Grey was the UK’s most popular car colour for the fourth consecutive year in 2022, taking more than a quarter of the UK new car market. Figures released this week by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show more than 400,000 new grey cars were registered last year.

That increase of almost two percent put grey ahead of black and white for the fourth time in a row, and ensured those three monochrome options accounted for almost two-thirds of the market overall. Together, the three shades were applied to almost a million new cars last year, or 62.5 percent of all new cars registered.

As a measure of the popularity of monochrome paints, grey was not only the UK’s favourite colour, but the most popular colour in every region bar one. The sole exception was Scotland, where blue pushed it into second spot.

2023 Kia Niro

However, there were signs that monochrome shades are not favoured universally. Silver paint, which was the first or second most popular paint colour for 12 straight years from 2000 to 2011, was applied to fewer than 100,000 new UK cars, making it the sixth most popular colour on the market. Blue took fourth place, claiming 16 percent of the market, while red cars accounted for 8.5 percent of all new car sales.

Further down the list, the colours became considerably more vivid, but the market shares shrank dramatically. Green, for example, was the UK’s seventh most popular colour, but it was still applied to less than two percent of all new cars registered.

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Eighth spot was taken by orange, which claimed a 1.2-percent market share and was the only other colour to make up more than one percent of all new cars sold. Yellow and bronze, which rounded out the top 10, made up 0.7 and 0.5 percent of registrations respectively.

“Car colour choice theoretically proclaims something about who we are as drivers, and buying a car today comes with many possibilities to customise your vehicle to match,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes. “After choosing from the market’s ever-growing choice of makes, models, powertrains, wheel trims and in-car tech, picking out the perfect paint is an exciting decision to make. While the most popular shades remained unchanged for 2022, for those looking to ensure their vehicle stands out from the crowd, there remains a huge variety of colour choices from across the rainbow available to suit every character.”