New LCV registrations in the UK were down year-on-year in May, marking the fifth consecutive month of decline.

According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 22,000 LCVs were registered last month, representing a 25.1% fall compared with May 2021, which was the best May for registrations in history. However, last month was also 21.5% down compared with the pre-pandemic average.

The SMMT said component shortages continued to restrict vehicle production, and therefore deliveries.

The market-leading vans weighing 2.5-3.5t segment held up best in May, with 15,863 registrations representing a 19.4% decline.

Vans weighing 2.0-2.5t were down by 33.4%, with 2,636 registrations, while vans weighing less than 2.0t were down by 53.4%, with 813 registered.

Pick-up registrations were down by 26.9% to 2,611, while 4×4 registrations were down by 80.7% to 77.

There were 869 electric vans registered last month, 276 more than in May 2021, and for the year to date these are up by 62.7%, taking a 5.2% overall market share.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Global supply chain shortages continue to hold back the market following last May’s post-pandemic bounce back. Manufacturers have, however, worked hard to get the latest zero-emission vans to customers, more than doubling their market share. 

“However, this is still an emerging market and everything must be done to encourage drivers to switch to zero emission commercial vehicles if we are to achieve our net zero goals. 

“The industry will tackle the supply chain challenges undermining delivery but we urgently need a van plan to address the paucity of dedicated commercial vehicle infrastructure, as well as incentives to boost the sector’s electric transition.”   

The Ford Transit Custom topped the UK sales chart in May with 3,244 registrations, ahead of the Ford Transit with 2,851, and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with 1,256.

Completing the top ten were the Vauxhall Vivaro (1,211 registrations), Ford Ranger (1,115), Toyota Hilux (907), Volkswagen Transporter (765), Ford Transit Connect (719), Citroen Relay (632), and Citroen Dispatch (618).