White remains the number one colour choice for new cars

Published 25 January 2017

White cars have topped the list of the UK’s most popular car colours for the fourth consecutive year, but the tide seems to be turning.

One in five cars on UK roads are white, but the colour's popularity has gone down since 2015. Black was the second most popular colour, it saw its biggest resurgence since 2007.

While the choice of white and black cars may be nothing more than a sign of modern consumers’ preference of practicality and refinement over vibrancy, it also signals a changing mindset about what people desire from their cars.

In the 1970s and 80s cars, much like music and fashion, were brighter and bolder. These days, buyers must be more money savvy and non-metallic white is usually the colour that comes at no extra cost.

Top 10 Car Colours (1)

The ‘Apple Effect’ may also play a big role in the ever-increasing popularity of white cars. Apple’s reputation as the reigning trend-setter is spilling over into the automobile industry. White represents an essence of coolness and sleek design that fits well with more modern curved cars rather than their sharper edged predecessors.

That said, the popularity of black cars extends beyond the connotation of just luxury and sophistication. When Henry Ford discovered that the fastest drying paint only came in black, that was the end of other colours from 1915 until 1926.

Silver saw the biggest decline, with 25 per cent less registered since its prime in 2004. The silver Volkswagen Golf was so popular in its heyday that it led to an urban myth that the Wolfsburg factory had two paint lines - one for the silver cars and another for the rest.

Simply Classics  Sports Car 14 - Hard Up Garage Choice Winner Austin Princess

It would seem as though the roads are now filled with monotonous monochrome cars compared to the days when colours like canary yellow (like this Austin Princess above), graphite nightmist and desert coral could be found on every British street.

However, niche colours like pink and bronze are increasing in popularity. Although there were only 3500 pink cars registered in the UK in 2016, this is an increase of 80 per cent from 2015. 

Orange is another colour that's re-emerging, but it's not the only vibrant colour returning to the top 10 with retro colours like green, brown and yellow also making an appearance.

Changing Tastes In Car Colour Top 5 1996-2016


Pelican    on 29 January 2017

I bought a white BMW and this is a "free" colour. A colour would have cost me £650. Too expensive. White is a no-brainier for private buyers.

angelcyn    on 30 January 2017

Pelican is totally correct, white is one of the two three colours that come as standard, all others are as he said extra to the tune of six or seven hundred, it is not the most popular and having had a white car never again, pain in the backside to keep clean.

Vernon Skuntamo    on 30 January 2017

White, black, grey & silver are not colours.

Vivien Barber    on 30 January 2017

When I bought my last car [A3] I really wanted yellow, but this was not available even for 'ready money'. So I had white - it gets no dirtier than a colour, even if it shows more. Also I don't have to put my lights on as early as with a dark colour.
It's rewarding to clean as it looks lovely!

zundapp    on 30 January 2017

Current car is a white Tiguan, however, previous car was a white metallic Scirocco (Oryx, VW called it).
Would have had Oryx again, but Tiguan was from stock.
Metallic white looks fantastic in bright sunlight and under street lights!!
Best colour I ever had though, was metallic purple on a 1994 Audi Coupe. It looked amazing..In fact, when it went in for a service, the Audi dealer used to leave it parked at the front of his garage.
I did in the late 90's have a yellow Lupo. What a great colour. Never a problem finding it in a car park!!

   on 31 January 2017

Those of us around in the 60s and 70s will remember all the very

pleasant colours from the music and 'pop' groups of the day.

Remember the Beetles, Marmalade, 'Sanfrancisco' and all the colourful

items in that era.. Mauve had a time when it was very popular...Mauve Mini !!

There was far more individualty then, now people follow the 'herd'

keith40    on 1 February 2017

A lot of ,manufactures now off a Pearl white or metallic white which look very nice on a lot of cars. Plus you have a lot of black editions with piano black trim which on whitelevision look the business.

Edited by keith40 on 01/02/2017 at 05:03

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