UK sales of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) grew 2.2% in February to 17,934 units, marking 14 months of consecutive growth, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

While February was traditionally a lower volume month, as many operators delayed purchases until March for the new number plate (24), the increase was the best February performance since 1998.

Registrations of vans 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes rose by 1.4% to 12,300 units, taking 68.6% of sales as the trend for larger units continued.

Deliveries of small vans weighing up to two tonnes, and medium sized models weighing two to 2.5 tonnes, both saw declines, falling 20.5% to 275 units and 5.9 % to 3,162 units respectively.

The lower volume 4×4 segment saw registrations rise 108.3% while pickups were the third most popular class of commercial vehicle with registrations up 21.2%.

February saw a decline in registrations of battery electric vans weighing up to 3.5 tonnes, falling by 119 units to 847 units, and taking a 4.7% market share, down from 5.5% a year ago.

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Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “Britain’s appetite for new vans remains undiminished with 14 months of growth and, with last month’s rethink of taxation for pickups, expansion looks to be sustained.”