The 8 Most Popular Car Colours In The UK, (and the effect this has on the price)
When buying a car, there are lots of factors that you need to consider. There are fundamentals, such as the make and model of the car and the price. Then there are other factors such as its performance and its economy. But believe it or not, another important is the colour. Whilst the colour of a car will not affect how a car operates, it can significantly affect the price, both when purchasing and when selling or part-exchanging. We explore what the most popular and least popular car colours are and evaluate what effect they have on car prices.
The UK’s most popular colour cars
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers, the most popular car colours in the UK based on vehicle road registrations are as follows
1. Black - 515,970 registrations
Data from the DVLA, reveals nearly one-in-five cars in the UK are black. Black has always been one of the most popular colours, despite the fact that it is harder to keep clean than some other colours and is the worst choice for showing blemishes and damages. However, there is something so simple and stylish about a black car that sees it hold its price very well in resale.
2. Grey - 500,000 registrations
Grey has consistently been a popular car colour in the UK. Undoubtedly part of this has to do with the fact that both BMW and Mercedes Benz love the colour and offer it on a wide range of models. It’s not the most exciting colour and it’s a colour that shouldn’t have a great deal of an effect on price, when either selling or buying.
3. White - 482,000 registrations
Traditionally white was never one of the most popular colours of car but its popularity has soared over the last decade. Many link this with the ‘Apple effect’, the popularity of white iPhones, iPads and iMacs rejuvenating the colour and making it the colour most associated with tech. White cars generally have good second hand values but some consumers can be put off by the fact that they tend to need washing more often some other colour cars.
4. Blue - 405,758 registrations
Blue has consistently been one of the most popular colours of car, rarely being out of the top five. Whilst the latest statistics have it as the fifth most popular colour, research suggests that in 2018, it could leap into the number one spot.
5. Silver - 254,192 registrations
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers, silver cars had declined in popularity in recent years but are expected to rise again. With big demand for this colour in the secondhand market, silver cars are attracting higher prices than many other colours.
6. Red - 251,104 registrations
Red was always one of the most popular colour cars in the UK but its popularity has waned more recently. Research from Halfords a couple of years back suggested that red cars are most likely to attract bird droppings so, maybe this is the reason?
7. Green - 26,834 registrations
Green is the colour of envy but it’s not the colour of popularity. Green as a colour has been declining in popularity steadily over the last decade even though some of its shades such as British Racing Green are linked with iconic cars such as the E-Type Jaguar and the Mini Cooper.
8. Yellow - 10,301 registrations
Yellow is one of those car colours that comes in and out of fashion. However, it has been declining in popularity in the last few years. This doesn’t necessarily mean that this has a negative effect on their value though…
Do the most popular car colours cost more secondhand?
Because black is the most popular coloured car, that must make them more expensive in the used market shouldn’t it? There'll be lots of people looking to buy that colour who will be willing to pay a premium to get the colour of their choice. Whilst there’s no denying that black cars hold their value reasonably well when used, the car colour that holds its value the best and attracts the highest used car prices may actually surprise you. It’s yellow, attracting up to 18.5% more than other colours according to research recently cited in Forbes magazine.
The reason is two-fold. Firstly, yellow is a colour that divides opinion. Unlike most of the most popular colours, people tend to either really like yellow cars, or really dislike them. Secondly, not many yellow cars are produced each year. The combination of these two factors means that there is a high demand for yellow cars from a small but significant number of people, but as there’s not a lot of yellow cars to go around, this drives up the price. Great if you’re a seller, but not if you’re a buyer.
Should the colour of a car affect your choice of whether to buy it?
There’s no doubt that the colour of a car should be considered when buying a car, especially if you plan to resell it at a later date. However, it shouldn’t be your primary concern. The overall quality of the car, how it drives, it’s condition and its history are amongst the concerns that you should be looking at above its colour. And remember, if you find the perfect car but don’t like the colour… you can always look at getting it resprayed.
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