Car colours 2019: grey most popular choice

Just over 22% of new cars registered in 2019 were grey, up 1.6% from 2018. Black is the second most popular colour, with white rounding out the top three, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The SMMT findings pointed towards a resurgence in the popularity of yellow cars, with the colour creeping in as the tenth most popular colour for new car purchases. The ostentatious shade has been a popular choice for notorious TV and film cars in the past; the iconic Only Fools and Horses Reliant Robin, Bumblebee from Transformers, childhood classics like Brum and Noddy’s car, and not forgetting many people’s first ride, the Little Tikes car. 

However, even with a roster of famous yellow vehicles, it was found to be the least attractive colour for a partner’s car in research conducted last year, with just 2% finding it desirable. Furthermore, in a snap poll ran overnight, nearly three-fifths of carwow site users (58%) revealed they would not even consider getting a yellow car.

58% of Britons say they would not consider owning a yellow car

Despite the results finding grey to be the most popular car colour of 2019, recent research conducted on behalf of the team here at carwow actually revealed that it’s considered as one of the least attractive colours, with just 3% of Britons noting it as the colour they’d like to see in a potential partner’s car. 

The monochrome colour boasts neutrality and versatility, likely chosen for its safe sell-on potential when compared to more vivid shades and given the rise in popularity of grey in home interiors and fashion. The choice to keep to the classic colours could also be financial, as custom colours can add ££ to the price. In-house data from carwow in covering 2017 to May 2019 found London drivers spent the most on this type of upgrade, £501.55 on average.


Average amount spent on car colour upgrade (2017-05/19)



South East


East of England


West Midlands




SMMT shows black and white coming in second and third for most desirable colours for new car purchases respectively, colours that typically jostle for position in the top five with red and blue; however the snap poll also found that 36% would not consider a white car and 24% of Britons would not consider black.

The car colours Britons would not consider purchasing can be found below:

  • Yellow (58% would not consider this colour)
  • Purple (52%)
  • White (36%)
  • Red (31%)
  • Black (24%)
  • Silver (18%)

Cars have never been more customisable, with the possibilities associated with creating your own tailor-made vehicle seemingly endless. Whilst a monochrome palette seems to be leading the way significantly in terms of new car purchases, there is still hope for the brighter colours, with blue, red and even orange appearing in the top 10. Those looking to purchase a new car with a brighter palette should take the findings as encouragement to do so, without worrying about the sell on potential later down the line.