Nearly 28,000 new vans were registered last month, an 11.8% rise over the same period last year, the latest Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders figures have revealed.

This marks the third consecutive month of growth for the van market, following a record performance last year, the SMMT said. So far this year 3.3% more LCVs have been registered in the UK compared with the first four months of 2015.

Vans weighing between 2.5 and 3.5t drove most of the growth, with registrations up by 22.6% to 17,660 vans last month, while the pick-up market – no doubt helped by a plethora of new model launches recently – grew by 35.4% to 3686 units, helping to offset a 16.6% decline in vans weighing between 2.0t and 2.5t.

“Following a quieter start to 2016, it is positive to see the van market picking up with a third consecutive month of growth in April, once again fuelled by increased demand for larger LCVs,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

“The 3.3% rise in registrations during the first four months of the year places the sector in a strong position and on track to maintain stable growth throughout 2016,” he added.