Registrations topped 389,923 units, up 9.5 per cent on 2003.
The year ended with the best ever December with 28,470 registrations.
'These figures show 2004 commercial vehicle registrations breaking all UK records,' said Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive. '2004 has been a terrific year for vans and trucks in the UK, with registrations breaking record after record. Importantly, a wide range of factors drive demand, meaning it is reassuringly durable. And encouragingly, order books are strong too, so 2005 will be another very good year.'
December CV registrations were up 9.5 per cent to a record 28,470 units. This is 9.5 per cent above the previous December record of 26,010, set in 2003. These figures pushed the annual and rolling year total to 389,923, another record. The previous annual record of 371,104 dates back to 1989. Figures for three and six months to December were up 9.8 and 6.7 per cent respectively.
Heavy van registrations, from 2.6 to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight, were up 24.4 per cent for December and 16.1 per cent for the year. Medium van registrations - 1.8 to 2.6t gvw - showed the biggest hike, up 34.6 per cent in December and 8.1 per cent for the year.
Registrations of light vans (up to 1.8t gvw) fell 17.3 per cent in December, down 1,068 on the same month last year and down 3.3 per cent for the rolling year. Despite modest growth in micro vans, light van registrations have gradually slowed.
Rolling year 4x4 utility registrations stayed relatively steady at 7,333, down three per cent, but dropped 33.3 per cent in December. Rolling year figures for pick-up registrations have remained relatively stable at 13,000 units since October 2003, though they increased 12.2 per cent for the month and dropped 3.8 per cent for the year.