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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the body for carmakers in the UK, says that in 2015 and for the third year running, white is the colour. Demand grew 2.2 percent to 564,393 units. Of the 2,635,518 new cars registered in 2015, 21.4 percent were white, compared with less than 1 percent a decade ago. The preference for white across most of the UK was not mirrored in the South East where more black cars were registered than white.
There is an irony in this because the British police changed from white to silver cars to help resale values, claiming it was easier to sell off cars that were not white. Maybe they'd been ignoring the fact it was hard to sell cars that had been full of drunks and drug users, and driven as if they were rentals. Perhaps it's nothing to do with colour.
Meanwhile, after eight years at the top between 2000 and 2008, silver continued its decline. It now makes up just over one in 10 new-car registrations compared with its peak in 2004 when almost every third new car registered was silver. Or maybe whatever colour the police choose, the public shy away from it. When the cops went for silver they tarnished it.
I did once suggest that police cars should be painted a metallic, golden brown colour, but that was only because they were driven by coppers.
Of course the right colour for a police car, as with a telephone box, is blue, and blue cars also enjoyed a resurgence in demand, with more than one in six people choosing the colour. Blue used to be the nation's first choice of car colour in the late 1990s and, after a period of falling popularity at the start of the century, it has now seen three years of continued growth in demand.
Overall, neutral tones continued to dominate, with black cars in second place after white and followed by grey, taking 19.4 percent and 15.6 percent of the market, respectively.
The dominance of white in the UK is interesting because it used to be a very much Far East thing with Japan in particular liking white cars.
But it wasn't all black and white, with more buyers opting to stand out on the roads with brighter colours. The number of people choosing mauve cars rose by approximately a third in 2015 (30 percent) to 12,414, taking the colour into the top 10 for the first time. New mauve cars were most likely to be seen in the West Midlands (0.88 percent) and the Channel Islands (0.69 percent). Demand for green cars grew by 31.2 percent to 28,250 units to take its highest market share (1.07 percent) for five years. East Anglians were most partial to green, at 1.35 percent, followed by those in the North (1.33 percent), the Channel Islands and Wales (1.32 percent). Orange and yellow cars, meanwhile, also surged in popularity – up 25.7 percent and 12.7 percent respectively – with a total 30,187 people opting for the eye-catching colours. More drivers in the West Midlands chose orange than anywhere else in the country, with new yellow cars most likely to be seen on roads in the South East.
What the SMMT doesn't give details of are the rarest colours. Last time I saw any stats it was said that the colour you'd choose if you wanted to be really different was pink. But perhaps you need a six-wheeled Rolls-Royce to carry that off.