Commercial vehicles registrations sales continued their recent upward trend with a rise of 8.1% in March, helped by van registrations which increased 11.5%.

Commenting on the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)’s van and truck registration figures, Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association which represents commercial vehicle and franchised car retailers across the UK, said: “The commercial vehicle market as a whole continues to perform strongly, which is positive news for dealers. However, it is disappointing to see a decline in truck sales of 15.1%.

“The strongest improvement this March came from the pick-up sector, a vehicle often favoured by the self employed and building industries, with an increase of 29.2%.

“The light commercial vehicle market was up 23% for the month, highlighting the confidence of users to replace vehicles that many have been retaining for too long and running up repair costs.”

Robinson added: “The truck sector decline may be disappointing, but it is encouraging to see an increase in tractor sales for the first time in a long time. This can be attributed to operators buying up the remaining Euro 5 stock on dealer forecourts before the introduction of more expensive Euro 6 units.”