New LCV registrations in the UK grew by 44.2% year-on-year in July.

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures show a total of 26,990 LCVs were registered during the month, which the industry body attributed to rising demand, and the easing of supply chain issues.

It was the seventh consecutive month of growth, in addition to being the best July for the industry since 2020, and up by 4.4% on pre-pandemic 2019.

The largest growth was seen in the sector for vans weighing 2.0-2.5t, which saw registrations rise by 227.4% to 4,407.

The market-leading 2.5-3.5t van segment saw 29.3% growth, to 19,111 registrations, however vans weighing less than 2.0t were down by 40.9% to 427 registrations.

Pick-up truck registrations increased by 48.3% to 2,415, while 4x4s were up by 159.3% to 630.

In terms of fuel mix, there was 94.6% year-on-year growth in electric van registrations, to 1,489, accounting for 5.5% of the overall market.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Following a solid first half, van sales have enjoyed an extremely positive month, beating even pre-pandemic levels. 

“The challenge now is to deliver even greater EV uptake, which requires urgent action to reduce soaring energy costs and increase the provision of dedicated van charging infrastructure to bolster operator confidence and meet the unique needs of this sector. 

“These are vital hurdles to overcome, more so given next year will see a ZEV mandate with minimum sales targets for every brand.”

In a change to the usual order, the Ford Transit topped the LCV sales chart in July with 2,598 registrations, just ahead of the Ford Transit Custom with 2,594.

The Vauxhall Vivaro was third with 1,974 registrations, and the top ten was completed by the Volkswagen Transporter (1,738 registrations), Renault Trafic (1,239), Citroen Relay (1,130), Ford Ranger (1,010), Peugeot Partner (988), Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (944), and Renault Master (908).