What is the Most Popular Car Color?

  • By Michael McKean
  • 5 min read

Which ones to avoid, which ones to look out for, and some of the best down the years.

a green Lamborghini on a city street

Ever been put off by a car because of its color?

Yep, us too ...

Well, that's no surprise, because research shows that colour has an enormous influence on your decision to buy a product. Not only that, but there's a 40% chance that you'd choose another brand if your preferred model wasn't available in your colour of choice. Colour may even have a greater influence than things like safety ratings and fuel economy.

In this post, we're going to be telling you why bolder, brighter colours tend not to do so well these days, and why conservative, 'less showy' colours have taken over. Not only do they look subtler, but they also affect resale value and how easy your car can be to clean, so there's financial and other incentives to be had as well.

The UK's Most Popular Car Colour

You might be surprised to learn that grey is the most popular, with the colour boasting 397,197 registrations and a 24.4% market share. By contrast, yellow, which came in at number nine on the list, had just 6,816 registrations and a market share of 0.4%.

The thing is: colours like grey, black and white might be a little more 'boring', but they're safe and risk-free. Whereas ones like red or blue can either be a hit or a miss with a lot of people. Indeed, bolder and brighter colours have seen a big decline. Statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that the most popular car registration colours are grey, black and white. More than six in ten (61.6%) of all new cars entering British roads in 2020 were painted in these three colours.

Across the UK, there were a few regions going against the trend, with drivers in the Isle of Wight (bit of a misleading name!) favouring blue, West Midlanders preferring orange, and Strathclyders in Scotland opting for white. Meanwhile, Leicestershire snapped up a whopping 23.7% of the country's registered pink cars (maybe saying a lot about its residents).

Here's the list in full:

  1. Grey (397,197 registrations)

  2. Black (324,630 registrations)

  3. White (283,285 registrations)

  4. Blue (276,057 registrations)

  5. Red (147,222 registrations)

  6. Silver (122,214 registrations)

  7. Orange (20,584 registrations)

  8. Green (14,460 registrations)

  9. Yellow (6,816 registrations)

  10. Bronze (4,003 registrations)

Grey (397,197 registrations)

So, what's so special about grey that makes it take the number one spot in the list of the nation's most popular car colours?

Lke white and black, it's a safe, 'non-risk' colour that isn't extreme. It has a sense of stability and reliability attached to it. More importantly, grey cars are durable and manage to hide a certain amount of dirt and scuffs. Plus, cleaning them tends to be super easy.

Black (324,630 registrations)

Equally as neutral as white, but in a different way, black is a colour that's often linked to luxury and sophistication, with the ability to make just about any car look suave and classy.

White (283,285 registrations)

As the ultimate neutral colour, white continues to be popular – an appeal that's increased in recent years due to the so-called 'Apple Effect'. This is basically a reference to the famous technology giant and its products, which give off clean, crisp and elegant vibes. And unlike black, white doesn't tend to absorb heat during the summer, which is always a nice bonus.

It's just a shame that white cars are not the easiest to keep clean.

(Fun fact: because of their clear visibility, white cars are the least likely to be involved in accidents.)

Feeling Blue?

We certainly are, because blue, once one of the nation's most popular car colors, has seen a deep decline in recent decades.

This just goes to show that even a positive and friendly 'non-neutral' colour can be overtaken by the likes of grey, black and white. After all, blue is usually associated with openness, freedom, intuition, imagination, and inspiration. It's currently the nation's fourth-most popular colour, but it used to be much higher up the list, holding top spot in 1999.

Why are Red Cars Not as Popular as they Once Were?

Yep, sad to say, but red is dead.

Whether for good or bad, red has traditionally been associated with vigour, war, anger, and love (just think of Mars, the 'red planet' and the ancient god of war) has always been on the vibrant and extreme side of life, so the rise in popularity of non-extreme alternatives like grey has obviously been a major factor in its decline.

Another reason is that red cars tend to fade faster due to sunlight exposure and damaging ultraviolet light. This is an issue typically linked to warmer climates, but it's still a big problem in the UK.

Car Colour Availability

Just a quick note on deals, including from our site.

If a deal is 'in stock', you'll be picking from a pool of vehicles already built and ready to be delivered, so your choice of color is naturally going to be quite limited.

If a deal is 'factory order', you'll usually have a wider choice of colours from within the manufacturer's range.

The Most Iconic Car Colours

Over the years, specific colours have become synonymous with certain brands. Let's go over some of the best, why don't we.

British Racing Green (Jaguar)

When you think of Jaguar, there's a chance you might also think of a rich, 'posh' shade of green. The UK's official motor racing colour, this colour has been in use since 1903 and is best-remembered for its appearance on cars like the Jaguar E-Type and the Aston Martin Vantage of the 1980s.

Rosso Corsa (Ferrari)

Picture a Ferrari in your head, and we bet you'll be thinking of that iconic shade of red. You probably just didn't know what it was called. It's difficult to imagine a Ferrari without it.

Mica Blue (Subaru)

Like Ferrari above, Mica Blue rose to fame through motorsport. Ever since Colin McRae dominated the 1995 RAC Rally, this shade of blue has always dominated within the brand.

When you think of a Subaru Impreza, chances are you probably think of this.

FAQs

What is the least favourite car colour?

The least popular car colours are gold, yellow and purple.

What is the most expensive car colour?

Gold.

Yep, it's maybe no surprise that one of the most expensive commodities in the world is also one of the most expensive car colours. Just ask yourself: how many gold cars have you actually seen in the past week?

What is the least popular car colour?

Going by statistics, bronze.

What is the most attractive car colour?

Statistically, grey.

In reality though, it's whatever colour appeals most to you.

What colour has highest resale value?

Generally speaking, black, grey, silver and white are the colours most likely to command strong second-hand prices.

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