The HGV market enjoyed its best second quarter since the pandemic with 9,533 units registered between April and June - an increase of 0.4%, new figures showed.

The SMMT said artics led the charge, with demand up 19.3% year-on-year to 4,152 units and a 12.5% increase in registrations over the half year to 9,014 units.

However, despite the growth the overall half-year performance remains 1% down on 2021, with the SMMT pointing to a sector struggling to recover from global supply and demand disruptions caused by the pandemic.

It said the global shortage of semiconductors and raw materials such as steel and aluminium had restricted manufacturing capacity, constraining order delivery.

As a result, the sector was 29.5% down in the first half of this year compared with pre-pandemic 2019, with 19,370 new trucks registered.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The best second quarter for the heavy goods vehicle market since the pandemic is a positive sign as the sector continues to navigate significant global supply shortages amid high inflation and rising fuel and energy costs.

“Demand remains robust,” he added, “but to ensure the fleet renewal necessary to transition from fossil fuels to new technologies, the government must encourage new vehicle acquisition and HGV charging infrastructure, keeping the UK at the front of the queue for the latest low and zero-emission trucks.”