The data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that overall demand rose 3.0% to 191,996 units for the first half.
The market also recorded its fifth consecutive month of growth in June, with registrations rising by 2.7% to 36,700 units.
Heavier vans (>2.5-3.5T) and pick-ups drove June’s growth, with registrations up 11.3% and 17.3% respectively, while smaller vans weighing less than 2.0-tonnes were less popular, with demand falling by a fifth (-19.7%).
The picture was the same for the year-to-date, with registrations of bigger vans – up 12.7% – dominating the light commercial vehicle market with a 62.7% share.
Mike Hawes, chief executive, SMMT, said: “It’s been an encouraging first half for the new LCV sector and, while growth may be slower than the record levels seen last year, the market remains strong with all the signs pointing towards a healthy performance in 2016. Maintaining economic certainty for van operators will be key to the sector’s ongoing success.”