Year-to-date registrations are also up by 3.1% to 858,639 units, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
However, April 2006 was a weak market, down 9.1% compared to April 2005. The 2007 performance was also 12,863 units less than the 1999-2006 average for the month of 183,026 units.
“April's excellent weather has done more than bring summer forward, with consumers continuing March's car sales upswing,” said Sue Robinson, director of the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), part of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF).
“Dealers will be delighted to see sales up on last year, although as April 2006 was an unusually quiet month for car sales, the increase is not as dramatic as it may appear,” she added.
Robinson said dealers should remain cautious about the prospects for 2007 and to wait to see the impact on sales of the interest rate rises which are predicted to come into place next week.
All sale types have seen growth over the first four months of the year. Business demand fell in April, but collectively fleet and business registrations have risen by 4.7% over the first four months of 2007.
Whilse the Ford Focus remained the top selling model in the UK in April and over the year-to-date, it was the supermini market that showed the best growth in the month.
Supermini registrations rose 11.3% in April and were up 7.5% over the year-to-date. Their volumes have grown by 19,906 units over the first four months of 2007.
Diesel car registrations rose for the third time this year and growth was again more than double the market average. Diesel penetration in April rose from 37.1% last year to 39% in 2007. Ford's Focus remained the best selling diesel model.
Diesel registrations have risen by 25,107 units over the first four months of the year and the full year forecast has been raised, with diesel penetration expected to average 40% over 2007.