Commercial vehicle demand in the UK reached an all-time high in 2015, according to the latest SMMT registration figures.

Van sales, buoyed by extra home deliveries resulting from online shopping demand and finance deals, hit record levels, increasing by 15.6% to 371,000 units last year.

Ford topped the sales charts, with 100,262 commerical vehicles registered in 2015 – a 21.5% increase on 2014’s figures – while Vauxhall van sales increased by 27.9% to 41,736 units.

Volkswagen only recorded a 7% increase in registrations in 2015, despite two major models – the Transporter and Caddy – being replaced during the year.

However, the company has been engulfed in the emissions scandal since the middle of September.

“CV demand is a key barometer of UK economic confidence and the market’s strong growth in 2015 was particularly encouraging,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

“However, with these record figures in mind, we will expect to see the market levelling off slightly in 2016,” he added.