The 7.8% year-on-year rise has pushed year-to-date registrations up by 7.2% to 158,247 compared to 2003, with light commercial vehicles leading the way. They were up 8.9% for May to 25,654 and 8.5% for the year-to-date to 133,708.
The 4x4 utilities sector saw its second consecutive month of modest growth, up 4.1% to 639, leaving it down 2.5% year-to-date at 3,421. Car type pick-ups saw year-on-year growth return in May with an increase of 13.8%.
But van registrations below 1.8 tonnes slipped by 5%, to 6,353, leaving them 0.2% down year-to-date at 35,682. Medium and heavy van sales, between 1.8 and 3.5 tonnes were up by 14.8% to 18,662. For the year, they are up 12.6% at 94,605.
Christopher Macgowan, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: 'The growth in registration figures confirms a solid and positive trend in the CV market.
'The wide range of new, efficient and adaptable vans and trucks available, is delivering record registration volumes. Businesses are giving a thumbs up to the new vehicles available to service their markets and operating needs.' The market for May produced the largest May total since 1989 and is 19% above the average registration volume for May between 1997 and 2003.
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