The British light commercial vehicle (LCV) market contracted last month (but not as much as cars) according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) data.

Just under 54,000 new LCVs were registered in the second busiest month of the year to date, a 6.1% decrease in line with the overall trend so far in 2018.

Demand for pickups has continued to grow, however, with registrations up 8.8%, but sales of small and medium size vans declined by 42.9% and 14.4% respectively. Meanwhile, although large vans experienced a modest 4% decrease, they retained their market leading share.

Year to date, registrations were down 3.0%, with 274,247 new LCVs sold. Overall, however, the market remains at historic high levels that have been maintained since August 2015 with pickups enjoying a 4.6% boost so far this year taking them to more than 42,000 units registered.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "We have seen fluctuations in UK van registrations so far this year but the overall downward trend shows that there is some hesitancy in the market. Businesses need certainty to invest and future growth now depends on government providing the right economic conditions to encourage operators to renew their fleets."