United Kingdom

United Kingdom


Are you going grey behind the wheel?

Are you going grey? No, not a personal question about whether or not you reach for the hair dye in the bathroom, but about your car.

If so, then you’re not alone. Grey was once again the most popular colour for new cars in the UK in 2023 for the sixth year in a row according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). More than half a million grey cars were registered last year accounting for over a quarter of all new cars leaving showrooms.

In second and third place were black and white respectively, while blue cars took fifth place and red was fifth. Incidentally red cars have been declining in popularity since 2019 and last year was its lowest market share since 2005. Clearly UK drivers have fallen out of love with red.

Going in the other direction meanwhile are green cars. Green had its highest market share since 2004 and drivers in Greater London bought more green cars than any other county.

Talking of location, if you live in Strathclyde in Scotland, you’re more likely to see a yellow car on your roads, drivers in Cheshire register more orange cars than anywhere else, while Berkshire is the most popular location for red cars. Berkshire also is home to more than one in ten of the 210 pink cars registered last year as well.

Northern Ireland is home to the highest proportion of blue cars, Wales has more red and green motors and Scotland has the biggest number of white cars.

The popularity of less colourful choices is largely down to fleets which favours monochromatic colours with grey taking 26.9% of all fleet sales. By comparison, those buying a set of wheels privately were more likely to opt for a green or yellow car than a business driver.

“2023 was a bumper year for the British new car market as buyers continued to gravitate towards familiar monochrome hues for another year,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. “Car manufacturers have diligently expanded their offerings, with a huge selection of colour options available across hundreds of models. The extensive variety allows drivers flexibility in choosing a tiny that embodies their individuality and style.”