However, battery electric registrations continued to grow, with uptake rising 14.8% in November to reach 8.1% of the market, up from 5.5% in 2021.
Increasing model choice and robust purchase incentives mean BEV volumes are up 46.5% YoY from January to November, although concerns remain over a lack of public charging infrastructure, particularly for commercial vehicles.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “The UK van market has experienced a very difficult year, battling a multitude of challenges to meet demand, but has benefited from an EV boost as operators increasingly make the switch to zero emission.
“As supply constraints ease, we look with some optimism towards next year and a return to growth.
“It is imperative, however, that government takes action to help accelerate commercial vehicle recharging infrastructure so that the vehicles that keep Britain moving can fully deliver on their ability to boost the economy.”
The SMMT estimates LCV registrations are estimated to grow 13.8% next year, with BEV volumes expected to rise 60.7% to take an 8.7% market share.
However, in November declines were seen across most of the sector, with deliveries of vans weighing 2.0 tonnes or under seeing the largest fall at 70.9%, followed by mid-weight vehicles weighing up to 2.5 tonnes, which fell 63.5%.
Large vans weighing between 2.5-3.5 tonnes declined 17.9%, but pick-ups grew 26.1% and 4x4s 167.1%.