Sales of new vans in the UK came close to record levels during the first six months of 2021 due to a boom in home deliveries and the economy reopening.
Sales were further boosted by the introduction of clean air zones in several cities, which prompted businesses to invest in new vehicles.
In the first six months of the year more than 191,500 vans were sold, the third highest total on record.
In February 2021, van sales were up 22%, which took the market a little by surprise as February is usually a ‘quiet’ month as companies hold back on registering their new van waiting for the March number plate change.
Demand for electric cars, which remained relatively strong through the pandemic, has continued to rise in 2021. In the first half the year nearly 74,000 new battery powered cars were registered - more than six times the figure from the same period in 2019.
In June, more than one in every 10 cars sold was electric, and EVs had a greater share of the market than diesels.
Wait for models affected by semiconductor shortage
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which released the data, said they expect a temporary slowdown in vehicle registrations for some models, as buyers wait for models affected by a global shortage of semiconductors.