The UK’s van market posted its fourth consecutive month of growth in May, up 1.9 per cent on the same period in 2015.

In total 28,480 new LCVs were registered, the highest figure for May on record.

However the pace of growth was significantly less than in April, which saw soaring figures of 11.8 per cent.

Year-to-date figures are 2.9 per cent at 158,402, down from 3.3 per cent by the end of April, and the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), that compiles the figures, acknowledges that the market is slowing.

“Although May was a record breaking month for the UK’s light commercial vehicle market, the pace of growth is easing and is indicative of the performance we anticipate this year following the very high levels of demand seen in 2015,” says ,” says SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.

“Providing there are no political or economic shocks to business confidence over the coming months, we expect the LCV sector’s good health to prevail during the remainder of 2016 as consumer appetite for online deliveries continues to grow,” he adds.

Heavier vans of between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes, which provide by far the largest part of the LCV market, are leading the growth, fuelled mainly by delivery companies benefiting from a boom in online shopping.

The 2.5-3.5 sector climbed 13.3 per cent with 18,923 examples registered in May. In contrast the two smaller general van sectors both fell, 2.0-2.5-tonne vehicles down 20.1 per cent at 3,588, and sub-2.0-tonne versions slipping 15.7 per cent to 2,523 units.

Ford continues to dominate the LCV market, 9,022 vehicles registered in May ahead of Volkswagen with 3,465, Vauxhall on 3,092, Peugeot with 2,467 and the 2,400 of Mercedes-Benz.

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