The UK new LCV market saw its third consecutive month of growth in March.

According to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) data, registrations rose by 17.3% year-on-year to 47,634.

However, the SMMT said this growth was amplified by a relatively poor performance in March 2022, when the market shrank by 27.6%.

The market-leading 2.5-3.5t van segment saw growth of 4.9% last month, with 30,651 registrations, while the 2.0-2.5t van segment saw 66.3% growth to 5,577.

The segment for vans weighing less than 2.0t was the only one to see a fall last month, down by 24.6% to 681 registrations.

Pick-up trucks were up by 29.3% to 5,762, while 4x4s were up by 183.4% to 1,264.

Electric van sales were up by 32.7% to 2,534 – 5.3% of the overall market.

For the year to date, the overall LCV market is up by 17.4%, but remains 15.1% down on pre-pandemic 2019, with supply chain issues said to be continuing.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “A solid first quarter of growth for the van market is a positive outcome, given the importance of vans in keeping Britain’s businesses on the move. 

“These working vehicles are also essential in helping Britain decarbonise, so all barriers to uptake must be removed to accelerate fleet renewal. 

“The most important requirement now is the urgent development of widespread and dependable van-suitable charging infrastructure to bolster operator confidence to make the switch.”

The Ford Transit Custom topped the new LCV sales chart in March with 6,257 registrations, ahead of the Ford Transit with 3,951, and the Ford Ranger with 2,848.

Completing the top ten were the Volkswagen Transporter (2,678 registrations), Citroen Berlingo (2,617), Renault Trafic (2,221), Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2,168), Ford Transit Connect (2,140), Vauxhall Vivaro (2,092), and Peugeot Partner (1,833).