UK light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations grow by 7.1% in July following four months of double-digit declines, new figures reveal.

Published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the data shows that more than 27,000 vans were registered in July, the first full month since lockdown restrictions were eased.

A breakdown of the figures reveals that growth was particularly pronounced in medium-sized vans weighing more than 2.0 to 2.5 tonnes. These saw a 12.0% increase in registrations.

Dealers have also recorded a 24.9% increase in the sales of pick-ups.

The only fall was in the light van (less than or equal to 2.0 tonnes) sector, where registrations dropped by -22.0%. Heavy vans made up the lion’s share of overall sales, with 17,566 registrations, an increase of 5.4%.

The improvement comes against a backdrop of prolonged reduced demand, with overall LCV registrations down by -39.0% in the year to date.

The latest SMMT Outlook estimates that around 270,000 LCVs will be registered by the end of the year, a drop of -26.3%.

‘With lockdown restrictions rolling back and businesses restarting operations, the van market is beginning to look more positive,’ said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

‘Growth is likely to have been driven by pent up demand and the re-emergence of sectors such as construction.

‘However, these green shoots of recovery could prove fragile given the uncertain economic situation. With new technology coming to the market and the need for operators to renew their fleets, maintaining overall business confidence will be crucial.’