‘Sleek’ grey strengthens position as UK’s favourite new car colour

Grey has increased its dominance as the UK’s most popular new car colour as it is seen as “sleek” and has “wider resale appeal”, according to an industry body.

The colour accounted for 24.8% of all new cars registered last year, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

That was up from a market share of 24.4% during 2020.

It was a monochrome top three in 2021, with black in second place (20.5%) followed by white in third (17.2%).

More than three out of five (62.4%) new cars joining UK roads last year were either grey, black or white.

The SMMT attributed consumer preference for grey to “a wide range of reasons”.

It said in a statement: “It can be a sleek and deeper tone than other shades, is well suited to black trims and darker wheels, and offers an attractive compromise between the also-popular black and white.”

Grey is often seen as a “potentially safer choice” as it has “wider resale appeal than brightly coloured cars”, the SMMT added.

Blue edged closer to the top three last year, with 17.0% of new cars painted in that colour.

The only other colours with a market share of more than 1% were red (8.8%), silver (6.8%) and green (1.1%).

At the niche end of the colour palette, the fastest growing colours were gold, yellow and turquoise, although together they accounted for only 0.9% of new cars.

Bedfordshire was the county where you were most likely to see a new pink car last year with 66 registrations.

A total of 1.6 million new cars were registered in the UK last year, as the global shortage of semiconductors and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic affected sales.

That represented a 1.0% increase on 2020 but was 28.7% less than during the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

TRANSPORT Colour
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SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “2021 was anything but normal, but British drivers stuck to their familiar favourites of grey, black and white cars.

“But while last year’s new cars might share the same shades as previous years, under the bonnet there has been a real shift, with one in six buyers choosing to go green.

“With car registrations still low compared to pre-pandemic, helping even more drivers move to greener cars – whatever the actual colour – has never been more important.

“Incentives are helping move the market and should continue, but the speed of this shift to electric must be matched by an acceleration in the pace of charging infrastructure investment.

“Drivers should expect to be able to recharge irrespective of wherever they live, work or visit.”