Why Does Grey Remain Top Car Colour?

Wed 15th Mar 2023

Britain’s top car colour in 2022 was once again grey, the fourth year in succession that the neutral tone has topped the charts, and according to research published this week, it is likely to remain top for some time.

While many manufacturers now offer a wide range of exotic and exciting colours, there are some logical reasons as to why car buyers tend to stick with the safer colours of grey, silver, black and white. The key reason is that brighter car colours are harder to sell down the line, and with many of us owning a car for a number of years before selling, retaining some resale value is a major consideration.

But according to Tanja Renkes, mobility technology manager at Axalta, those neutral colours tend to signal premium and luxury when it comes to the consideration of which car to buy.

Axalta provides paint to car makers, and speaking to the Daily Telegraph this week, Renkes explained why the neutral tones remain top, despite paint technology now capable of achieving some vibrant colours.

“Every car manufacturer wants a specific, special colour. Most customers won’t go for it, but it demonstrates that there is a modern colour in the palette. It won’t be the best-selling colour, but it will be used for marketing, showing that they understand trends,” Renkes said.

So black, white and grey are the order of day, but there is hope for the future as blue is the most popular colour for those opting for an electric engine.Renkes says: “These colours are seen as exquisite and long-lasting. For example, when you have a piano at home, it’s black because it exudes a certain kind of exquisite luxury. That’s why we still see black and white considered luxurious, which is why you also see larger limousines and SUVs more in those colours.

“But trends differ depending on the kind of car you have. You will see different colours on a small car than on a limousine or SUV. We’re also seeing that customers are looking for certain colours with EVs now.”