New van registrations in October fell by 4.5% compared with 12 months ago, the latest SMMT statistics have revealed.

Registrations within the largest sector, which includes vans weighing between 2.5-3.5-tonnes fell by 7.1%, down to 16,511 units during the month, while sales of vans weighing less than 2.0-tonnes dropped by 17.4%.

The niche 4×4 van market, meanwhile, collapsed in October, with just 38 registrations, a fall of 95.5% compared with a year ago.

However, registrations of predominately light vans weighing between 2.0-2.5-tonnes increased by 19.6%, to 4,571 units, while the booming pick-up market continued to gain traction, with registrations growing by 17.8%.

So far in 2016, 318,664 vans have been registered in the UK, an increase of 2.0% on the first 10 months of 2015.

“Following the sector’s very strong performance in 2015, a levelling off in demand was expected, so this month’s decline comes as no surprise,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

“Overall, the market remains robust, with the number of van registrations in the first 10 months of 2016 outperforming any other year on record. Maintaining business confidence for LCV operators will be critical to this sector’s future performance,” he added.