Grey overtook black as the UK’s most popular new car colour in 2018, according to the latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders.
The top three colours maintained a strong grip on the chart – 59% of new cars registered in the UK in 2018 were grey, black or white.
In fact, it has been nine years since a primary colour last sat in the top three. Blue maintained its fourth position, while red replaced white to complete the top five.
White has actually been the biggest loser in recent years, with around 132,000 fewer cars registered in white last year than in its peak year of 2015. Scotland bucked the national trend, however, putting white at the top of the table.
Registrations Market Share % Change in Market Share
Grey 495,127 20.9% +1.2%
Black 478,154 20.2% -0.1%
White 432,207 18.3% -0.7%
Blue 381,591 16.1% +0.2%
Red 236,522 10.0% +0.1%
Silver 219,840 9.3% -0.7%
Orange 26,042 1.1% +0.4%
Green 21,167 0.9% -0.2%
Bronze 9,690 0.4% -0.1%
Beige 9,303 0.4% +0.1%
In line with the new car market’s performance, demand for most colours was lower than in 2017 (including grey at -1.1% and black at -7.3%) apart from orange and beige which increased by 37% and 28% respectively.
Beige made its first appearance in the top 10 since 2014, as a number of new and upgraded models had the colour as an option. In contrast, demand for yellow cars fell by a third (to around 7,000).
“There are more opportunities than ever to personalise your new car to your exact taste, and motorists approached the challenge with gusto in 2018,” remarked Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s Chief Executive. “With around 80 new or upgraded models coming to market in 2019 equipped with the latest low and zero-emission powertrains, advanced safety tech and exciting comfort and convenience features, it’s great that buyers have so much to choose from.”