Fleet News

Grey most popular new car colour in the UK

The UK’s favourite new car colour in 2020 was grey for the second year running, according to new data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

There were 397,197 grey new cars sold during the year – almost a quarter (24.3%) of all registrations.

Black and white took second and third place overall, completing a monochrome podium, with more than six in 10 (61.6%) of all new cars sporting one of these three colours.  

The rest of the top 10 remained unchanged, apart from yellow and bronze which reversed places as yellow increased its market share by 50% but equivalent to only 6,816 sales.

Red saw its registrations drop below 200,000 for the first time in a decade to 147,222, recording its worst tally since 1997.

While the top colour for both petrol and diesel cars was grey, with 248,182 and 84,489 registered in the colours respectively, white was the most in-demand colour for zero emission battery electric vehicles (BEVs) (25,689 units). Black was the most popular shade for plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) with 17,989 registered.

It was a record year for these electrified vehicles, which together accounted for more than one in 10 registrations – up from around one in 30 in 2019.

Unlike 2019, which saw Scotland and the Channel Islands bucking the national trend, in 2020 grey was the unanimous colour of choice across the UK.

Indeed, the only counties to not opt for grey cars as their number one choice were the Isle of White and Borders, where blue was the most popular tint, and Strathclyde which saw white take the top spot.

Leicestershire, meanwhile, was the most popular location for pink cars, with 23.7% of the UK’s total registered in the region, while buyers in the West Midlands snapped up the most orange cars. 

While white was the most popular shade for the mini segment, luxury saloons and executive cars were most likely to be black.

Overall, there were 106 different distinct colours registered throughout the year with the least popular colour nationwide being maroon.


Fleet News event: The Electric Fleet Conference 2021

March 23 & 24, 2021

The Electric Fleet Conference 2021 - a virtual event delivering insight and clarity to UK businesses on electric vehicle adoption. 

"The Electric Fleet conference will draw on the knowledge of the UK’s top EV experts who will provide best practice advice to ensure you have a pain-free journey to electric."

Stephen Briers, editor-in-chief, Fleet News

Register your interest

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


  • Bob The Engineer - 18/01/2021 19:05

    Black is a good choice for a PHEV, the electric heating seriously impacts the battery range, the most solar heat you can absorb and the less heating you need the longer the EV range! (before someone says what about when its too hot, aircon uses far less power than heating so its still a net gain)

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register