What is the most popular car colour In the UK?

When it comes to the UK's popular car colours, it's a bit of grey area unfortunately.

Of the UK's most popular car colours, grey topped the list of car colours nationwide in 2023. Grey cars accounted for 26.8% of new cars, followed by black (20.2%) and white (16.5%).

Grey car parked at roadside

Monochrome motors 

Whilst the most common car colours in the UK are made up of a medley of monochrome, just how popular are these three car colours?

Well, a whopping 63.5% of new cars in 2023 were painted in these three rather austere shades, according to data from the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

"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," said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive.


What are the 10 most popular car colours in the UK?

Overall, there were 106 different distinct colours registered throughout the year with the least popular car colour nationwide being maroon.

But there were a few bright splashes in popular car colours in amongst the silver and grey cars:


1. Grey

Grey, the go-to for 26.8% of UK car owners, grey is usually associated with stability and reliability and results in a sleek and modern aesthetic. It's the James Bond of colours—timeless, sophisticated, and appropriate for any occasion. Despite the mundane appearance grey cars easily hide dirt, ensuring your car stays effortlessly polished.

Picture of a grey car next to a body of water

2. Black

Black was the second-most chosen car colour for new car buyers in the UK. 20.2% of new cars in the UK in 2023 were black and this was the favoured shade among executive cars and luxury saloons. It confirms that black is synonymous with luxury cars like Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, which often highlight black as their signature colour.

Did you know? Black absorbs more heat than the lighter hues—talk about being hot!

Picture of a black saloon car

3. White

The desired pick for 16.5% of the country’s cars, and the rising popularity of white has been connected to the "Apple effect", and the clean, tasteful elegance of the Californian computer giant.

A White car parked on a driveway

4. Blue

Fourth on the list pf popular car colours is blue. Rolling with 15.1%, blue is the cool colour of choice. Calm and collected. A Ford Mustang and Subaru Impreza usually strut their stuff in bold blues, adding that extra pop of colour on UK roads.

Blue, often associated with "open spaces, freedom, intuition, imagination, inspiration, and sensitivity", has fallen out of favour since 1999, when it was the most popular car colour - although it has appeared in every top 5 in the last 20 years.

Blue car on a road surrounded either side by trees

5. Red

Red, the fiery pick for 7.5% of fearless drivers, is all about making a statement. Red ("life, health, vigour, war, courage, anger, love") is often considerably behind blue cars percentage wise, coming in fifth to blue’s fourth six times in the last seven years.

Despite being heavily associated with Ferrari, this statement colour did not make a statement in the top 10, reaching 5th in the UK’s most popular car colours.

Red car facing green hills and a lake

6. Silver

Silver, the silver screen star for 6.5%, is the future-forward colour. It's not just a shade to be confused with grey cars; silver cars make for a high-tech, stylish vibe, making you feel like you're driving a spaceship.

The choice of silver is a staple colour for future-proof cars like the Tesla Model X and BMW i8 and goes beyond mere aesthetics; it symbolizes a sense of sophistication, modernity, and a timeless appeal.

Silver electric sports car parked on a street

7. Green

A bumper year for green, as the sustainable choice is up at 2.8%, reaching its highest volume since 2005. The county with the biggest sale of green cars was Greater London, perhaps looking to stand out from the monochrome skyline of the capital.

It may be assumed that the increase in popularity is due to the increasing number of zero-emission vehicles on the road, however, the bestselling green car was, in fact, a MINI. Did you know? Green is the eye's favourite colour—literally!

Green car parked in front of trees

8. Orange

Orange, the rebel choice for 0.9%, is here to turn heads. Energetic, vibrant, and a little bit cheeky—orange cars are like the life of the party. Commonly orange cars such as the Dodge Challenger and McLaren 720S are almost unrecognisable without their eye-catching orange hues.

Orange car parked on road

9. Yellow

Yellow, the sunny pick for 0.6%, is all about spreading joy on the road. Bright, cheerful, and impossible to miss, yellow cars are the real stars. Chevrolet Corvettes are best known to flaunt those sunny shades of yellow.

Yellow car parked in front of historical house

10. Bronze

Bronze, the rare gem at 0.3%, is the vintage feel you didn't know you needed. Warm, earthy, and a touch of old-school class—bronze cars are for those who appreciate the finer things. However, you’ll be shocked to learn that one of the most common bronze cars in the UK is actually a Toyota Yaris!


Berkshire or Barbieland?

Some interesting anomalies amongst last years findings include the county of Berkshire, where over 1 in 10 cars registered there are pink. Berkshire also houses more red cars than any other county!


Why are red cars not as popular as they once were?

With red cars, the paint is more likely to appear faded faster than some other choices of paint colour, which could be part of the reason red cars have waned in popularity over the last few years.


Red car parked on top of a raised road

Why do red cars fade?

Most experts agree that the fading of the red paint of a car, depends largely on how much the individual vehicle is exposed to sunlight and damaging UV rays.

Although this is an issue usually associated with cars in hotter climates, it can be an issue in the UK.


What factors may influence preferred car colour?

Many factors can influence a motorist’s choice of car colour, these can include:

  • Will it show the dirt?
  • Will it be seen in the dark?
  • Will it affect resale value?
  • Does it express my personality?

In addition, those in warmer climates tend to choose lighter coloured cars, possibly to reflect the heat.

Perhaps it's no surprise that Brits, plagued by such changeable weather, have chosen the ultimate middle-ground shade - of grey.