UK new LCV registrations were down by 4.6% year-on-year in October, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

However, the organisation said that this figure was still 2.3% up on the pre-pandemic five-year average.

The decline was mainly down to the 2.5-3.5t van segment, by far the market’s largest, which saw an 8.9% fall year-on-year with 18,678 registrations.

There were also declines in registrations of vans weighing 2.0-2.5t, down by 16.6% to 3,740, and pick-ups, down by 16.9% to 1,837.

These falls were partially offset by big increases in registrations of vans weighing less than 2.0t, up by 100.5% to 2,843, and 4x4s, up by 114.7% to 322.

So far this year the overall LCV market is up by 24.4% compared with 2020, but 5.2% down on the pre-pandemic five-year average, with new vehicle supply problems said to be chiefly to blame.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “While it’s disappointing to see the number of new vans registered during October decline, demand has remained strong over the course of the year. 

“The commercial vehicle sector, however, is not immune to the challenges faced by the industry as a whole, most notably the semiconductor shortage. 

“Manufacturers are working hard to fulfil orders to ensure fleets can continue to be renewed and the latest models, including zero emission products, hit UK roads.”

The top ten best-selling LCVs in the UK in October were the Ford Transit Custom (4,359 registrations), Ford Transit (2,982), Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (1,660), Citroen Berlingo (1,511), Ford Transit Connect (1,508), Vauxhall Vivaro (1,328), Vauxhall Combo (1,285), Volkswagen Transporter (1,230), Peugeot Partner (1,052), and the Renault Trafic (779).