The new van market recorded its best-ever November for registrations last month as high demand for commercial vehicles saw sales soar. 

According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which compiles the registration data, 31,320 new vans were registered last month – representing a 11.4 per cent increase on the pre-pandemic average.  

Growth was recorded in all van classes, with the exception of those weighing under two tonnes. Larger vans weighing more than 2.5 tonnes represented more than 70 per cent of the entire market, with these increasing by 7.7 per cent. The pick-up market, meanwhile, grew by 31.2 per cent to 2,610 registrations. 

The best-selling van for November was once again the Ford Transit Custom, with 5,809 examples being registered. This was followed by the main Ford Transit (3,203) and Mercedes Sprinter (1,857).

Despite the sharp increase in registrations for vans, the SMMT has stressed that the market remains volatile, as while overall figures for 2021 are up 22.8 per cent year-to-date, they remain four per cent down on pre-pandemic figures. This has been caused by supply issues relating to semiconductors – something that seems to be affecting the car market more than the van world.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “A pre-Christmas boost to van registrations will be welcomed by the industry, but it remains a rollercoaster of a market. Demand is clearly robust, but market volatility is likely to remain a feature as supply chain shortages throttle the sector’s ability to fulfil orders. 

“Manufacturers are working hard to try and overcome these shortages and the November deliveries illustrate the success they have been having in the UK. Whilst the outlook remains challenging, customers can be reassured of the industry commitment to the commercial vehicle sector, given its importance to the operation of society and business growth.”