The UK’s commercial vehicle market saw its slowest growth of the year in May – but it was still more than 17 per cent up on the same month in 2014.

And of the 31,922 new commercial vehicles registered in the month, 27,960 of them were vans, the sector up 15 per cent.

According to Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) that compiles the figures, the van sector remains robust. “Year-to-date registrations (are) up by more than a fifth passing the 150,000 mark in May for the first time on record,” he says.

Hawes adds that commercial users are clearly going for larger capacity, heavier vehicles, these areas showing the strongest growth in both the van and truck sector, which itself is up some 40 per cent year to date, though still 10.2 per cent down in terms of rolling year figures.

Of the van sector’s three ‘mainstream’ segments, the largest in both weight (2.5 to 3.5 tonne) and quantity in the market produced the largest growth, up 21 per cent with 13,802 vehicles registered.

Ford continues to lead the van sector, registering 7,152 vehicles and earning a 25.6 per cent market share in May, compared to 22.7 per cent in May 2014. Year to date the blue oval has 26.4 per cent of the market (2014 – 23.3).

Volkswagen holds second place, with 14.2 per cent (3,968 vehicles) in May, 12.9 per cent year-to-date, followed by Vauxhall (3,017, 10.8 per cent), Peugeot (2,470, 8.8), Citroen (2,250, 8.0), Mercedes (2,175, 7.78) and Renault (2,083, 7.45).