The Most Popular Car Colours in the UK

Driven by the latest insights from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the UK's favourite car paint colours of 2022 paint a familiar, but monochrome, picture. For the fifth consecutive year, Brits have crowned grey as their favourite car shade. A significant 25.7% of all new cars, a staggering 415,199 to be exact according to the data, sported this understated hue, marking a 1.7% increase from the previous year.

Whilst grey reigned supreme nationwide, black, and white, trailed close behind, securing second and third places respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, maroon, pink, and cream struggled to win hearts, combining to make up less than one percent of new cars sold.

So, what makes grey the best car colour in the UK? And how popular are red cars? Stay tuned as we delve into the colourful world of the UK's most popular car colours.

What are the most popular car colours in the UK?

According to the SMMT's comprehensive data, the most popular car paint colours in the UK are:

  •         Grey
  •         Black
  •         White
  •         Blue


Continuing its domination for the fifth year running, grey takes the top spot, symbolising the UK's love for understated elegance. This colour was chosen by over a quarter of new car buyers in 2022.


Never out of style, black claims the second spot on the list. Its timeless appeal makes it a favourite for those seeking a classic, sophisticated look for their vehicle.


Bright and fresh, white is third on the popularity charts. This shade adds a clean, minimalist appeal, reflecting modern aesthetic preferences.


Blue holds a strong position in fourth place. With its wide range of shades from sky blue to navy, this colour offers something for everyone.

It's fascinating to see how these car paint colours reflect not just personal preferences, but also broader cultural and aesthetic trends. For more detailed statistics and insights, do check out the full report by the SMMT.

What colours make a car look luxurious?

If you’re drawn to the finer things in life, here’s the most luxurious car colours to consider:

  •         White
  •         Black
  •         Silver
  •         Grey


Associated with purity and simplicity, a white car often emits a vibe of high-class sophistication. With its unmatched ability to reflect sunlight, white cars have an added advantage of keeping cool during the summer months.


When it comes to the epitome of luxury and power, black is without a doubt the go-to colour. Its timeless elegance makes it a preferred choice for luxury vehicles. It's a colour that conveys authority, making it a favourite for high-end sedans and SUVs.


Silver cars mirror the sleek, metallic sheen of modern technology, linking them to a sense of futuristic luxury. Silver cars also excel at masking dust, dirt, and minor scratches, making them an excellent choice for maintaining a clean appearance with minimal effort.


Grey exudes luxury, with a more subtle aesthetic compared to shiny silver. This colour is versatile and complements different car models and designs, adding a refined touch that fits with a sophisticated lifestyle.

In essence, neutral shades like these are often linked with elegance, giving off a subtle sophistication compared to brighter colours. Their practical advantages, like being easier to keep clean, also add to their appeal in the luxury car market. This is not just about aesthetics, it also affects how the vehicle looks over time and its value when it’s time for you to sell it.

Another option to consider that can give a car a more luxurious look is car wrapping. This gives you access to a wider range of colours for a unique look.

What Colour Car Retains its Value Best?

The colour of your car doesn’t just influence its overall aesthetic, but it also has a potential impact on its resale value. From the classic appeal of silver, grey, and white, to surprise contenders like gold, green, and orange, let's dive into how these car paint colours can influence a car's resale value and what it could mean for your next purchase.

Silver, Grey, and White

When it comes to value retention, silver, grey, and white often lead the pack. Frequently topping the charts in new car sales, these colours also get significant attention in the second-hand car market, often commanding higher resale prices.

Unconventional Colours Like Yellow

On the flip side, unconventional car paint colours like yellow tend to be less popular among buyers, often resulting in lower resale values. However, in the niche of luxury and sports cars, these quirkier colours often command higher prices, creating an interesting divergence from the norm.


Surprisingly, a 2021 study by Rivervale Leasing revealed that gold car paint colours hold the highest resale value, with an average selling price 46% higher than the overall average. It’s not hard to understand why gold is so popular, particularly among luxury car enthusiasts who prefer to stand out.

Green and Orange

Green and orange are also high achievers, fetching 36% and 34% above the average selling price respectively according to the Riverdale study. Though not as conventional as grey or silver, these vibrant colours hold appeal, particularly in the luxury sports car market where turning heads is all part of the thrill.

The relationship between colour, demand, and resale value isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Depending on the segment - be it luxury, sports, or everyday vehicles - the ideal colour choice can vary significantly.

Why Are Red Cars Not Popular?

Whilst red cars are associated with vibrancy, passion, and speed, they're not necessarily the top choice for everyone. One reason might be the common perception that red cars are more likely to be pulled over by the police. Whilst this is largely a myth, it can potentially influence buyer decisions. Here’s a few other factors that dent the popularity of red vehicles:

The Practicality Factor

Red, being a vibrant colour, tends to show dirt, grime, and minor scratches more clearly than neutral colours like grey, silver, or white. This practical consideration may discourage potential buyers who prefer a car that requires less frequent cleaning.

Resale Value

The resale value of red cars may be lower than that of more neutral colours, as demand in the second-hand car market often leans towards more understated hues. This could be another factor affecting the popularity of red cars.

Despite these factors, red remains a popular choice in certain car segments, particularly sports cars, where the colour red often symbolises speed and power. So, whilst red might not top the charts overall, it still retains a loyal fan base among those who prefer their vehicles to make a bold statement.

Get Your Dream Car with a Help from Carmoola

Exploring car paint colours can provide interesting insights into regional tastes, practical considerations, and the links between colour and value. Whether you're drawn to the understated elegance of grey or silver, the classic sophistication of black, or the bold energy of red - your choice reflects not only your personal style, but also potential implications for long-term value. If you need a little help making a decision, check out our guide on how to choose the right colour car.

At Carmoola, we understand the role your favourite colour plays in selecting the perfect car. As a leading UK car finance company, we're committed to helping you finance your dream vehicle in the colour that suits you best.

Whether you're after a sleek grey sedan or a vibrant red sports car, we've got a flexible financing solution for you. You can apply for auto finance quickly and easily via our app or website to help fund your dream car.