Car buyers in the UK are beginning to fall out of love with white as demand for black increases for the first time in a decade
20 January 2017

The UK’s most popular car colour for new registrations is white, according to sales data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

White remains the most popular colour choice for UK new car buyers for the fourth year running, and accounted for 552,329 sales in 2016, though this is a drop of 2.1% from the previous year.

Look at the best-selling cars in Britain here

Registrations of cars painted black increased to 542,862 to account for 20.2% of total sales, only 0.3% behind white. Sales of black cars increased for the first time since 2007.

Other colours on the rise include pink with an 82.7% leap in sales in 2016 to 3527 units and bronze that took 8902 sales to be 44% up on 2015. Yellow is also back on trend in the top 10 with sales of 12,431.

Take a look at the colour options for the new Ford GT

Losers in the colour chart are brown, which slipped 40.1% to ninth overall, and silver with sales down to 273,220, compared to its peak of 843,870 in 2004.

Jane E Harrington, colour styling manager of paint manufacturer PPG said: "Colour choices naturally change over time, though conservative shades such as silver, black and white tend to dominate. The important thing is for car makers to be responsive to the tastes of buyers as they come into the market and shift between vehicles types as they have families, buy a second car or want something more personal to them.’

Alisdair Suttie

Our Verdict

Ford Fiesta
Fiestas sold in Europe are ostensibly the same as those sold in America and Asia

The seventh-generation Ford Fiesta is the UK's best selling car, helped by frugal engines, handling verve and a big car feel

Join the debate


20 January 2017
Ever seen a black car without obvious holograms and swirl marks in the paint? Ever seen a white car that didnt look flat or dull? Ever seen either colour look clean after a couple of weeks out of the car wash? A silver car will look fine for months and hide paint blemishes.

20 January 2017
winniethewoo wrote:

Ever seen a black car without obvious holograms and swirl marks in the paint? Ever seen a white car that didnt look flat or dull? Ever seen either colour look clean after a couple of weeks out of the car wash? A silver car will look fine for months and hide paint blemishes.


20 January 2017
I think white,black,grey and silver take about 80% of the market,a lot of the other colours are variations of grey and silver and black ,the premium brands have say 6 themes on black and say 6 on silver greys .Possibly pundits are worried that straying from the colours above would make the car harder to sell and increase depreciation.i quite liked the lime green on the Evoque but was not popular and withdrawn.Agree with Winnie silver and light grey are good choices my Black car looks fantastic when clean but shows the dust and dirt,had a white one that is great in the summer but a pain even worse than black in the winter but contrast to my wife whom had the wise choice of tungsten grey.But to be honest I feel like getting a bright red or electric blue to cheer up the drive that has 3 black cars and the grey one

20 January 2017
I will never order a new car in black. Had one a long time ago, I could spend a long time cleaning and polishing it, only for it to look dusty as soon as I finished.


20 January 2017
Surely the reason white tops the list due to the fact most makers are now charging extra for any other colour other than white. Fleet managers and private buyers possibly view the cost as unnecessary and just plump for the standard colour.

"Why is not getting more media attention? It could be the future... Now!"

20 January 2017
The increase is black is tied to increasing leasing.

I had company cars for many years - black Fiestas, black Giulietta, a black Merc C350e.

Why? It was the only colour that didn't cost more....

20 January 2017
Having been a car enthusiast since a boy in the 1960's, and remembering the array of often vivid paint colours that were common on cars of the 1970's /80's, it's disappointing how the market has become so conformist. For some time now, certain colours have dominated sales for a few years at a time, with silver, black and latterly white being regarded as the fashionable "must have" colours for the period. I suppose fleet sales may have encouraged the pursuit of "safe" resale values, but it is so boring!

Really different and vibrant colours can still be seen on some "supercars", but for most people conformity now seems the norm.

20 January 2017
Black and white arent actually colours. Not that long ago reds, blues and greens would have featured strongly, sad that boring greys, silvers blacks and white dominate now.

XXXX just went POP.

20 January 2017
That stealthy flat grey mostly seen on RS6 Avants and Focus RS's is a great colour. Also seen on the Mini Coopers. Moonwalk Grey best with a black roof and mirrors.

23 January 2017
A simple graph of these data would've saved a lot of repetitive text.

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