Car colours: grey is the UK’s favourite again in 2020

Nearly a quarter of new cars registered in 2020 were grey, while black and white took second and third places respectively

Skoda Colour Concept system april fool

Grey has held on to its position as the UK’s favourite car colour for the third year running, being sported by nearly a quarter of new cars registered in 2020.

A total of 397,197 grey cars were registered last year - making up 24.3 per cent of 2020’s new models. Black - which was the UK’s previous favourite car colour but lost its crown to grey in 2018 - came second and white completed a monotone podium. Of the new cars registered in the UK last year, 61.6 per cent were finished in either grey, black or white.

The rest of the top 10 ranking remained unchanged from last year, except for yellow and bronze, which switched places and are now in ninth and 10th place respectively. Yellow saw a 50 per cent increase in its market share, but this increase only equated to 6,816 cars.

Red car popularity on the slide

According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), registrations of red cars dropped below 200,000 for the first time in a decade - the 147,222 new cars painted red in 2020 marked the colour’s worst performance since 1997.

Grey was the most popular colour for both petrol and diesel cars, but the favourite choice for EV buyers was white, while more new plug-in hybrids were painted black than any other colour.

Whereas in 2019 Scotland and the Channel Islands had different favourite car colours to the rest of the country, last year saw grey win unanimously across all nations of the UK. Regionally, only three areas didn’t have grey as their favourite colour - drivers on the Isle of Wight and in the Scottish Borders chose blue, while Strathclyde buyers opted for white.

Top 10 car colours 2020

Leicestershire was the most popular part of the UK for pink cars - 23.7 per cent of the UK’s total for 2020 were registered in that county. The West Midlands, meanwhile, saw the most orange cars registered.

There were a total of 106 different car colours for new cars in 2020, the least popular of which was maroon.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said that “2020 was a pretty dark year for the automotive industry and having grey as the top new car colour probably reflects the atmosphere.

“The sector, however, continues to provide valuable mobility, from vans delivering essential goods to private cars helping key workers do their jobs, and click and collect offers a lifeline for the industry, helping to keep manufacturing going.

“It cannot, however, replace the showroom experience and the sector has taken great steps to ensure dealers are Covid-secure with the flexibility to manage customer appointments so car buyers can choose a new car and colour in a safe environment.”

How important is the colour when you're choosing a new car? Tell us in the comments below...

Most Popular

New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal
Vauxhall Crossland Griffin
Vauxhall Crossland

New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal

The new Vauxhall Crossland Griffin undercuts the SE on price, but adds more equipment
26 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021
New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900
Audi RS 3 Sportback - front
Audi RS3

New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900

Full exterior and interior reveal for Audi RS 3, with aggressive styling and racy cabin to match strong performance
19 Jul 2021