What is the most popular colour for new cars in the UK?

What is the most popular colour for new cars in the UK?

It has been revealed that the favourite colour for Britain’s drivers is grey - cementing its position at the top for the sixth year in a row, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Boasting a market share of 26.8% of all new vehicles, more than half a million (509,194) grey cars were registered in 2023, with volumes rising 22.6% as the new car market enjoyed its best year since the pandemic.

Completing the podium, black and white held second and third place, also for the sixth consecutive year, and recorded their best volumes since 2019.

In total, 63.5% of all new cars joining UK roads in 2023 were decked in monochrome, while blue rose 10.9% to take fourth place and red remained in fifth – although it also recorded its lowest market share since 2005 and has seen its popularity steadily decline since 2019.

While Britain clearly has a preference for monochrome cars, drivers determined to stamp their style on their motor were able to choose from a variety of colour variations, with maroon, pink and cream remaining at the niche end of the colour palette – comprising just 604 registrations combined.

Orange, bronze, turquoise and brown fell in popularity compared with 2023 volumes.

Green, however, experienced a comeback, reaching its highest volume since 2005 at 53,426 units and a market share of 2.8%, the highest since 2004. 

While the colour may have environmentally friendly associations, ‘zero emission cars’ reaching Britain’s roads in record numbers last year followed the same grey colour trend as their internal combustion engine counterparts.

The British regions were unanimous in preference for grey, with white ranking as the second most popular in the Channel Islands, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Black was the second most popular in England, Wales and the Isle of Man.

SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said: "2023 was a bumper year for the British new car market, as buyers continued to gravitate towards familiar monochrome hues for another year – even as ever more motorists embrace new technologies.

"Car manufacturers have diligently expanded their offerings, with a huge selection of colour options available across hundreds of models and thousands of specification options.

"The extensive variety allows drivers flexibility in choosing a tint that embodies their individuality and style."

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Top 10 car colours 2023

ColourNumber of registrationsMarket share %Volume change vs 2022
Grey509,19426.8%22.6%
Black385,17120.2%18.5%
White314,38216.5%16.9%
Blue287,21315.1%10.9%
Red142,1797.5%3.9%
Silver124,4826.5%26.4%
Green53,4262.8%71.1%
Orange16,6771.7%-14%
Yellow11,8800.9%11.4%
Bronze6,3500.6%-18.6%