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The 10 most popular cars in the UK right now

New car demand fell significantly in April, but the overall market is still growing to record levels. We take a look at the winners and losers, and count down the top 10 most popular new cars

Words BySteve Huntingford

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The most popular cars in the UK

UK new car sales fell by almost 20% in April compared with the same month last year, with a total of 152,076 cars sold.

The year-on-year fall has largely been put down to the new VED car tax rules which came into force early last month, prompting many buyers to make their purchases early, as well as March's number plate change.

Despite that, though, the new figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) show that a total of 972,092 cars have been sold so far in 2017 – a record figure which is 1.1% up on last year.

Diesel sales continue to fall, and are 6.4% down on 2016's numbers. Sales of petrol cars, meanwhile, have grown by 6.8% compared with last year, and sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles are up by 23.8% – although it's worth noting that such cars still only account for 4.8% of the total market.

Overall, the figures suggest that consumer confidence remains strong, despite the UK's vote to leave the European Union, although the SMMT has said it expects growth to slow in the coming months.

Most of the best sellers are hatchbacks, such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Golf, but SUVs also feature prominently. Below we take a look at the top 10.

The top 10 sellers for April 2017:

10. BMW 1 Series

The 1 Series is a a truly premium family hatchback, and its combination of good looks, low running costs and one of the best infotainment systems around makes it a desirable choice. Even among stirling competition from the Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf, the 1 Series is a good choice for both personal and company car buyers.

April sales 2740

What Car? rating: Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full BMW 1 Series review

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9. Volkswagen Polo

The Polo is a great choice if you're looking for a small car that's also classy inside. It's one of the quietest cars in its class, and the 1.2-litre petrol engine we recommend is smooth and fuel efficient.

April sales 2800

What Car? rating: Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Volkswagen Polo review

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8. Audi A3

We're big fans of the Audi A3, particularly in five-door Sportback form. In fact, the A3 is a former What Car? Car of the Year, and is still our favourite family car. Like the BMW 1 Series above, the A3 feels luxurious inside, and its efficient range of engines helps to keep running costs as low as possible.

April sales 3000

What Car? rating: Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Audi A3 review

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