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​Silver still tops ‘car colour’ podium

Press release -

​Silver still tops ‘car colour’ podium

  • 6.8m silver cars registered for road use – nearly 1m more than its nearest rival
  • But a 91% increase in white cars since 2013, now up to 2.8m

Silver is still the most popular colour among the 30m-plus cars on the UK’s roads, but it is starting to lose its place as the nation’s favourite choice as white becomes ever more prevalent.

New data DVLA requested by RAC Cars* reveals that 22.5% of cars were silver at the end of the first quarter of 2016 – that’s 6,841,315 of 30,459,456 licensed cars. But this percentage has dropped from 2013 when a quarter (25%) of all cars on the road were silver. Nevertheless, there are still 925,788 more silver cars on the road than its nearest rival – black.

Blue has also fallen out of favour with motorists as its share of cars in use has decreased from 21% in 2013 to 18.6% (5,689,516) this year, putting it into third place behind black (19.4% – 5,915,527) which has held its popularity consistently over the last three years, taking second place in 2015 and holding it again in 2016.

Fourth position in the car colour charts – some way behind on 12% (3,710,965) is grey, edging red into fifth on 11%. While white remains in sixth spot its percentage share of cars has grown dramatically from just 5% in 2013 to 9% in 2016, stealing share from silver and blue which have both declined in popularity slightly. With 2,833,084 white cars on the road today, this means there are now 1,348,950 more than there were in 2013 – a 91% increase.

The last of the colours that is popular enough to number above one million cars is green, taking seventh place with 1,066,496 – or 4% of all cars. The top 10 is completed by beige, yellow and brown – in that order – which each have under 1% of all cars.

2016 RAC Cars Colour Chart

Rank Colour Number of cars % of all cars 2013 comparison % change
1 Silver/aluminium 6,841,315 22.5% 7,334,335 – 25.4%
2 Black 5,915,527 19.4% 5,230,739 – 18.1%
3 Blue 5,689,516 18.7% 6,005,624 – 20.8%
4 Grey 3,710,965 12.2% 3,074,210 – 10.7%
5 Red 3,237,326 10.6% 3,104,114 – 10.8%
6 White 2,833,084 9.3% 1,484,134 – 5.1%
7 Green 1,066,496 3.5% 1,533,059 – 5.3%
8 Beige/buff 235,683 0.8% 235,052 – 0.8%
9 Yellow 172,297 0.6% 177,874 – 0.6%
10 Brown 169,656 0.6% 92,226 – 0.3% +84%

The RAC Cars’ findings confirm why so many families play the yellow car spotting game when travelling up and down the country’s roads as there are just 172,297 to find. Perhaps though, pink cars and multi-coloured cars should be included in the game because they are the least popular on the road with just 17,860 and 7,431 respectively.

RAC Cars spokesman Pete Williams said: “In 2015 there were more than 7m silver cars registered, that’s 23.7% of all the cars on the road but this year the number has dropped by 3% to 6.8m. Blue has also lost ground, falling from 19.3% in 2015 to 18.7% this year. Even though both black and grey have become very slightly more popular the big car colour chart climbing success is white which has shot up to 9.3% of all registered cars by adding 1.3m since 2013.

“Some people can be very particular or superstitious about the colour of their cars, always having to have the same colour whereas others are clearly influenced more by fashion. White is very much the colour of the moment which is why it’s rising up the rankings, but it has a long way to go before it becomes as popular as silver, black and blue. It will be very interesting to see how long this trend in new cars lasts.”

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Notes to Editors

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About the RAC

With more than eight million members, the RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, buying a used car, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information – the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs. The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

The RAC is the motorist’s champion and campaigns to support the interests of its members and UK motorists at a national level, including advancing levels of road safety, supporting the needs of young drivers and voicing concerns about the increasing cost of motoring. The RAC’s annual Report on Motoring – first published in 1989 – provides a clear insight into the concerns and issues facing today’s motorists.

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Key facts:

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