White is Britain’s favourite car colour for third year running, as neutral palette dominates new market

12 February 2016 #SMMT News

  • More than a fifth of new cars registered are white, as neutral tones continue to dominate.
  • Demand growing for mauve, orange and yellow.
  • Green sees biggest uplift, with demand up 31.2% to take seventh place in nation’s top 10, while blue continues its resurgence, up 15.5%.

Figures released by SMMT show white has retained its position as the UK’s most popular new car colour for the third year running, with demand growing 2.2% to 564,393 units. Of the 2,635,518 new cars registered in 2015, 21.4% were white, compared with less than 1% a decade ago. The preference for white across most of the UK was not mirrored in the South East where more black cars were registered than white.

Best selling white cars2015

Blue cars also enjoyed a resurgence in demand, with more than one in six people choosing the colour. Blue used to be the nation’s first choice of car colour in the late 1990s and, after a period of falling popularity at the start of the century, it has now seen three years of continued growth in demand.

Meanwhile, after nine years at the top between 2000 and 2008, silver continued its decline. It now makes up just over one in 10 new car registrations compared with its peak in 2004 when almost every third new car registered was silver. Overall, neutral tones continued to dominate, with black cars in second place after white and followed by grey, taking 19.4% and 15.6% of the market respectively.

Market share by colour red

But it wasn’t all black and white, with more buyers opting to stand out on the roads with brighter colours.

  • The number of people choosing mauve cars rose by approximately a third in 2015 (30%) to 12,414, taking the colour into the top 10 for the first time. New mauve cars were most likely to be seen in the West Midlands (0.9%) and the Channel Islands (0.7%)
  • Demand for green cars grew by 31.2% to 28,250 units to take its highest market share (1.1%) for five years. East Anglians were most partial to green at 1.4% followed by those in the North (1.3%), the Channel Islands and Wales (both 1.3%).
  • Orange and yellow cars, meanwhile, also surged in popularity – up 25.7% and 12.7% respectively – with a total 30,187 people opting for the eye-catching colours. More drivers in the West Midlands chose orange than anywhere else in the country, with new yellow cars most likely to be seen on roads in the South East.

Top 10 car colours 2015

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