Van sales have maintained the strong growth of late 2014 into the first month of the new year.

According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), registrations of new vans totaled 22,049 in January.

This is 21.7 per cent up on the same month last year, and while lower than the December 2014 figure of plus 26.6 per cent, is ahead of the 2014 total which grew 18.7 per cent on 2013.

The soaring van sales helped the CV market as a whole start the year well in the black, and were boosted by continuing evidence of a recovery in the truck market, up 38.6 per cent on January 2014 with 2,518 registrations.

With the market now having absorbed changes to Euro Standards and Type Approval Regulations that affected truck demand in 2014, SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes believes there is now evidence of a return to business as usual.

“The number of vans registered this month has once again increased, reflecting raised levels of business confidence and demand for a range of efficient, well equipped models,” Hawes says.

“Successes in both markets have seen the total commercial vehicle market grow significantly for a ninth consecutive month,” he adds.

The 2.0 to 2.5-tonne van market saw by far the biggest growth in January, 63 per cent up with 4,006 registered. The biggest sector of the market, 2.5 to 3.5-tonne, recorded 11,702 registrations, 13.9 per cent better than the same period last year.

Ford continues to dominate the van sector with its Transit, registering 6,181 vehicles in January and increasing its market share to 28 per cent from 26.8 per cent in January 2014.

Volkswagen holds second with 13.1 per cent of the market, followed by Peugeot (12 per cent), Vauxhall (9.2) and Citroën (8.8).