It’s grey for the UK! Favourite car colour charts go monochrome in 2023

Monochrome tastes have put grey, black and white at the top of the annual sales car charts again

Tesla Model 3 - front tracking

Nearly two-thirds of the new cars registered in the UK in 2023 were coloured grey, black or white, according to statistics released by the Society of Manufacturers and Traders.

Making an astonishing sixth consecutive appearance at the top of the colour charts, grey once again proved the most popular colour choice overall, representing 26.8 percent of new cars on the road last year - a total of 509,194 cars registered. Black accounted for 20.2 percent of new registrations, while 16.5 percent were delivered in white.

In fact, as the graphic below shows, you have to go all the way back to 2010 to find a year when grey, white and black didn’t take all three favourite car colour podium slots - interestingly, white appeared from nowhere when black was top dog, kicking blue out of third place in 2011, before topping the table from 2013 to 2016. It’s now dropped back to third.

UK car colours

While there’s little sign yet of buyers getting bored with their monochrome cars, a glimmer of green hope has emerged - the SMMT says it’s showing signs of a comeback, with a 2.8 per cent market share. That’s more than 53,000 units, the colour’s biggest volume since 2004, it says.

However, while green may have eco-friendly connotations, the SMMT points out that the increasing number of electric cars on UK roads followed the grey colour trend of their more traditional internal combustion counterparts in 2023.

For anyone looking for a splash of colour - or playing the yellow car game - the SMMT figures point to regional highlights including Strathclyde where the most yellow cars were registered (677 in all), Cheshire with the most new orange cars (1,140) and Berkshire which was top for new red (8,034) and pink (22) machines. 

In case you were wondering, a total of 210 new pink cars were registered last year, while the country’s least favourite colour was cream, with just 151 registrations.

Top 10 UK car colours 2023

No.ColourNo of registrations
1Grey509,194
2Black385,171
3White314,382
4Blue287,213
5Red142,179
6Silver124,482
7Green53,426
8Orange16,677
9Yellow11,880
10Bronze6,350

What's your favourite car colour? Let us know in the comments section...

Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

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