New research has revealed that the UK’s favourite car colour is (wait for it…) grey. Analysis by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found that more than one in four new cars registered in 2023 (26.8%) were grey – that’s over half a million motors.

The stats suggest that we’re a boring bunch when it comes to car colours, but they don’t tell the whole story. From the contemporary style of gunmetal grey to sleek steel and even smoky charcoal, there are, believe it or not, hundreds of shades that could be classified as grey by the DVLA.

We explore what – if anything – we can learn from our car colour choices and explore some ways that you can introduce a bit of colour into your motoring life.

Car colours across the world

When it comes to car colours, Brits are pretty conservative. The top 5 car colours in the UK are:

1.              Grey


2.              Black


3.              White


4.              Blue


5.              Red



Grey is the most popular colour across most car types, including the supermini, dual-purpose, and lower medium classes. However, it’s not universal, with black the preferred choice for executive cars and luxury saloons.

How do our tastes compare to the rest of the world? When it comes to car colours, we pretty much all go for the same few.

Every year, paint manufacturer Axalta publishes a report on the biggest-selling car colours across the world. Here are the latest figures (for 2022):


White, grey, black


Grey, black, white


White, grey, black


White, black, grey


White, black, silver


Across the world, white is the most popular car colour—apart from Europe, which bucks the trend. Why? To understand that, we need to look at the psychological and practical influences on car colour choice.

The psychology of your car colour

Have you ever wondered what your car’s colour says about you? For most of us, car colour is dictated by what’s available on the lot or from the dealer when we visit. The UK sells more grey, black, and white cars, so it stands to reason you’ll see more for sale.

But, could there be a hidden meaning behind your colour choice? Colour psychology is the study of how colours affect our moods, feelings and behaviours – and how they impact others.

There’s a reason why you’ll see Lamborghinis painted in garish shades: because the people who own them often want to be noticed.

We Brits don’t typically want to stand out from the crowd. When it comes to cars, grey, black and white are the colours of conformity. When buying a grey vehicle, we’re saying we’re happy being one of the crowd.

Even our sports car makers like Aston Martin sell most vehicles in muted shades like Xenon Grey and Racing Green. Compare that to Ferrari’s most popular colour, the fiery and bold Rosso Corsa. British reserve versus Italian passion. The choice is yours (if you can afford it).

Intelligent investment

As well as Brits not wanting to stand out, we’re also canny consumers. Custom colours and metallic finishes are optional extras that can add thousands to the price of a car. When times are tight, it’s understandable we’ll look to save money where we can, and that means selecting a standard colour.

When the time comes to sell your car, bold colours can limit your market, whereas simple, timeless and (if we’re honest) slightly boring finishes like grey, white and black won’t go out of fashion. The stats back this up, with Whatcar finding that depreciation is lower and resale value is higher on grey cars when compared with other colours.

Whether it’s grey, black, red or green the key to maximising the resale value of your car is through keeping it in the best possible condition.

Protecting your paintwork

How often do you wash your car? We guess it’s less than every two weeks recommended by manufacturers and industry experts. A survey from Intelligent Car Leasing found that 20% of us (1-in-5) clean our cars every six months – with some claiming they never reach for the sponge.

Dirt, dust and grime can damage your car finish – which could lead potential buyers to seek a hefty discount. Every scratch could knock £50 off the value of your car, say motoring experts – but there is a solution.

If it’s a small nick, you can get to work with one of our scratch repair and removal kits. Don’t worry if you’ve never worked on your car’s finish before. We’ve created a step-by-step guide on how to fix paintwork chips and scratches on your car. Take your time, follow our advice and you’ll get the best results!

If your scratch, scrape or dent is deeper, you’ll probably need to buy touch-up paint to restore it to its former glory. To get that factory-fresh finish, you’ll need to know the correct colour of your car. How? In this guide, you can find out where you can find your car’s colour code. We’ve got information on finding the colour code for all makes and models, from Alfa Romeo to Volvo.

Once you’ve got your official car colour head to the Halfords website where you can find the right paint for your car. Enter your car’s paint code here and it’ll display the product you need.

Give your car some personality (without the price tag)

Cold colours and custom paint jobs can make your car unique, but they’re costly and may limit your audience when it comes to selling. Here are some low-cost ways you can add some personality to your car without a hefty price tag:

If you’re serious about keeping your car at its best for less, the Halfords Motoring Club can help. You can join for free to start saving or upgrade to Premium to unlock every benefit.

We’re the UK’s leading motoring retailer, so there’s no one better to keep you safe and saving on your journeys. Plus, you won’t want to miss the amazing partner offers that over 3 million members are making the most of. Sign up today at to start saving.