Britain’s favourite new car colours in 2017

The colour of our new car is, for many of us, one of the single most important decisions to be made when buying a new motor. Henry Ford made it easy by dictating buyers can have any colour they like so long as it’s black. Today, things are not quite so simple.

To tell us which new car colours are hot and which are not, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has released its announced rundown of UK car sale by colour for 2017. The colour of every single new car registered last year has been analysed to draw up a top 10 list of the most popular car colours.

10: Yellow (10,301 cars)

In 10th place is yellow – but only just. Brits’ preference for bright and cheerful yellow cars was down dramatically in 2017; it only just made the top 10. Demand was actually down 17.1 percent on 2016, suggesting we’re really not in the mood for bright and cheerful cars at the moment…

9: Bronze (12,421 cars)

Bronze unexpectedly overtook yellow to slot in ninth in the 2017 new car colour popularity charts. 0.5 percent of all new cars were painted bronze: its appearance in the top 10 popularity chart is perhaps one of the surprises of 2017.

8: Orange (19,054 cars)

Yellow may be out, but we Brits still like a bit of bold and brash with our new cars. Orange came in eighth, with more than 19,000 new car buyers choosing it for their new car. Its popularity last year grew slightly over 2016.

7: Green (26,834 cars)

Green consistently hovers in and around a 1 percent market share, and so it proved in 2017. Sales were up fractionally, with just over 27,000 car buyers picking it for their new motor.

And then we have quite the jump in sales to the top six…

6: Red (251,104 cars)

From just under 27,000 sales, right up to well over 250,000 sales: in Britain, you have the top six most popular car colours, and then you have the rest.

But although red is sixth, it seems we’re really falling out of love with it. Sales were down a hefty 1.4 percent in 2017, with its market share now down below 10 percent. Remember, there was a time when red was the most popular new car colour of all in Britain.

5: Silver (254,192 cars)

We still love a good old-fashioned silver car in the UK. It popped out ahead of red, just, in the sales charts, despite its own marginal 0.1 percent fall in volumes. The favourite hue of car designers the world over is the pick of 1 in 10 new car buyers in the UK.

4: Blue (405,758 cars)

Another big jump up to more than 400,000 cars gives blue a 16 percent market share in the UK. Registrations were up half a percent last year as it edges up the market share tables.

3: White (482,099 cars)

The trend for picking white cars seems to be slipping. Although white cars took a 19 percent share of the new car market in 2017, registrations slipped a stiff 1.5 percent, taking it below half a million new cars.

For four years, white has been the most popular new car colour in Britain. Not any longer…

2: Grey (500,714 cars)

More grey cars than ever before were registered in 2017 – more than half a million of them. This colour has never commanded such a large share of the new car market, growing 2.4 percent in 2017 to claim a 19.7 percent market share. It’s one of the car colour stories of 2017. And the other?

1: Black (515,970 cars)

Yes, our favourite new car colour is black. Registrations grew in 2017 and it’s now the favoured colour of 1 in 5 new car buyers. It’s the first time in half a decade that black has topped the charts. And the colour it toppled to take top spot? Why, white.

When it comes to new car colour choice it really is black and white for a lot of Brits.

The national mood is… colourless

SMMT figures show that 6 in 10 new cars registered last year were either black, grey or white. The only primary colour to make the top five was blue, at the expense of red. Right now, Brits are in love with monochrome colours.

As they say our choice in car colour often reflects the national mood, what does this say about Britain today?

In: Gold

The fastest-growing new car colour in 2017 was, surprisingly, gold. It’s rising fast, with demand up over 19 percent, although it’s still currently very much a niche colour, making up a tiny 0.2 percent of the market.

If the upward trend continues, though, it won’t stay so niche for long.

Out: Brown

Brown was, for a short time, the ‘in’ colour. Not anymore. It’s now firmly ‘out’, with a sales decline of 33 percent in 2017. Ah, the vagaries of fashion…

In: Orange

Orange is now more popular than it’s ever been, with sales growth of 9.4 percent in 2017. If the upward trend carries on, it won’t be long before orange new cars are more popular than green ones.

Out: Pink

Pink is always a bold and brave choice for a new car, but 2017’s figures illustrated just how bold and brake: just 1,327 new car buyers, out of a total market of over 2.5 million, picked a pink new car…

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