The new LCV market saw a year-on-year increase of 3.9% during April.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 23,501 LCVs were registered last month, but added the year-on-year increase had to be placed in the context of weak sales in April 2017, when the market fell by 18.8%.

Last month saw growth in all sectors of the LCV market, with the exception of pick-ups – previously strong sellers in 2018 – which fell by 13.5%.

Registrations of vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes rose by 11%, vans between 2.0 tonnes and 2.5 tonnes by 9.2%, and vans between 2.5 tonnes and 3.5 tonnes – by far the biggest sector of the market – by 5.5%.

April’s figures mean the overall market for 2018 to date is down by 2.3% compared with the same period in 2017, with 117,875 LCVs registered so far this year.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “After last April’s double-digit decline, last month’s growth isn’t surprising.

“Year-on-year van market performance has fluctuated over recent months, reflecting natural variances in buying cycles and a range of new model introductions.

“We expect this trend to continue throughout 2018.”

Regular market leader the Ford Transit Custom was again Britain’s best selling LCV during April, with 3,428 registrations, ahead of the Ford Transit with 1,670, the Volkswagen Transporter with 1,560, the Ford Transit Connect with 1,373, and the Citroen Berlingo with 1,212.