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New car buyers start heading back to black

White remains the UKs favourite new car colour but buyers are starting to return to black.


New data from SMMT shows the popularity of car colours over the last decade.

New data by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows white accounted for a fifth of all registrations last year but demand fell -2.1%; the first drop since 2005.

In contrast 2016 saw the highest take-up of black cars in the UK since 2007, with a total of 542,862 registrations.

The third and fourth most popular colours were grey and blue, both gaining market share. Meanwhile, yellow cars appeared in the top 10 for the first time since 2013 at the expense of mauve, which dropped to 11th place.

In contrast, silver saw a -7.5% drop, marking the biggest volume decline.

Biggest winners and losers in 2016:

Going up

  • Pink is still a niche colour choice, but demand in 2016 grew 82.7% to 3,527 units.
  • Bronze saw a 44% rise in demand last year, with a record 8,902 registrations.
  • Turquoises popularity grew fourfold last year, from just 792 registrations in 2015 to 2,718.

Going down

  • Demand for brown fell -40.1%, dropping it one place to ninth.
  • Beige declined -27.6% to under 10,000 for the first time since 2000 with 8,426 cars registered.
  • Silver fell by 22,209 units (-7.5%), with 273,220 buyers choosing it compared with 843,870 in its heyday back in 2004.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.

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