UK van sales hit record high

<p>Online shopping has helped to boost van sales in the UK.</p>

Van sales in the UK have hit record levels thanks to a surge in online shopping, according to new figures.

A report from the Society of Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed a 25.3 per cent rise in the commercial vehicle market and a 23.8 per cent increase in van registrations over the course of March. This adds to a 22.3 per cent growth for the first three months of 2015, a sizeable improvement on the same period a year earlier.

During the quarter, the SMMT stated that 108,456 commercial vehicles were registered which represented the highest number of vans and lorries sold since records began in 1987. The SMMT noted that the demand for online shopping was one of the driving forces behind this rise in vans and commercial vehicle sales.

The organisation highlighted figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index which showed that online sales in the UK reached £103 billion in the past year. This is expected to grow even further in the coming months and is due to rise 12 per cent by the end of 2015. It equates to around £1 in every £4 being spent by Brits online.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "Demand for commercial vehicles remains buoyant in 2015, with both vans and trucks achieving a strong first quarter performance yet again. This continued upturn, and the third month of consecutive growth, can be attributed to higher levels of consumer and business confidence."

UK commercial vehicle market excelling

Earlier in the month, figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) highlighted that the UK's commercial vehicle market was outperforming the rest of Europe. Britain's commercial vehicle demand stood at a huge 21.9 per cent for the first two months of 2015, compared to the eight per cent average for the rest of Europe.

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