Just three in every 10 new cars were not painted grey, black, white or silver.
Grey was the UK’s favourite new car colour in 2020, taking the top spot for a third consecutive year. Having led the pack since 2018, the colour accounted for almost a quarter of all new car sales last year, putting it ahead of black and white, which came second and third respectively.
Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 24.35 percent of all new cars registered in 2020 were painted grey, increasing the colour’s market share by eight percent on 2019. In total, just under 400,000 of the 1.63 million new cars registered last year wore grey colour schemes, while grey was the most popular colour for six of the UK’s 10 best-selling cars.
Of the top sellers, only the Ford Fiesta and Focus models were most commonly specified in blue, while black was the favoured colour for buyers of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Volvo XC40. Grey, meanwhile, was the most popular choice for buyers of the Vauxhall Corsa, Volkswagen Golf and even the Mini Hatch – a car known for its wealth of customisation options and bright colour palette.
It seemed those choosing bright colours were a minority of British car buyers, however, with grey, black and white accounting for 61.7 percent of all new vehicles registered. Add silver to the mix and monotone shades made up seven in 10 new car sales (69.2 percent).
Aside from those colour schemes, blue was the most popular colour, attracting 16.9 percent of new car sales, while red attracted nine percent of buyers, making it the fifth most popular paint. The top six colours accounted for 95.1 percent of all new cars registered, leaving little room for brighter hues such as green, yellow and orange. All three of those shades made up a tiny percentage of sales, with 1.26 percent of new cars painted orange and 0.89 percent painted green. Yellow made up just 0.42 percent of sales, with fewer than 7,000 new cars painted in that colour.
“2020 was a pretty dark year for the automotive industry, and having grey as the top new car colour probably reflects the atmosphere,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes. “The sector, however, continues to provide valuable mobility, from vans delivering essential goods to private cars helping key workers do their jobs, and click and collect offers a lifeline for the industry, helping to keep manufacturing going.
“It cannot, however, replace the showroom experience and the sector has taken great steps to ensure dealers are Covid-secure with the flexibility to manage customer appointments so car buyers can choose a new car and colour in a safe environment.”