UK registrations of new LCVs fell by 6.1% in September, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The biggest year-on-year decline was in vans weighing under 2.0t, which were down by 42.9%.

Vans weighing 2.0t to 2.5t were also down, by 14.4%, and vans weighing 2.5t to 3.5t – by far the biggest sector of the market – fell too, although only by 4%.

There was better news on pick-up registrations, which were up by 8.8%, and for 4x4s, although the headline 496.2% rise here is distorted by the small volumes involved, which rose from 53 to 316 registrations.

For the year to date, overall LCV registrations were down by 3%.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “We have seen fluctuations in UK van registrations so far this year, but the overall downward trend shows that there is some hesitancy in the market.

“Businesses need certainty to invest and future growth now depends on government providing the right economic conditions to encourage operators to renew their fleets.”

The Ford Transit Custom extended its lead as the UK’s best-selling van during September, with 9,892 registrations – more than twice as many as the second-placed Ford Transit with 4,626.

The Vauxhall Vivaro was third with 4,147 registrations, ahead of the Volkswagen Transporter with 3,201 and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with 3,042.