UK new LCV registrations increased year-on-year in September for the first time in 2022, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures.

Registrations rose by 10.8% compared with September 2021, with a total of 34,950 vehicles sold.

However, last month’s registrations were still 35.5% below the pre-Covid five-year average, with supply disruptions continuing to restrict model availability.

The market-leading 2.5-3.5t van segment saw registrations increase by 13.9% last month, with 25,787 sold.

Registrations of vans weighing 2.0-2.5t were also up, by 40.8% to 3,748, but vans weighing less than 2.0t were down by 21.5% with 1,016 registrations.

Pick-up trucks were down by 13.7%, with 3,863 registered, while 4x4s were up by 17.8%, to 536. 

Battery electric van sales were up by 70% year-on-year, taking 4.4% of the overall market.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “While the full recovery of Britain’s new van market remains some way off, September growth reflects van makers’ efforts to fulfil strong order books despite a paucity of supply. 

“High energy costs and wider economic uncertainty, however, will undermine operator confidence, meaning that long-term measures to provide stability and growth are needed if the sector – so often a bellwether for business activity – is to return to its past success.”

The Ford Transit Custom topped the sales charts in September with 4,783 registrations, ahead of the Ford Transit with 3,630, and the Ford Ranger completing a Blue Oval lockout of the top three places with 2,660.

Completing the top ten were the Vauxhall Vivaro (2,396 registrations), the Volkswagen Transporter (2,021), the Renault Trafic (1,640), the Ford Transit Connect (1,588), the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (1,577), the Volkswagen Crafter (1,172), and the Peugeot Expert (1,055).