custom, with 2,699 registrations versus 1,979.

Third was the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, with 1,375 registrations, ahead of the Peugeot Partner (945), and the Vauxhall Combo (860).

Completing the top ten were the Volkswagen Transporter (775), Ford Ranger (627), Ford Transit Connect (612), Toyota Hilux (605), and the Vauxhall Vivaro (549).