There are now more commercial vehicles on UK roads than ever before, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Newly-published data shows that there were 5,483,319 CVs on the road at the end of 2021, a 4.1% increase on the previous year. This meant CVs accounted for 13.5% of total vehicles in the UK, another new high.

Vans are by far the most popular type of commercial vehicle in the UK, with 4,804,833 in operation, up by 4.3% year-on-year, with the segment having seen continuous growth since 2010.

However, the SMMT also said that fleet renewal had slowed, with the average age of vans also reaching a record high of 8.7 years.

The SMMT also said zero-emission van uptake was increasing, although still at low levels, with around one in 180 vans on the road now plug-in, compared with one in 50 cars.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Commercial vehicles keep Britain’s economy on the move, and their growing proportion of the national fleet underscores their increasing importance. 

“Nurturing the green shoots of the sector’s transition to electrification, however, will need a dedicated strategy. 

“Every stakeholder will need to play their part, matching the commitments made by the automotive sector, which is investing to offer an increased choice of zero emission vans, trucks and buses to users even in the midst of global supply chain shortages.”