Black, White, Grey and Silver represent the majority of UK car colours!

Are colourful cars a dying breed here in the UK? It would seem so, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, unfortunately.

Nowadays, a car with a bit of colour to it will stand out like the lady in the red dress from the Matrix, with all the other cars making up a sea of monochrome. Grey has increased in popularity and is now officially the UK’s most popular new car colour, according to stats from SMMT in 2021.

Photo: Serjan Midili

Grey made up a whopping 24.8% of new car colours last year, meaning around 1 in 4 new cars ordered was specced in some shade of grey. Unsurprisingly, this isn’t a new trend, as anyone who has been driving with their eyes open recently would know. In 2020, the market share of grey cars wasn’t much less, sitting at 24.4%.

While grey sits in first place as the most popular colour, second and third place also belong to monochromatic colours. 2021 saw 20.5% of new cars being ordered in black and 17.2% of new cars being ordered in white. In total, this means that 62.5% of all new cars last year were monochrome and had no colour in them, just a mixture of tones of white and black. How dreary!

Another shocking revelation is that silver is not counted as ‘grey’ and has its own market share of 6.8% in 2021, according to SMMT. So when they say 1 in 4 new cars are grey, they really mean just one colour that does not also blend into the separate colour of silver.

The colour blue came very close to beating white, with a market share of 17.0% and then behind that, red had a share of 8.8%. After that, all of the other colours had shares of under 1.1% making them quite a rare sight on UK roads and in showrooms.

If this trend maintains itself, as it has done for the past few years, we are going to be left with some very drab roads in the future once the older, more colour-diverse cars are eventually taken out of service one by one.

A representative at SMMT offered to comment on possible reasons why monochrome cars are so popular:

“It can be a sleek and deeper tone than other shades, is well suited to black trims and darker wheels, and offers an attractive compromise between the also-popular black and white.”

Photo: Darren Nunis

Also, we’d like to say that grey cars can not look as dirty as black, white or colourful cars, even after driving on the salt-ridden roads that are so common in the winter!

Let us know your thoughts, in the comments below.

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One Response

  1. Daniel

    Although I agree with the reasons given, I believe the main reason is that it’ll sell well. If your car is a vibrant colour like purple or lime green only people who like those colours will consider buying the car. Whereas grey is more “neutral” in taste and so you’re more likely to have more customers.


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