The new van market posted a record first half-year with sales up 3.0% to 191,996 units, according to the SMMT.

Sales in June rose 2.7% year-on-year to 36,700.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive said: “It’s been an encouraging first half for the new LCV sector and, while growth may be slower than the record levels seen last year, the market remains strong with all the signs pointing towards a healthy performance in 2016. Maintaining economic certainty for van operators will be key to the sector’s ongoing success.”

Sales of LCVs weighing between 2.5 and 3.5t, taking in the medium and large van sectors that dominate the market with a 63% share, increased 11.3% in June to 24,154 and were up 12.7% in the year-to-date to 120,395 units.

The pick-up segment continued to perform strongly, with volume rising 17.3% to 4219 in June and tracking 10.9% ahead over the first six months of the year on 22,893.

On the other hand, the niche 4×4 sector showed no sign of recovery with sales plunging almost 81% in June to just 190 to close the first half-year down 41.7% on 3377 units.

Vans weighing less than 2.0t and those in the 2.0-2.5t category also lagged 13.3% and 15.9% behind in the year to 30 June.

Renault enjoyed a bumper month in June, finishing as the fourth best-selling brand with sales leaping 48% to 3388 and market leader Ford claimed a record June – up 11% to 10,686 units.