Fifty Shades of Grey – now showing on Britain’s roads. After securing the top spot in 2018, grey cemented its position as the UK’s favourite new car colour last year. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports that new registrations of grey cars grew 5.3% last year. In total, 521,273 new grey cars joined Britain’s vehicle fleet – 22.6% of all new cars.
With black and white the second and third most chosen colours, 60.7% of all new cars joining British roads in 2019 were monochrome shades. The paint chart top ten remained largely unaltered year-on-year, save for the reappearance of yellow in 10th place after being knocked out in 2018 by beige.
With the overall new car market shrinking 2.4% in 2019 to around 2.3 million registrations, grey and turquoise were the only colours to increase their numbers. The latter rose 29.3% to 2,358 registrations.
Silver hits 20-year low, pink unloved
Once gleaming, silver now looks a little tarnished. The colour that occupied the top three on 16 occasions in the last two decades posted its lowest number of registrations for 20 years. Just 201,008 silver cars were registered in 2019.
Grey remained consistently the favourite choice across the UK in 2019, apart from in Scotland and the Channel Islands. White was the preferred hue in these parts of the country. Meanwhile, the least popular colours nationwide were maroon, cream and pink. Together, they accounted for less than one per cent of all registrations.
There were different tastes on show at opposite ends of the market, too. The smallest cars in the mini segment were more likely to be white, while executive and luxury saloon cars often favoured black. Diesel and petrol drivers tended to opt for grey, but the most popular colour for zero-emission battery electric vehicles was white.
“For most buyers, the colour is the first of many options they’ll select on their new car, and today there are more possibilities to personalise your car than ever before,” comments Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. “Drivers can choose from many hundreds of models equipped with the latest low and zero-emission powertrains, advanced safety and connected tech and exciting comfort and convenience features. There really is something to suit every driving need – and colour taste – on the market in 2020.”