New research by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has suggested that van-dependent businesses contribute £120bn to the UK economy each year.

The study, which was conducted in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, also suggested that van drivers travelled almost 102 billion km (63.3bn miles) in 2014 alone.

According to VW, the number of registered commercial vehicles in the UK has increased by 400% since 2009, while there has been a 17.5% increase in self-employment during the same period.

“Commercial vehicles play a huge role in start-up and small businesses and we’re proud to supply the future drivers of British business with vehicles that help to deliver their goods and services,” said Carl zu Dohna, director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

“We admire the entrepreneurial minds of those in the UK who have continued to take risks and challenged traditional business industries in establishing exciting and forward-thinking new start-ups that use our vehicles,” he added.