Most Popular New Car Color In The UK In 2020 Wasn’t Black Or White

For the third year in a row, grey held its position as the UK’s favorite new car color in 2020, according to the latest numbers released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Black and white took second and third place, demand for yellow increased by 50 percent, and red had its worst year since 1997.


Grey was the top shade for both gasoline and diesel cars with 248,182 and 84,489 registered in the colors respectively, while white was most in demand for BEVs and black for PHEVs, with 25,689 and 17,989 registered respectively. It was a record year for electrified vehicles, which together accounted for more than 10 percent of total registrations (up from about 3 percent in 2019).

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White was the most popular shade for the mini segment, while luxury sedans and other executive cars were most likely to be painted black. In total, there were 106 different colors registered throughout the year in the UK, with the least popular being maroon.

The rest of the top 10 remained unchanged, save for yellow and bronze, which reversed places. As mentioned before, yellow increased its market share by 50%, but that still resulted in only 6,816 sales. Meanwhile red saw its registrations drop below 200,000 for the first time in a decade to 147,222, recording its worst result since 1997.

Overall, 397,197 grey vehicles were sold over the course of 2020 in the UK, which means that nearly a quarter (24.3%) of all new cars sold were painted in that color. Combined with the two other top colors, black and white, they accounted for more than 60 percent (61.6%) of all new cars registered in 2020.

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“2020 was a pretty dark year for the automotive industry and having grey as the top new car color probably reflects the atmosphere,” chief executive of the SMMT, Mike Hawes, said. “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 color in a safe environment.”

Updated: January 25, 2021 — 12:02 pm

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