Registrations of new heavy goods vehicles rose 5.3 per cent to 46,231 units in 2016, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) – marking the sector’s third consecutive year of growth.

The year ended on a positive note, with 13,555 new HGVs registered in Q4 – a 2.3 per cent improvement on the same period in 2015.

Rigid vehicles continued to fuel the market throughout 2016, with both the over 6-16 tonne and 16-tonne plus segments experiencing double-digit growth – up 21.6 per cent and 14.5 per cent respectively.

The artic segment, meanwhile, ended the year down by -7.5 per cent, but in the fourth quarter bucked the downward trend set earlier in the year, rising by 0.7 per cent as an uplift in demand for three-plus axle artics compensated for a decline in two-axle vehicles.

“Another year of growth for the HGV market in 2016 is a positive sign for the sector, particularly as it follows such an exceptionally strong 2015.,” said SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes. “HGVs are essential for transporting vital goods around the country and their demand provides a barometer for the UK economy, so these results are certainly welcome.

“Looking ahead, we must ensure business uncertainty is minimised so this success continues,” he concluded.