Grey still OK on new

car scene

Nissan Qashqai, 2021, front

GREY is officially the nation's favourite new car colour for the fifth year in a row, with more than a quarter of UK buyers choosing the shade in 2022, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Some 415,199 grey cars were registered last year, up 1.7 per cent, while black and white took second and third place overall, completing a monochrome podium.

More than six in 10 new cars hitting British roads in 2022 were painted in grey, black or white.

Silver, meanwhile, which held first or second place in car buyers' affections for 12 straight years from 2000 to 2011, posted just 98,483 units and a 6.1 per cent market share in 2022 - its lowest level in more than two decades.

Red, although retaining its fifth-place ranking, also recorded a decline to reach its lowest market share since 2008, at 136,793 units accounting for 8.5 per cent of all cars registered.

At the other end of the spectrum, the least popular shades were maroon, pink, and cream, which, combined, recorded less than one per cent of all registrations.

Pink tinted vehicles tallied their lowest number since 2009, while other niche paints, including orange, yellow, bronze, turquoise and mauve, all posted growth, hinting at a broader trend, although combined, the colours only make up 3.4 per cent of the market at 55,401 units.

Meanwhile, green enjoyed a resurgence in popularity to a level not seen for 16 years, up by 74.2 per cent on 2021 with the largest volume growth of all colours.

Some 31,220 new green cars were registered in total - perhaps fittingly a quarter of which 24.1 per cent could be plugged-in.

Overall, the top colour for most powertrains remained grey, with only PHEVs opting for black.

Grey was also the top selling colour in every region and every county in the UK, bar the Scottish Borders where blue pushed it into second spot.

Red cars proved most popular in Berkshire with 6,735 registrations, while the highest number of green cars was registered in Greater London, at 1,894 units, and Strathclyde registered more orange cars at 1,313 than any other county.

Cheshire took top spot for turquoise, with 291 units, while pink was most favoured in Derbyshire, although it accounted for just 10 new car registrations in the county, demonstrating how rarely drivers picked the colour.

While grey was the most popular colour in the UK's three largest segments, superminis, lower mediums and dual purpose, as well as in upper medium and specialist sports, white was the most popular shade for the mini and multi-purpose segments and black was most popular for executive cars and luxury saloons.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive,said:"Car colour choice theoretically proclaims something about who we are as drivers and buying a car today comes with many possibilities to customise your vehicle to match. After choosing from the market's ever-growing choice of makes, models, powertrains, wheel trims and in-car tech, picking out the perfect paint is an exciting decision to make.

"While the most popular shades remained unchanged for 2022, for those looking to ensure their vehicle stands out from the crowd, there remains a huge variety of colour choices from across the rainbow available to suit every character."

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