Colour is notorious for having an effect on the ease and price of resale - so what colours have you been choosing?

There’s nothing quite so divisive as a car colour - it’s a key decision for carmakers launching their cars, buyers picking their cars, and second-hand buyers dictating what will sell. 

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has compiled the top ten biggest-selling colours in the UK, where the six most common colours dominate, taking almost 95% of the car market.

The most popular car colours in the UK: 

1 - Black

515,970 registrations, 20.3% market share

Black cars ruled supreme in 2017, with more than one in five registrations being for a black car. It’s the first time black has overtaken white in five years. 

2 - Grey

500,714 registrations, 19.7% market share

Grey has shot to second place, with more than half a million registrations. It’s the favourite car colour for buyers in the East Midlands, and has pushed white from first place in 2016 to third place in 2017.

3 - White

482,099 registrations, 19% market share

Close but now usurped, white cars have slipped to third place, despite being the colour preference for drivers in the north. It’s the first time since 2012 that white hasn’t been the colour of choice for UK motorists. 

4 - Blue

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405,758 registrations, 16% market share

Blue cars haven’t been the UK’s most popular since 1999, but have been in the top ten since records began. It’s now the only primary colour in the top five, as red slipped to sixth this year.

5 - Silver

254,192 registrations, 10% market share

The nation’s favourite between 2000 and 2008, silver is a neutral, safe bet for those wary of residual values. One in ten cars registered across 2017 were silver.

6 - Red

251,104 registrations, 9.9% market share

For the first time in five years, red has slipped out of the top five, replaced by more neutral tones. It’s only by a small margin, but 1.4% of the market has turned away from red in the last year.

7 - Green

26,834 registrations, 1.1% market share

1996’s most popular car colour is relegated to seventh these days, despite modest growth in the last year. It’s got a long way to go before it catches up with sixth-place red, which had nine times the number of registrations in 2017.

8 - Orange

19,064 registrations, 0.8% market share

Orange has crept back into fashion thanks to cars such as the Seat Ateca, meaning a top ten appearance for the first time on record. It remains a niche choice, though, making up just one in every 125 registrations. 

9 - Bronze

12,421 registrations, 0.5% market share

Bronze, not brown, made up 0.5% of the UK’s new car registrations last year. Brown fell out of favour, slipping to 11th place, while bronze - part of an orange and bronze trend - came back into the top ten for the first time in six years.

10 - Yellow

10,301 registrations, 0.4% market share

Despite a fall in demand for yellow cars of nearly a fifth, yellow remained in the top ten. Being a rather extrovert choice, it’s not featured in the top five. Ever.

Further down…

Predictably, pink remains an incredibly rare choice, with fewer than one in every 1900 car buyers thinking pink. The already not-really-substantial bottom fell out of mauve cars, too. Registrations dropped by a third compared with 2016. 

Read more

The 10 best-selling cars of 2017

Autocar's best of 2017: the 10 most-read news stories of the year

Join the debate


15 January 2018

Personally I'd put silver and grey in the same group! This puts it way out in the lead.

I reckoin the the two are split as a few years ago everyone bought Silver, people became snobby about it and started calling it grey, just to be different.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

15 January 2018

No surprise here, the most popular cars are dull, just like the most popular cars these days.


15 January 2018

No surprise here, the most popular colours are dull, just like the most popular cars these days.


Post edit facility long overdue...


15 January 2018

Given the choice I'd always choose silver or a variation of it. It very rarely shows the dirt.

15 January 2018

Our car is Jungle Green. Somedays it looks silver, others it looks grey. What it never seems to do is look green. If we'd wanted the car to look green we'd have chosen Rodium Grey.

15 January 2018

You can cross match this to which colour is free for each manufacturer.  Guessing more people are taking the free option with the rise in leasing (this is often black or white).


15 January 2018

I think the report is doomed to be inacurate.

Green is in 7th place with 1% of sales......have you ever tried to spec a green car (particularly amongst the premiums), on their configurators?

Most German brands dont even offer green as an option instead having 7 or 8 greys to choose from along with Black and White.

I know this because I always buy green cars and it is becoming really difficult to achieve.

So the low take-up may be more availability than demand led. 

JLR are one of the few still offering a decent dark green....they would probably be lynched if they didnt.


15 January 2018

It really says something about this country where the top 3 colours (which arent actually "colours" at all" are black, white and grey.

XXXX just went POP.

15 January 2018

Especially when trying to find your silvery grey car in a massive car park amongst all the other silvery grey cars....

Steam cars are due a revival.

15 January 2018
Thekrankis wrote:

Especially when trying to find your silvery grey car in a massive car park amongst all the other silvery grey cars....

These things are cyclical; I remember searching for my dark blue mini in a sea of dark blue cars at Cadwell Park in 1970.


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