Just under 100,000 new vans were registered during the first quarter of 2015, according to the latest Society of Motor Manufacturer figures.

The SMMT said last quarter was the best on record. In total, 97,775 vans were registered between January and March, a 22.3% increase on the same period last year.

According to the SMMT, the increase reflects a upturn in the UK’s economy with businesses being able to invest in vehicles to help deliver an increasing number of goods and services to consumers.

The best selling van of the quarter was the Ford Transit Custom with 12,627 registered, nearly 5000 ahead of the second-placed Vauxhall Vivaro while Volkswagen’s Transporter completed the top three with 5765 registrations.

“Commercial vehicles play a crucial role in the British economy and in supporting our everyday lives. There are currently some 4.4 million vans and trucks on British roads, delivering 81% of all goods and shifting almost 3000 tonnes of goods every minute. In 2014 alone, these vehicles covered 61 billion miles in the UK,” said Mike Hawes, chief executive, SMMT. “Demand for vans is particularly strong as home deliveries continue to grow in popularity: 97,775 vans have been registered in the past three months – 22.3% up on the same period last year – and annual registrations are now nearing an all-time high.”